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As I Came in By Fisherrow

[ Roud 8702 ; trad.]

Owen Hand sang Musselburgh on his 1966 Transatlantic album I Loved a Lass.

Cilla Fisher sang Fisher Row in 1983 on her album Songs of the Fishing.

Danny Spooner sang As I Came in By Fisherrow on his 2008 CD Brave Bold Boys. He noted:

[Neither] fear of the public denunciation by the kirk—such as having to mount the cuttie-stool for a number of Sundays—nor the worries of the creaking wooden (timmer) stairs, which might wake her parents, were enough to deter this ardent suitor from courting his dearie after his day's work was over. I like the reference to the fact that had they been wealthy they could have paid their way out of the punishment. The song appears in Folksongs and Ballads of Scotland, compiled and edited by Ewan MacColl (Oak 1965), where he notes that it was first published as early as 1733.

I learned the song from Gordon Mclntyre with whom I sang with for many years.

Lyrics

Danny Spooner sings As I Came in By Fisherrow

As I came in by Fisherrow, Musselburgh was near me
I put off my mussel pock, courted with my deary

Chorus (after each verse):
Up stairs, doon stairs, timmer stairs fears me
I thought it lang to lie ma lane when I'm sae near my deary

Oh had her apron bidden doon, the kirk wad ne'er hae kent it
But since the word's gane through the toon, my dear I canna mend it

But ye maun mount the cuttie-stool and I maun mount the pillar
that's the way the poor folks dae, because they hae nae siller

(repeat first verse)