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Todlen Hame

[ Roud 6493 ; Ballad Index AdART167 ; trad.]

David Herd: Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs, Second Volume

Sylvia Barnes sang Todlen Hame on her 2007 Greentrax CD The Colour of Amber. She noted:

According to Burns, in his notes on the Scots Musical Museum, “This is perhaps the first bottle song that ever was composed”, probably referring to the drinking songs that were commonly sung in taverns and inns. Prior to its inclusion in the Museum, this song appeared in Allan Ramsay’s Tea-Table Miscellany (1924-7).


Sylvia Barnes sings Todlen Hame

Oh If I hae sixpence under my thumb
Then I wad gat credit in ilka toon.
But aye when I’m poor, people bid me gae by,
Oh poverty parts guid company.


Chorus (after each verse):
Todlen harne todlen hame,
Oh couldna’ my love come todlen hame.
Todlen hame todlen hame,
Oh couldna’ my love come todlen hame.

Oh here’s tae the alewife and send her guid sale,
She gies us white bannocks tae relish her ale.
But aye if her tippany chanced tae be sma’
We’d hae a guid scour o’t and then win awa’.

Oh me and my kimmer lie doon tae sleep
Wi’ ae pint stoup at our heid and feet.
And aye when we’re waukened, we’ll drink them dry,
Oh what think ye o’ my wee kimmer and I?

Oh leeze me on liquor, my todlen dow,
Ye’re aye sae guid humoured when weetin’ yer mou’.
But aye when ye’re sober, ye ken just the same,
Sae roond as a neep ye’ll come todlen hame.