McFarlane o' the Sproats o' Burnieboozie

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McFARLANE O' THE STROATS O' BURNIEBOOZIE. Scottish, Air ("Bothy Ballad") (2/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. The music was probably written by singer and songwriter Willie Kemp [1] (1888-1965), with comic words by G.B. Thomson, about a man who sends his friend MacFarlane to court a girl on his behalf. It is a 20th century 'bothy ballad' [2], or a song composed and sung by laborers at the end of the 19th century. These laborers were itinerant workers who lived for an agricultural season in small rooms, called bothies, which were sparse and bare with only the simplest of furnishings.

Willie Kemp

The first chorus goes:

I dinna like McFarlane, I'm safe enough tae state,
His lug would cast a shadow ower a sax fit gate;
He's saft as ony gorblin and sliddery as a skate,
McFarlane o the Sprots o Burnieboosie.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Hunter (The Fiddle Music of Scotland), 1988; No. 364. Neil (The Scots Fiddle), 1991; No. 72, p. 96.

Recorded sources: Beltona Bel 1457 (78 RPM), William Kemp (1929). Borealis Records, Enoch Kent - "One More Round" (2008). Lismor Records, Andy Stewart - "Back to the Bothy" (1988).

Back to McFarlane o' the Sproats o' Burnieboozie[edit]