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Jock Geddes and the Soo
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Willie Scott [1897-1989] sang Jock Geddes and the Soo on 3 November 1967 in Bill Leader’s home in Camden Town, London. This recording was released in the following year on Scott’s Topic album The Shepherd’s Song, and it was also included in 1998 on the Topic anthology of songs of the joys and curse of drink, They Ordered Their Pints of Beer and Bottles of Sherry (The Voice of the People Volume 13). Maurice Lindsay commented in Scott’s album’s sleeve notes:
Willie first head a gamekeeper sing it at a dipping contest in 1905. Years later, he found the words printed in a local paper, and so added the song to his repertoire. It is the story of one who “at market whiles got fu’ ”, and who, on one occasion got so fu’ that he “tripped and fell among the midden” whereupon a sow, who “smelled his mou” turned her attention to him. Sober, he reflected that he would never have guessed he would live to me “kissed by a sou”.
The tune is a variant of Roy’s Wife of Aldivaloch.
Ian Anderson sang Jock Geddes and the Sow on the 2002 Borders Tradition CD Borders Sangsters.
Robin Laing sang Jock Geddes and the Sow in 2003 on his Greentrax album The Water of Life. He noted:
What can I say—a comical tale involving a whisky-loving, man-kissing pig. The arrangement uses jazzy piano chords to draw humour from the traditional tune.
Willie Scott sings Jock Geddes and the Soo
Jock Geddes on some business bent
Tae mairket yae day gaed licht-hairtit;
His mither, carefu o her son,
Saw Jock fu frig ere he depairtit,
For Jock at mairket whiles got fu
The place where scamps were there tae take him,
And sae his mither at the door cries,
“Come hame sober, Jock, ye nickum!”
Chorus (after each verse):
Braw, braw to bey weel likit,
Braw, braw to bey sae bonnie;
Owre weel likit winna dae —
Sae muckle thocht on be sae mony.
But Jock as yaisual suin forgot
The plain injunctions o his mither;
The mairket made him awfa dry —
The cyair wis whisky, deil anither!
He met a freen as dry’s himsel
An awa they went to weet their wezans;
Glass efter glass they drank until —
The total number cam to dizens.
Jock rase at last an made for hame,
He hedna taen his mother’s biddin;
He couldna thrive — he tripped an fell
Wi aa his length alang the midden.
Jock juist lay still, fell fast asleep;
The drink had fairly stopped his kickin;
The soo cam by an smelt his moo,
An likin that, commenced the lickin!
Th’enormous soo still lickit on,
Cries Jock, “Noo, Jean, haud aff, that’s plenty!
Let Kirsty hae a smack or twa,
For A’m shair ye hae haen mair than twenty!
For A ken A’m a weel forked chiel
But dinna get in sic a swathr;
I’ll let ye kiss me, but dods sake
Ye needna eat me aa thegither.”
At last his sober sense came roon
An lookin up saw Sandy Cam’ell;
“Ye muckle, nesty, ugly brute,
Nae mair upon me will ye wammle!
Jock rase an spat for near an oor:
The soo had played an awfu plisky!
The pig was killed that very next day,
An Jock has niver since taen whisky.
Braw, braw, to bey weel likit,
Braw, braw it is, but bless me,
Owre weel likit winna dae —
A never thocht a soo would kiss me!
Acknowledgements and Links
I copied the lyrics from Alison McMorland’s Willie Scott book Herd Laddie o’ the Glen.