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The Weary Pund o' Tow

[ Roud 435 ; G/D 8:1867 ; Ballad Index BdWePuTo ; Bodleian Roud 435 ; Robert Burns]

Tony Cuffe sang The Weary Pund o' Tow in 1996 on the Linn anthology The Complete Songs of Robert Burns Volume 2, and in 1998 on his solo album When First I Went to Caledonia.

Fiona Hunter sang The Weary Pund o' Tow in 2008 on her eponymous album Fiona Hunter. She commented in her liner notes:

This song was published in the Scots Musical Museum in 1792.

The Husband in this song laments his lady's lack of housework, which does not match up his expectations of a farmer's wife. He thought he was getting a servant, but his wife clearly has other ideas. When she is ordered to get on with her spinning she rebels and clouts him over the head.

This song comes from the singing of Tony Cuffe, one of my favourite singers.

Lyrics

Fiona Hunter sings The Weary Pund o' Tow

Chorus (after each verse):
The weary pund, the weary pund,
The weary pund o' tow;
I think my wife will end her life,
Before she spin her tow.

I bought my wife a stane o' lint,
As gude as e'er did grow,
And a' that she has made o' that
Is ae puir pund o' tow.

There sat a bottle in a bole,
Beyond the ingle low;
And aye she took the tither souk,
To drouk the stourie tow.

Quoth I, “For shame, ye dirty dame,
Gae spin your tap o' tow!”
She took the rock, and wi' a knock,
She brak it o'er my pow.

At last her feet-I sang to see't!
Gaed foremost o'er the knowe,
And or I wad anither jad,
I'll wallop in a tow.