Scots Songs for Kids

Here’s a selection of Scots songs for kids alongside an music clip for you to hear how the songs goes. For more great resources please check out http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/scotlandssongs/about/songs/children/index.asp

Three Craws
Ally, bally (Coulter’s candy)
Dance Tae Yer Daddy
Katie Bairdie
One Two Three Aleerie
Will Ye No Come Back Again
Skye Boat Song

Three Craws

 

 

 

Three craws sat upon a wa’,
Sat upon a wa’, sat upon a wa’,
Three craws sat upon a wa’,
On a cauld and frosty mornin’.

The first craw couldnae flee at a’
Couldnae flee at aw, couldnae flee at a’
The first craw couldnae flee at a’
On a cauld and frosty mornin’.

The second craw couldnae find its maw,
Couldnae find its maw, couldnae find its maw,
The second craw couldnae find its maw,
On a cauld and frosty mornin’.

The third craw, couldnae caw at a’,
Couldnae caw at a’, couldnae caw at a’,
The third craw, couldnae caw at a’,
On a cauld and frosty mornin’.

The fourth craw, wasnae there at a’
Wasnae there at a’, wasnae there at a’
The fourth craw, wasnae there at a’
On a cauld and frosty mornin’

An that’s a’, absolutely a’,
Absolutely a’, absolutely a’,
An that’s a’, absolutely a’,
On a cauld and frosty mornin’.

Ally, bally (Coulter’s candy)
In the 1870s, Robert Coultart, a mill worker in Galashiels, made aniseed-flavoured toffee in his house and sold it around all the fairs and markets in the Borders. He played his whistle and made up his song to call the children to buy his sweets.

Chorus:
Ally, bally, ally bally bee
Sittin’ on yer mammy’s knee
Greetin’ for a wee bawbee
Tae buy some Coulter’s candy.

1. There was a wee lassie awfy thin
A bundle o’ bones wrapped up in skin
Noo she’s gettin’ a wee double chin
Wi’ eatin’ Coulter’s candy

Chorus

2. Puir wee Johnie’s greetin’ tae
Whit can his puir mammy dae?
But gie them a penny a’tween them twa
Tae buy some Coutler’s candy

Chorus

3. Here’s a penny, ma bonnie wee man
Rin doon the road as fast as ye can
Dinnae stop till Coulter’s van
An’ buy some Coulter’s candy

Chorus

Dance Tae Yer Daddy
This song has been known in Scotland for a very long time but some people say it came from Newcastle. A ‘whippie’ was used to whip a wooden top so it would spin and a ‘souple tam’ is a wooden doll with limbs that move.

Dance tae yer daddy,
Ma bonnie laddie,
Dance tae yer daddy, ma bonnie lamb!

An ye’ll get a fishie
In a little dishie,
Ye’ll get a fishie, whan the boat comes hame.

Dance tae yer daddy,
Ma bonnie laddie,
Dance tae yer daddy, ma bonnie lamb!

An ye’ll get a coatie,
An a pair o’ breekies,
Ye’ll get a whippie, an a soople Tam.

Katie Bairdie
It is very easy for people to make up their own fun verses for this song.The lyrics in this version of the song were made up by singer Christine Kydd with classes P3 and P4/5 from Inchture Primary, in the Carse of Gowrie between Perth and Dundee, for the On The Hoof project in 2009.

Katie Bairdie had a yowe (sheep)
That could curtsey and could bow
Wasnae that a dainty yowe?
Dance, Katie Bairdie

Katie Bairdie had a horse
That could dance around the carse
Wasnae that a dainty horse?
Dance, Katie Bairdie

Katie Bairdie had a dog
It went jogging in the fog
Wasnae that a dainty dog?
Dance, Katie Bairdie

Katie Bairdie had a fox
Wore its socks in a cardboard box
Wasnae that a dainty fox?
Dance, Katie Bairdie

Katie Bairdie had a chook
That could cook a tasty deuk
Wasnae that a dainty chook?
Dance, Katie Bairdie

Katie Bairdie had a cat
Wore a fuzzy wuzzy hat
Wasnae that a dainty cat?
Dance, Katie Bairdie

Katie Bairdie had a coo
Bright red lipstick roon its moo
Wasnae that a dainty coo?
Dance, Katie Bairdie

Katie had a chunky monkey
Danced to music punky funky
Wasnae that a dainty monkey?
Dance, Katie Bairdie

Katie had a crocodile
We haven’t seen her for a while

One Two Three Aleerie
This is an old playground favourite. ‘Aleerie’ is a very old word that means holding your leg crooked. You bounce the ball three times, then lift your leg and bounce the ball under it when you come to â€?Aleerie’. The song was also used for skipping, and it is very easy to make up your own verses.

One, two, three aleerie
Four, five, six aleerie
Seven, eight, nine aleerie
Ten aleerie overball

Will Ye No Come Back Again
Bonnie Prince Charlie escaped from Scotland and went to France. The Highland Scots who fought for him and sheltered him in secret after the terrible battle of Culloden, even though big rewards were offered for him, wish he would return again. This song was written at least 30 years after this happened.

Bonnie Charlie’s now awa’
Safely owre the friendly main;
Mony a heart will break in twa,
Should he ne’er come back again.

Will ye no come back again?
Will ye no come back again?
Better lo’ed ye canna be,
Will ye no come back again?

Ye trusted in your Hieland men,
They trusted you, dear Charlie.
They kent your hidin’ in the glen,
Your cleadin was but barely.

English bribes were aa in vain,
An e’en tho puirer we may be;
Siller canna buy the heart
That beats aye for thine and thee.

Sweet’s the laverock’s note and lang,
Lilting wildly up the glen;
But aye to me he sings ae sang,
Will ye no come back again?

Skye boat song
This is a Jacobite lament describing how Bonnie Prince Charlie, disguised as an Irish woman, was rowed over the Minch to the island of Skye to hide from the British soldiers. This is perhaps the best known Jacobite song but it wasn’t written at the time. The words were written by Sir Harold Boulton, around 120 years ago.

Speed, bonnie boat, like a bird on the wing
Onward, the sailors cry!
Carry the lad that’s born to be King
Over the sea to Skye.

Loud the winds cry, loud the waves roar,
Thunderclaps rend the air.
Baffled our foes stand by the shore.
Follow they will not dare

Many’s the lad fought on that day
Well the claymore could wield,
When the night came silently lay
Dead on Culloden’s field.

Burned are our homes, exile and death
Scatter the loyal men.
Yet ere the sword cool in the sheath
Scotland will rise again!