> Folk Music > Songs > Jimmy Drummond

Jimmy Drummond

[ Roud 2506 , 2157 ; Ballad Index RPG024 ; trad.]

Sheila Douglas: The Sang’s the Thing Ewan MacColl, Peggy Seeger: Travellers’ Songs From England and Scotland

Willie McPhee of Perth sang My Name It Is Big Jimmy Drummond in a 1954 recording made by Hamish Henderson on the 1960s Prestige album Folksongs & Music From the Berryfields of Blair.

Peter Shepheard sang Jimmy Drummond in 2012 on Shepheard, Spiers & Watson’s Springthyme album Over the High Hills. They noted:

A song in Scots traveller cant. A traveller man is caught stealing gannies (chickens) and is sentenced to kerstardee (jail) leaving his mort (wife) and kenchens (children) to fend for themselves.

Pete Shepheard: With his wife and children scattered, he seems to regret his ways and vows to go ‘a-chouran’ no more—unless he should go on such a venture alone. I have heard this from several traveller singers and it is collated from the singing of John Stewart recorded at Peat Inn, Fife in April 1967 (67.2.16), Mary Reid, Peat Inn April 1967 (67.2.17), John MacDonald, Marshall’s Field, Alyth August 1965 (65.17) and from Willie McPhee of Perth.


Peter Shepheard sings Jimmy Drummond

O ma name it is young Jimmy Drummond,
I travelled fae Campbelltown;
And last night I layed in a granzie,
Ma mort an ma kenchens free.

But tonight I lie in kerstardee,
An I cannae nash avree;
An ma mort an ma kenchens lie scattered,
An I dinna jan whaur they may be.

Now if ever youse dae bing a-chouran,
See i ye nash be yersel;
For a-chouran for gannies be dozens,
I was sentenced one twelvemonth tae jail.

For the sherriff says, “Drummond, you’re guilty,
You are lookin so white and so pale;”
But it’s quickly I altered my colours,
When I heard I had a twelvemonth in jail.

But when I do get out o kerstardee,
I’ll go back to the girl that I know;
In steads of gold rings on her fingers
She’ll be wearing gold rings on her toes.

I will yoke up my ox and my waggons,
An I’ll go a-chouran no more;
For when I do get out o kerstardee,
I’ll go back to the girl I adore.

But if ever I dae bing a-chouran,
I’ll be sure an I’ll gang be masel;
I will moud aa the gannies in dozens,
For there’ll be naebody there for tae tell.