Popular Ballads of the Olden Time

The following is from Popular Ballads of the Olden Time: Third Series - Ballads of Scottish Tradition and Romance Selected and Edited by Frank Sidgwick:

The Whummil Bore

The Text is from Motherwell's MS. He included it in the Appendix to his Minstrelsy. No other collector or editor notices the ballad--'if it ever were one,' as Child remarks.

The only point to be noted is that the second stanza has crept into two versions of Hind Horn, apparently because of the resemblance of the previous stanzas, which present a mere ballad-commonplace.

Seven lang years I hae served the king,
    Fa fa fa fa lilly
And I never got a sight of his daughter but ane.
    With my glimpy, glimpy, glimpy eedle,
    Lillum too tee a ta too a tee a ta a tally

I saw her thro' a whummil bore*,
    Fa fa fa fa lilly        
And I ne'er got a sight of her no more.
    With my glimpy, glimpy, glimpy eedle,
    Lillum too tee a ta too a tee a ta a tally

[* 'whummil bore,' a hole bored with a whimble or gimlet.]

Twa was putting on her gown,
    Fa fa fa fa lilly
And ten was putting pins therein.
    With my glimpy, glimpy, glimpy eedle,
    Lillum too tee a ta too a tee a ta a tally

Twa was putting on her shoon,
    Fa fa fa fa lilly
And twa was buckling them again.
    With my glimpy, glimpy, glimpy eedle,
    Lillum too tee a ta too a tee a ta a tally

Five was combing down her hair,
    Fa fa fa fa lilly
And I never got a sight of her nae mair.
    With my glimpy, glimpy, glimpy eedle,
    Lillum too tee a ta too a tee a ta a tally

Her neck and breast was like the snow,
    Fa fa fa fa lilly
Then from the bore I was forced to go.
    With my glimpy, glimpy, glimpy eedle,
    Lillum too tee a ta too a tee a ta a tally

Lord Maxwell's Last Goodnight


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