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Gie Me a Lass Wi a Lump o Land

[ Roud 8463 ; Allan Ramsey]

Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs

Ossian sang Gie Me a Lass Wi a Lump o’ Land in 1978 on their Iona album St. Kilda Wedding. They noted:

This song was first published in Allan Ramsay’s The Tea-Table Miscellany (1724 volume one) and is attributed to Ramsay himself, although he may have taken much of it from an older song. The author’s somewhat cynical approach to the subject of marriage is in marked contrast to much of the rest of the Miscellany which Ramsay dedicated to the ladies of Britain.

Ian Bruce sang Gi’e Me a Lass Wi’ a Lump o’ Land in 1998 on his Greentrax album Hodden Grey.

Barbara Dymock of Fife sang Gie Me a Lass Wi a Lump o Land and The Tarbolton Lasses in 2019 on Malinky’s 20th anniversary album Handsel. They noted:

Gi’e Me a Lass wi’ a Lump o’ Land was published by Allan Ramsay in his Tea-Table Miscellany in 1724, described by a later editor as “to supplant old and coarse words to the tune of The Lass wi’ the Lump o’ Land.” It also appears with the original melody in William Thomson’s Orpheus Caledonius of 1725.

The Tarbolton Lasses was written by Robert Burns in 1778. Barbara chose these two 18th century, tongue-in-cheek, contrasting views of women, despite the fact that, by current standards, they would be considered outdated. She feels strongly about not censoring song choices to fit modern social views.


Ian Bruce sings Gi’e Me a Lass Wi’ a Lump o’ Land

Gi’e me a lass wi’ a lump o’ land
An’ we for life shall gan’ the gither,
Tho’ daft or wise, I’ll never demand,
Black or fair, it maksna whether.
I’m aff with wit an’ beauty will fade,
Blood alane’s no worth a shillin’,
But she that’s rich, her market’s made,
For ilka charm about her is killin’.

Gi’e me a lass wi’ a lump o’ land
And in my bosom I’ll hug my treasure;
Gin I had anes her gear in my hand,
Shou’d love turn dowf it will find pleasure.
Laugh on wha likes, but there’s my hand,
I hate with poortith, tho’ bonny, tae meddle,
Unless they bring cash or a lump o land,
They’ll ne’er get me tae dance to their fiddle.

There’s meikle guid love in bands an bags,
Siller an gowd’s a sweet complexion;
But beauty an wit an virtue in rags,
Have tint the airt o gainin’ affection:
Love tips its arrows with woods and parks,
Castles an’ riggs and moors an’ meadows,
Naethin’ can catch our modern sparks
But well-tocher’d lasses and jointer’d widows.