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Rothesay-O

[ Roud 2142 ; G/D 2:289 ; Ballad Index GrD2289 , K282 ; Mudcat 163089 ; trad.]

Norman Buchan: 101 Scottish Sonhs Peggy Seeger, Ewan MacColl: The Singing Island

Davie Stewart of Dundee sang Rothesay-O to Alan Lomax in 1955 or 1957. This recording was included on the anthology Songs of Animals and Other Marvels (The Folk Songs of Britain Volume 10; Caedmon, 1961; Topic, 1980), and in 2002 on his and Jimmy McBeath's Rounder anthology, Two Gentlemen on the Road.

Ian McRae and the Joe Gordon Skiffle Group sang The Day We Went to Rothesay-O on a 1957 Christmas Day live broadcast on BBC Radio. This was incluced in 2000 on the Rounder CD reissue of this programmer, Sing Christmas and the Turn of the Year.

Robin Hall and Jimmie MacGregor with The Galliards sang The Day We Went to Rothesay in 1961 on their Decca album Scottish Choice.

Louis Killen sang Rothesay-O in 1980 live at Pete Seeger's Singalong at Sanders Theatre.

Eavesdropper sang Rothesay-O in 1983 on their Greenwich Village album The March Hare.

Lyrics

Louis Killen sings Rothesay-O

Last Saturday nicht at Glesca fair
There was me, mysel' and several mair.
We all went off to hae a tear
And spend the nicht in Rothesay-O.
We sauntered through the Broomielaw
Midst rain and hail and sleet and snaw.
And at forty minutes after twa
We got the length of Rothesay-O.

Chorus (after each verse):
Dirum a doo, a dirum a day, a dirum a doo a daddy-O
Dirum a doo, a dirum a day, the day we went to Rothesay-O.

Well me and a chap called the Rutherglen Will
Who was stationed up at Mary Hill
We went off wi' a tanner to hae a gill
In a public hoose in Rothesay-O.
He said, “By Christ, I'd like to sing!”
Says I, “Ye'll nae dee sich a thing!”
He said, “Clear the room and mak' a ring
And I'll fecht youse a' in Rothesay-O!”

In search of lodgins we did slide
To find a place where we could bide.
There was eighty-four o' us inside
In a single-end in Rothesay-O.
We a' lay doon to tak' our ease
When someone happened fer to sneeze,
And he wakened half a million fleas
In the single-end in Rothesay-O.

There were several different kinds o' bugs,
Some had feet like dyer's clogs,
And they sat on the bed and they cockit their lugs
And cried, “Hurrah for Rothesay-O!”
I said, “It's time for us to slope.
Let's gae and join the Band o' Hope!”
But the polis wouldnae let us stop
Another nicht in Rothesay-O.