Andrew Poleson [Whistle owre the lave o’t] SA1971.269.1
This lively dance song presents food for thought. The words belong to the well-known Scots song Whistle owre the lave o’t of which there are many versions (Roud index no. 506) – some racy and some polite. But Andrew’s tune – apart from the second phrase – is unlike the version usually printed or heard. Which might be older?
Here Andrew first sings and then plays his version – a lively dancing ‘spring’ with which the Whalsay ‘shuffle’ would fit well.
Me mither sent me to the well
Rather she wid ging hersel
The bottom o’ the pitcher’s fell
Whistle owre the lave o’t
The refrain to Robert Burns’ poem in his cantata The Jolly Beggars is worth reprinting in this context.
I am a fiddler to my trade,
And a’ the tunes that e’er I play’d,
The sweetest still to wife or maid,
Was “Whistle owre the lave o’t.”