Tak' your auld cloak about ye

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X:1 T:Tak' your auld cloak about ye M:3/4 L:1/8 R:Slow Air S:Gow – 4th Repository (1817) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion Q:"Slow, with expression" K:Bb F|B>B B3d|c>B A3c|BA G3A|^FG D3A| B>B B3d|cB A3c|BA ~GA/B/ AG|^FG D3|| A|B>F ~F3E|D>F ~F3E|DG ~G3A|Bc d3c| B>B B3B|cd f3 ^f| g>d e2 d>c|(c/B/)(A/G/) G3||



TAK' YOUR AULD CLOAK ABOUT YE. Scottish, Slow Air (3/4 time). B Flat Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. The ballad "Tan' your auld cloak about ye" was published in a broadside in 1707, to be sung to "it's own proper tune": "Edinburgh, Printed and Sold by John Moncur at his Printing-House at the Foot of Sclater's Close foregainst the Trone." The words go:

IN Winter when the Rain rains cald,
And frost and snaw on Elka Hill:
Ann Boaras wee his Blasts so ball
He threatens'a our Cay to kill:
Ann Bell my wife she loves not strife,
She said to me right hastily,
Get up Good-man save Cromies Life.

Ann take your ald Cloak about you.
My Cromet Cow is a good Cow,
Ann she is come of a good kind;
Oft hath she help't to teath the Fall;
Ann I am leath that she should tine:
Get up Good-man it is fow time,
The Sun shines in the Lift so hie,
Sloath never took a gracious end:

Take your ald Cloak about you,
My Cloak was once a good ald Cloak,
When it was fiting for my wear,
But now it's scantly worth a Groat,

For I have had it this thirty Year;
It was made o' the Bonny Cleath o'Gray
As fow of Sithers as you may fee,
Ann now it will turn neither wind or Rain,

Ann I will have a new Cloak about me
My Cloak it was a good ald Cloak,
But now it is worn wondrous thin:
A louse can scarce hold feet on it,
A Cricket out through it may run,
We will spend some Gear that we have won
We little ken of the Day we'll Die;
Ann I will be proud fre I have sworn,

Ann I will have a new Cloak about me,
If ye'II be proud fre ye have sworn,
Scarch the good books and they will tell,
Old Lucefer was an Angel Bright,
Ann-with his pride from Glory fell:

Wee his fall train frae Heaven to Hell,
Ann there remains perpetually,
Ann cast away that foul thief pride,

Ann take, thy ald Cloak about ye
First when King Henry he came ov'r
His Breaks they cost him but a Crown,
He said they were two. pennies Dear;
He call'd the Taylor thief and Lown,
Ann he's the King that wears the Crvwn,

Ann Pride puts all this Country down:

Ann take thy ald Cloak about thee.
Ann every Lend it has it's Lough,
Ann every Corn it has it's chaff:
I think the warld is a gan wrang,
When our ald carle begins to Daff;
Do ye not see Rob, Hob and Jock,
As they are girded gallantly
Ann I lay spaltring the ass,

Ann will I wat, it is thirty Years
Sin we the tean the tither Kend,
An we have had between as beth,
Of Lads ann Lasses nine or ten,
Ann they are come to be women ann men
Ann I wish with them it may well be:
Ann if you prove a good Husband,

You will take your old Cloak about ye,
Bell my wife she loves not strife,
Ann she mad guide me ann she can,
Ann she wad live a gracious Life,
She is the Woman I am the Man :
There is no good not at a Woman's hand,
Unless you do give her all the plea :
Ann I'll leave off where I began;

Ann I 'll take my ald Cloak about me.

However, ‘Take your old cloak about you’, was also a ballad and air familiar to Shakespeare’s England; the Bard introduces a stanza from it in Othello for lago to sing. In its original English form, it will be found in Percy's Reliques (1765), while a Scottish version can be fount in D'Urfey's Tea-Table Miscellany.

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - J. Davie & Co. (Davie's Caledonian Repository), Aberdeen, 1829-30; p. 15. Gow (Complete Repository, Part 4), 1817; p. 14.

Recorded sources: -



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