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Why Should I?

[ RoudBS B250204 ; trad.]

Mirk sang Why Should I? in 1982 on their Springthyme album Tak a Dram Afore Ye Go. They noted:

One of many songs that warns the lassies against old men. The tune is ancient and is in the Skene manuscript compiled in the early 1600’s where it is titled I Will Not Goe to My Bed Till I Suld Die. The old words being lost, new words were set to the tune for publication in 1851 in Graham’s Songs of Scotland.

Maureen Jelks sang Why Should I? in 2000 on her Tradition Bearers album Eence Upon a Time. She noted:

Another song from the singing of Marjorie Sinclair [of Mirk] telling the story of a young woman being persuaded by her family to marry an old man because he is wealthy. The young woman resists and stands by her younger man, even though he is poor.


Mirk sing Why Should I?

Why should I, a brisk young lassie.
Be forced tae wad a feckless auld man?
Hoastin an hirplin, a lamiter body,
I’ll die far raither than gie him ma han.

Kirk or mercat, aye he follaes me,
Gapin, glowerin, till I fain ban;
Then at oor ingle-neuk ilka day haverin,
I’ll die far raither than gie him ma han.

Aa ma friens are like tae deave me,
’Bout hoose an hame, an siller an land;
Deil tak the siller an land aa thegither.
I’ll die far raither than gie him ma han.

My ain Jo is young and bonnie,
Though he’s poor, he’s aye kind tae me;
I’ll hae nae man but ma ain dearest Johnnie,
An ne’er the auld man, although I should dee.