Mary Anderson                                                    SA1971.211.10b

This song was once known throughout Scotland and is accordingly to be found in many early Scottish collections,  though one wonders when and where it might have been last sung or played during the wedding ritual.  In Whalsay it was usually played by one or more fiddlers as the bridal party marched away from the church after the ceremony.  Mary recites here just the words of the refrain though the song has been given a number of verses over the years.  Andrew Poleson then plays his version of the tune on the fiddle.  This can be compared with an early recording of John Irvine (‘Glibey’) also playing the same tune.  This was one of many which Glibey played for Tom Anderson to record in 1959.  The others are available on the Tobar an Dualchais website.  (Roud index no. 7159).

Woo’d an mairried an aa
Kissed an cairried awa
Oh ane would be very well aff
That’s woo’d and mairried an aa.

– – – –
The first verse of the song, which essentially contains an unsympathetic response to a complaining bride-to-be runs as follows:

The bride cam out o’ the byre,
And, O, as she dighted her cheeks!

Sirs, I’m to be married the night,
And have neither blankets nor sheets,
Have neither blankets nor sheets

Nor scarce a coverlet too;
The bride that has a’ thing to borrow
Has een right muckle ado.
     Woo’d and married…..etc.
From R. Chambers: The Songs of Scotland Prior to Burns. p. 207

Andrew Poleson                                                     SA1971.211.19

Andrew here gives a nicely ornamented version of the tune which contains some phrases of unusual length.  This was also a feature of the version played by John Irvine. This suggests the tune acquired a particular Whalsay identity at some time.

John (Glibey) Irvine                                                  SA1959.95.13

Glibey belonged to the generation of fiddlers before Andrew and as one can tell it is a much older recording from the School’s archive and needed adjustments to pitch and tone before it became presentable.