Buchan Forest Hunt

Buchan Forest Hunt

Buchan Forest, as we have heard,
A day of hunting set;
It happened on a Monday,
I wat it was na het.

Some came from Mennack,
And some from Trool,
And some from the Loch Doon,
And when they met at Palskaig-head
Some of the wanted shoon.

I happened on a wony Monday,
It blew both snaw and hail;
We raised him at the Saigy Goats,
Put raches to his tail.

And doun Craignaw I wat he ran,
Down by Loch Narroch strand –
The staibler that we had set there
Was mikle John McCom.

“Now John McCom, now let me by,
For at thee I have no faid,
For I am sure ye never was the worse of me
Since ye cam to Glenhead.”

I think this man he had no faid
When he did let him by,
For we were sair near Criaglee
Before he raised the cry.

James Murray and George Gordon,
They were two subjects true;
They did well, and sped their heels,
And ran to keep in view.

The foremost man cam up to them
Was *Maxcel of Straquhan;
They stabled their men on every side,
They put their terriers in.

They chattel at his chamber day,
They knew he was within;
He did not love their chattling noise
In chamber where he lay,
He thought an’ he was out again
He would show them some more play!

Out he gat, and doun Craignaw,
As swift as any naig,
The mountain dog was good and true
And catched him by the craig.

Straquhan took him by the hin’ heels,
To a stane he laid his heid:
This red-dog that we got here
I think he be no bairn,
For he has bear’d the faid for us
Through Straiton and Carsfairn.

Written down by John Murray, shepherd of Knocknalling.  Watermark on paper 1823. Sent to McMath by his sister Jessie 16/2/1874

William McMath collected ballads and songs between 1882 and 1912, many from his family in Galloway.  Some, but not all ,were printed in:
 “The English And Scottish Popular Ballads” A collection of traditional English Folk songs and ballads, collected & compiled by Francis J Child, [1825-1896].

* Maxcel, or Maxwell was drowned in the river Fleet in November 1699.

Bonny May

Bonny May

Bonny May to the ewe buchts is gane
To milk her Daddie’s yowes
And aye as she sang her bonny voice it rang
Out o’er the taps o’ the knowes, knowes
Out o’er the taps o’ the knowes

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
A troop of noble gentlemen
Came riding merrily by, by
Came riding merrily by

He took her by the middle sae sma’
And by the green gown sleeve
And he’s laid her down on the dewy, dewy ground
And he’s asked no man’s leave, leave
And he’s asked no man’s leave

He’s mounted on his milk white steed
And he’s rode after his men
And all that his merry men said to him
Was, Dear master, ye’ve tarried lang, lang
Dear master, ye’ve tarried long

I have ridden east and I have ridden west
And I’ve ridden among the knowes
But the bonniest lass that e’er I saw
Was milking her Daddie’s yowes, yowes
Was milking her Daddie’s yowes

She’s ta’en the milk pail on her head
And she’s gane singing hame
And all the her father said to her
Was, Dear daughter, ye’ve tarried lang, lang
Dear daughter, ye’ve tarried lang

O there can a tod amang my yowes
An’ a waefu’ tod was he
Afore he had taen my wee yowe-lamb
I wad rather he had taen ither three, three
I wad rather he had taen ither three

It happened on a day, and a bony summer day
As she was ca’in’ in her father’s kye
The same troop o’ noble gentlemen
Came riding merrily by, by
Came riding merrily by

One of them calls out
Lassie, have ye got a man?
She turned her head right saucy about
Saying I’ve got ane at hame, hame
Saying I’ve got ane at hame

Hold your tongue, my bonnie lass
How loud I hear ye lee
Do you no’ remember the caul mirky nicht
When ye were in the yowe buchts wi’ me, me
When ye were in the yowe buchts wi’ me

He’s ordered one of his merry men
To licht and set her on behind him
Saying, your father may ca’ in his kye when he likes
For they’ll ne’er be ca’ed by thee, thee
For they’ll ne’er be ca’ed by thee

For I am the laird o’ the Ochiltree walls
I have fifty ploughs and three
And I have got the bonniest lass
In a’ the north countrie, trie
In a’ the north countrie

Collected from Mary Cochrane, Abbey Yard, Crossmichael, 12/8/1893

* * * lines missing

Glossary of some Scottish words

Glossary of some Scottish words


A’ - all

Abee - to let alone

Aboon, abune - above

Aboot - about; alternatively

Ae - one

Afore - before, ere

Aft - often

A’gates - everywhere

Agin - against

Ain - own

Airn - iron

Airt(h) - direction, quarter

Aisins, easins - eaves (space between wall head and rafters)

Ajee - aside, awry, ajar

Alane - alone

Alang - along

Alicht - alight

Amaist - almost

Amang - among

An - if

Ance - once

Ane - a single person or thing

Aneath - beneath, under

Anent - about

Ase, asse, alse - ashes

Atweel - indeed, certainly, of course

Atween - between

Aucht - to own; anything

Ava’ at all

Awa - away; contradiction

Ay - always


Backend - autumn

Back-gaen - not thriving

Baudrons - a cat (originally meant a hare)

Bawbee - a halfpenny

Beel, beal - to suppurate, fester

Begood - began

Begunk - to cheat

Bicker - wooden drinking bowl; move quickly, noisily; to quarrel

Bigg - to build, biggin - a building

Bield - a shelter; bold

Birse - bristle (with anger)

Blad - a sheet or leaf

Blinman’s baws - puff balls

Bluidy fingers - foxgloves

Bourtree - an elder

Bowte - a bolt, to play bowte to rebound

Brae - hill, slope, braeheid - hilltop

Brat - an apron, cloth

Braws - finery, braw - fine

Breek - to tuck in

Brose - unboiled porridge made by pouring boiling water on meal; kale brose - shredded kale boiled with oatmeal in stock

Bucht - sheepfold, to herd sheep

Bud, bude, bood - behoved, had to

Busk - to prepare, dress

But n’ ben - but -outer part - kitchen, ben - inner part - best room


Ca’ - call

Callant - a lad

Cannie - careful, cautious;

Cantie - comfortable, cheerful

Cap, cappie, caup - a wooden bowl for food and drink

Carlin - an old woman, witch

Caul - cold

Cazy, cassie - a straw creel

Chafer - a chafing dish; blacksmith’s tool

Chap - knock, tap

Champit - mashed

Chattle - nibble

Chessel - a cheese vat

Chiel - a fellow, child, servant

Clash - gossip, scandal; a large quantity; carried clash - hearsay

Cleekit - caught, hooked up

Cleek - to cheat

Cleugh - a gorge, chasm, cliff, narrow glen

Clout - to patch or mend; to beat; a cloth

Close - lane or passage

Clue - thread

Cog,- small wooden pail or bowl

Contramaxcious - perverse, self willed

Cottar - a cottages; a tied house

Coup - overturn, tip, fall

Couples, cupples, sloping rafters

Cow, cowe - turf; a branch; slip of wood

Craig - a rock, crag

Cubbie - a basket made of heather or straw

Cuddie - a small horse/pony

Cuff - the nape of the neck

Cuist - to cast, throw

Cunchie - curtsey

Cutty - short, small, young person


Daffin’ jaunty behaviour

Darg - a day’s work, a task

Dern - secret, hidden

Dicht - wipe clean, rub, sweep; to tell off

Ding - to knock or beat; defeat or overcome

Dirl - to cause to vibrate; a painful blow

Disjasket - in disrepair, depressed, weary

Donnert - scatterbrained

Douce - sober, modest

Doup - the buttocks, the end part of something

Dowie - sad, weary dispirited

Dree - to suspect, fear; to suffer, endure

Dreep - drip

Dreich - dull, dreary; tedious

Drooth - drought, thirst

Drumlie - cloudy, muddy, gloomy, sullen

Dwammy - faint

Dwyne - to dwindle, fade, waste away

Dulfu’ sorrowful


Een - eyes; evening; one

E’en - eyes

Enoo - now, just now, soon

Ether-stane - adder stone

Ettle - intend, plan, aim


Faid - sportsmen, sport

Fail - turf used for building dykes etc.

Fank - a sheep pen

Fankle - to entangle, muddle

Farrand - seeming

Fash - to trouble

Fauld - a pen, sheepfold

Feat - neatly made

Fell - very

Fendin’ a provision

Ferlie - a strange phenomenon; a fairy

Firsle - to rustle

Fit - foot

Flake, fluke - a fence, hurdle, gate

Fleg, fley - to frighten

Fleech, fleitch - to flatter, cajole

Flit - to move house, grazing etc.,

Flyte -to quarrel, scold

Forbye - besides; except

Forfochten - exhausted, worn out

Fremyt - strange

Fuss - to fetch


Gab - to mouth, to speak

Gabbit - concerning the mouth

Gaen - given; gone

Gar - to cause, make

Gate, gait, gaet - way, road; fashion; pace

Gaunt, gant - to yawn

Gilp - splash; to gilp - jerk

Gilpin - frolicsome youngster

Gin - if

Gled - kite (bird)

Gliff - a sudden fright or shock; glimpse, glance

Glower - scowl

Gowan - daisy

Gowk - cuckoo; simpleton

Gowpen - a handful

Greet - cry, weep

Gryse - a pig, piglet

Gude, Guid - good; large

Gude-man/wife - master/mistress of the house

Guddle - a mess; a person who makes a mess; to catch fish by hand


Haaf - half; open sea

Haar - foggy, raw

Hafflins - partly, nearly; a hafflin’ - a youngster

Hail - to pour

Hait - a very small quantity

Hantle - a considerable quantity

Hap - to cover, wrap

Happock -a small hump

Haud - hold

Haurn - to toast

Haver, haiver - to talk nonsense

Havermeal - oatmeal

Het - hot; hit

Hind - a servant

Hizzie - a hussy; a housewife

Holm - flat ground beside a river

Houlet, howlet, hoolet - and owl

Howd - to swing, bob up and down

Howdie - midwife

Howe - hollow; lowest part

Howk - dig, unearth

Hum - bad mood; bad odour

Hurcheon - hedgehog


Ilk, ilka - each, every; the same

Ingle - a fire burning in the hearth

Ither - other


Jabble - splash, spill over

Jag - prick, pierce, inject

Jalouse - suspect, imagine

Jaw - to pour, spill

Jink - a quick sudden movement, dodge


Kaim - comb

Keek - peep, glance

Ken - know

Kep - to catch

Kimmer - a gossip; witch

Kintra - country

Kirn - churn

Kist - a chest, trunk

Knoit - to knock

Kye - cattle

Knowe - a hillock, mound


Lade - a millrace

Lair - a place to lie down

Lave - the rest, what’s left

Lease - to release

Leugh - to laugh

Leuk - to see to something

Lick - smack

Linn - a waterfall, gorge, deep pool

Lintie - linnet

Lippen - to trust

Lish, lith - nimble

Loof, luif, lufe - the palm of the hand

Loon - lad

Loup, lowp - leap’ to throb

Louthe - abundance

Lowne, loune - calm

Luckie, Lucky -an old woman; a witch; a female innkeeper

Lug - ear

Lum - chimney


Mart - market; provision

Maun - must; mauna - must not

Mell - mallet

Mickle, muckle - large, many

Mim - prudish, prim

Mirk - darkness

Mool, moul - crumbled earth

Moolins - crumbs

Mun, maun - must


Na - not, no, none

Naigie, naig - pony

Neb - nose

Neist - next

Nieve - a hand, fist

Nocht - nothing

Nor - than


Oo’ - wool

Oorie - uncanny, gloomy

Or - before; until

Owre - over


Paddo, paddock - a frog; a toad

Park - an enclosed field

Pauky - witty, clever

Pech - to pant, deep breath

Pig - an earthen vessel, storage jar

Plouter, plitter - wade through mud or water, mess about with water

Pooch - pocket

Pook, pouk - to pluck

Poother - powder

Pow - head; a pool, creek

Pownie - pony

Preen - pin

Premeese - to suppose

Press - cupboard

Prie, pree - to taste

Prig - haggle, beseech

Puckle, pickle - a small amount

Put past - put away, save

Pyke, pike - to pick

Pyock - a poke or bag


Quha - who

Quhair - where; when

Quhen - when, as soon as

Quhile - while, until, a time

Quhilk - which, who, whoever

Quo’ - said


Raches - hounds

Randy - Aggressive, irrepressible

Rashes - rushes or reeds

Rax - reach out, stretch, strain

Ream - cream, froth

Reck - to matter

Redd - clean out, put in order

Reek - smoke

Riddle - course-mesh sieve

Rive - to split

Rock - distaff, spindle

Routh - plenty

Rug - to pull

Rump - to plunder


Sair - sore; very

Sark - a man’s shirt, a chemise, a nightdress

Saugh - a willow

Scaith - harm

Scale, skail - to spill, scatter

Scart - scratch, scrape

Scaud - scald; glimpse

Scraich, skraich - scream, shriek

Scrieve - to move, glide; written

Scunner - loathing, put off, recoil

Sheil - a shelter

Shoogle - to shake

Shoon - shoes

Siccar, sicker - sure, certain, safe

Skep - straw basket; straw beehive

Skirl - shrill sound, scream

Sma - small

Smee - smooth

Sonsie, sonsy - wholesome

Sook - to suck

Sowens - dust from oatmeal steeped and cooked

Snell - bitter cold, severe

Spaewife - A female fortune teller

Speer, speir - to ask

Stour - dust

Swarf, swerf - to faint

Sweir - reluctant, unwilling

Syne - then, since


Taen - taken

Taigle - hinder, tarry

Tent - guard, care

The - you

Thir - these

Thrang - very busy

Thrawn - twisted, cross-grained

Threep - urge, claim

Tine, tyne - to lose

Toom - empty

Tyke - a dog


Unco - strange, unusual


Wale - to choose

Want - to need, be without

Wat - know; promise; wet

Wear - to separate

Waur - worse

Wean - a child

Weel-faured - handsome

Wheen - a number, a few

Wheesht - hush, be quiet

Widdershins - the wrong way, back to front

Win - achieve; harvest; acquire

Won - to dwell; quarried

Woo’ - wool

Wyte - to blame


Yammer - to fret, cry, talk incessantly

Yell, yeld, eild - barren

Yill - ale

Yowe - ewe

Yowl - howl


As the King lay musing

As the King lay musing upon his bed

As the King lay musing upon his bed
He bethought himself upon a time
Of tribute Due by the King of France
That had not been paid for a long, long time.
Chorus: Fal the Dal, lal a – fal the Dal, lal ee.

So call me my little Page
Go call him here right speedily
For he  shall go to the King of France
And bring the treasure that is due to me

Away, away ran the little page
Away, away and away went he
And when he came to the King of France
He fell down low on bended knee

My master greets you right courteously
Ten tons of Gold which is due he
And if you don’t send him the treasure home
It’s on French ground you will soon him see

Your master’s young and of tender years
not fit to come up to my degree
and I will send him three tennis balls
That with them he may learn to play

Away, away came the little Page
Away, away and away came he
And when he came to our Gracious King
He fell down low on bended knee

What news, what news my little Page
What news, what news have you got for me?
No news, no news my sovereign King
Bust just what my two eyes did see

He says you’re young and of tender years
Not fit to come up to his Degree
And he will send you three tennis balls
That with them you may learn to play
Go call to me my merry men all
All by thirties and by three
And I will send him such tennis balls
As on French ground he did see

Go recruit me a Cheshire and Lancashire
And Derby hill that was more free
Not a married man nor a widow’s son
And they were a Jovial company

And when they came unto French ground
With Drums and trumpets so merrily
Out then spoke the King of France
Low yonder come Proud Henry

But when they came to the Palace gates
Which they soon stormed and the French did flee
Out then spoke the King of France
God have mercy on my Poor men and me

And I will send you your treasure home
Ten tons of gold which is due to thee
And the fairest flower that blooms in France
My liege at your command shall be

(From Alexander Kirk, Inspector of the Poor, Dalry.  Learned from David Rae, Barlay, Balmaclellan. Collected 15/10/1886)

To a Passer-by

To a Passer-by

You are only a form that is passing,
A light for one moment agleam,
But there’s pain in your eyes, and laughter,
And the quest of a wandered dream.

And something is plucking your heart-strings –
A something you cannot name;
There’s an ache and a passionate longing,
And a shy dream – we’re all the same.

For some it’s a croon at the love time,
And for some it’s flooding the years,
It’s the song of the endless endeavour
And the longings, the dreams and the tears.

It’s the lilt of the deathless adventure,
It’s the call of the wind and the seas,
It has chimed through the thunder of battles,
And it’s whispering now in the trees…

You are only a shade in the twilight,
A grain in the wind-ruffled sand,
But your eyes are the eyes of a dreamer
And I know you could understand.

D.M.P. ©