Skip to comments.The Deil's Awa' Wi' Th' Exciseman
Posted on 05/18/2011 10:33:29 PM PDT by LoneRangerMassachusetts
Traditional Scottish Songs - The Deil's Awa' Wi' Th' Exciseman
Robert Burns worked as an exciseman, or customs officer, in Dumfries. While he was apparently good at his job, he would be well aware that tax collection and chasing after smugglers was not always popular! It has been suggested that Burns wrote this song while waiting for reinforcements before boarding a smugglers's ship. He certainly sang it - at an excisemen's dinner - a month after such an incident.
The Deil's Awa' Wi' Th' Exciseman The Deil cam fiddlin' through the toun And danced awa' wi' th' exciseman, And ilka wife cried, 'Auld Mahoun, I wish you luck o' the prize, man.'
Chorus The Deil's awa,' the Deil's awa', The Deil's awa' wi' th' exciseman. He's danced awa', he's danced awa', He's danced awa' wl' th' exciseman.
We'll mak oor maut and we'll brew our drink. We'll laugh, sing and rejoice, man, And mony braw thanks to the muckle black Deil That danced awa' wi' th' exciseman.
There's threesome reels; there's foursome reels There's hornpipes and strathspeys, man, But the ae best dance that cam o'er our land Was 'The Deil's Awa' Wi' Th' Exciseman'.
Meaning of unusual words: ilka=every Mahoun=literally 'Mohammed' but meaning 'devil' maut=malt, ale reels=a dance using a figure of eight strathspeys=a dance (slower than a reel) ae=one
My mama was only half Scotch-Irish...but I can think of a few unusual words for mo muhself...cuz her other half was Algonquin...and ah knows sum werds ain’t hardly nobody ever heard befo’. You oughtta try mixing Alqonquin with Yiddish...LOL
My Hebrew name means blossom and my Native name means warm summer breeze. Sort of fortunate there. I guess it could have been a LOT worse. Poor guy.
While M.C.ing events in NYC, and the Catskill Mountains (1940’s to 1980’s) - even some years in a retirement home on Long Island - my Scottish-born grandpa sang Scottish songs, told Scottish jokes (and Irish) and repeated a bit of Burns here and there, all while dressed in his plaid suit (in which he was buried - dang - thought I was going to acquire it).
His Scottish-born son, my father, would informally recite bits of Burns now and again. I was young, and didn't pay much attention to the actual words, unfortunately - - - it was fun to just watch these men perform!
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