Robina Hutchison [Wis du at me bridal] SA1971.217.6
Fit da Gutters as played on the fiddle is a splendid dancing tune. We are unsure as to whether the words or the tune were made first, but one of the earliest known sources of tune dates from 1759. Called Was ye at the Bridal, it appears in James Oswald’s 8th book of his series The Caledonian Pocket Companion – containing a Favourite Collection of Scots tunes with Variations for the German Flute or Violin (p. 7) . Roud index no. 25917.
Following Robina’s recitation and Maggie’s singing and lilting, Andrew gives a sprightly rendering on the fiddle and, although it is a different tune from Maggie’s, the words would fit the fiddle tune well – in both its ‘turnings’ (sections).
Wis du at me bridal? Fit da gutters, fit da gutters; Wis du at me bridal? Fit da gutters brawly.
Dat I wis an ‘Be me deid!’ Dat I wis an ‘Be me deid!’ Dat I wis an ‘Be me deid!’ Me an peerie Mallie.
“Be me deid!” (or in some versions “Be me soul!”) is roughly equivalent to “God strike me dead if I’m lying”.
Annie Poleson, Andrew’s wife, provided a slightly different interpretation of this rhyme, though she managed to confuse the rhyme with the title of the old dancing spring Jaanie Nittle (Jenny Nettles). Her reference to lairvin (unbaked dough) could either mean that the person got a piece of the bride’s scones which in older times were customarily tossed up to the guests (as with the modern day equivalent – confetti), or that the wedding feast was a poor one.
Maggie Williamson [Wis du at me wedding] SA1972.99.8
Andrew Poleson [Fit da Gutters] SA1971.217.9
Anne Poleson [Wis du at me wedding] SA1971.212.20
Wis du at me wedding? Chaanie Nittle, Chaanie Nittle; Wis du at me wedding? Chaanie Nittle brawly. Dat I wis an ‘Be me deid!’ Dat I wis an ‘Be me deid!’ Dat I wis an ‘Be me deid!’ An’ I got a chunk o’ lairvin.
The lass ..that… she went to the wedding, and all that she got was a chunk o’ lairvin. She didn’t just think the very much of it. And some people go to the wedding that say “I got a nice piece of cake”.