(Landlady Count the Lawin)
by Robert Burns (1759 - 96)
Tune: Hey Tutti Taitie
Gudewife, count the lawin’,
The day is nearly dawin’
Ye’re aa blind drunk boys
And Ah’m but jolly fu
Hey tutti taitie, how tutti taitie
Hey tutti taitie, wha’s fu noo?
Cog an ye were aye fu,
Cog an ye were aye fu,
I wad sit and sing to you
If ye were aye fu
Weel may we aa be.
I’ll may we never see.
God bless the gudewife
And the company
Cog: drinking bowl
Fu: drunk, full
Lawin: tavern bill
Tutti Taitie: represents the sound of the trumpet
in verse 3 below
This drinking song was brought to Sangschule by Ewan McVicar. In his version we blessed the “gudewife” in the last line instead of “the king and the Companie”.
This song is a reworking by Burns of a traditional lyric. According to The Canongate Burns, “it is certain the reference is to a Stuart not a Hanoverian king” although it is not found in print until the Scots Musical Museum of 1788. The tune was best known in the 18th century as a Jacobite drinking song, “Fill up your bumpers high”.
Burns used the same, very old tune, played slowly, for “Scots Wha Hae”. There is a tradition, which Burns accepted, that it was played at Bannockburn. It may even have been played when Joan of Arc made her 15th C entrance to Orleans. In Rantin’ Pipe and Tremblin’ String, GS Emmerson quotes a written programme issued by the town of Orleans for its annual Joan of Arc memorial celebrations. There “Hey Tuttie Taitie” is described as the “March of the soldiers of R. Bruce” introduced to France in the 14th century, and used for Joan’s entry to Orleans on the 29th of April, 1429. The programme writer gives the source of this story as a document in the Chateau Royal at Blois.
Here is “Hey Tutti Taitie’s” ancestor, the Jacobite drinking song, from The Scots Musical Museum:
Here is to the king, sir,/ Ye ken wha I mean, Sir,
And to every honest man/ That will do’t again.
Fill up your bumpers high, / We’ll drink a’ your barrels dry;
Out upon them, fy! fy! / That winna do’t again
Here’s to the chieftains / Of the Scots Highland clans;
They hae done it mair than ance, /And will do’t again
When you hear the trumpet sounds,/ Tutti taitie to the drum
Up your swords and down your gun / And to the louns again (louns: loons, lads)
Here is to the king o Swedes,/ Fresh laurels crown his head.
Pox on every sneaking blade / That winna do’t again
But to mak a’ things right, now / He that drinks maun fight too,
To shew his heart’s upright too / And that he’ll do’t again (shew: show)