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Awa Wi Ma Laddie

[ Roud 9252 ; Mabel Skelton]

Malinky sang Awa Wi Ma Laddie in 2019 as the last track of their 20th anniversary album Handsel. They noted:

Working on the Kist o Riches / Tobar an Dualchais sound archiving project, Steve [Byrne] came across numerous songs from his home town of Arbroath, and this song in particular caught his imagination, mentioning the local river, the Brothock (the town’s old name being Aberbrothock), and the mill buildings still standing today in the town centre. The Brothock Mill is well known to local folk, although its use has changed over the years from its origin as a steam-powered flax works in the 19th century. Recorded from Mabel Skelton (1919-1988) in 1985 by Hamish Henderson, and featured in Sheila Douglas’ 1992 book The Sang’s the Thing, Steve has since taken the archive recording back to the Arbroath area and taught it to several hundred schoolchildren through community workshops on local song and Scots language. As the song was quite short, Steve has augmented it with an additional verse mentioning some of the other well known local landmarks. As a song that has literally now been passed on as a handsel to future generations, this is a good way to end the new CD!


Mabel Skelton sings Awa Wi Ma Laddie

Oh they are the mills for poverty,
But the Brothick Mill’s for pay.
The Brothick Mill’s a bonnie wee mill
Doon by the burnside.

Chorus (after each verse):
And awa wi ma laddie,
It’s awa wi him I’ll gang.
Yes awa wi ma laddie
For he’s a nice young man.

I tuik him doon tae the Brothick Mill
Tae see them aa gaun in,
Rosy cheeks and curly hair,
That’s the way they rin.

Maybe I’ll get mairried yet,
Maybe no ava.
Maybe I’ll get mairried yet
Tae ma laddie far awa.