The Shearin's No' For You

introduced by Ed Miller

vectorstock 3626681It's an old song, probably 19th century, from the song-rich northeast lowlands of Scotland; one of many songs relating to the harvest time of late summer. Harvest time in the old agricultural system of Lowland Scotland was one of the few times when men and women worked together out-of-doors. They would form "gangs" where the men would do the shearing (cutting by scythe or "heuk") and the women the picking-up and "stookin" before the crop was taken off for threshing. The 2nd verse may be romantic; but the other 3 are not.

In the first verse, the young man says "don’t even come to the harvest, you're so pregnant you can't bend over to pick it up," and the 3rd and 4th verses tell her to forget dressing nicely and making herself look good as life from now on will be one of drudgery at home with the children...typical Scottish fare!

There are many versions of this song... some have verses where the girl complains of being taken advantage of and then abandoned by the young man; but this is a more benign version.

Listen to Ed Miller sing the tune:

[cincopa AgFARiu7-IsF]

Listen to Scots Women sing the tune:

[cincopa AMJAXhO7-cqG]

 

Score The Shearin's No For YouClick on the image for a downloadable PDF

LYRICS:

Oh the shearin's no for you ma bonnie lassie O
Oh the shearin's no for you ma bonnie lassie O
Oh the shearin's no for you
For yer back it winna bow
And yer belly's growin fu' ma bonnie lassie O

Dae ye mind the banks o' Ayr ma bonnie lassie O
Dae ye mind the banks o' Ayr ma bonnie lassie O
Dae ye mind the banks o' Ayr
Where my heart ye did ensnare
And yer love ye did declare ma bonnie lassie O.

Tak the ribbons frae yer hair ma bonnie lassie O
Tak the ribbons frae yer hair ma bonnie lassie O
Tak the ribbons frae yer hair
And let doon yer ringlets fair
For ye've nocht noo but dool an care ma bonnie lassie O

Tak the buckles frae yer shoon ma bonnie lassie O
Tak the buckles frae yer shoon ma bonnie lassie O
Tak the buckles frae yer shoon
For ye've wed an unco loon
An yer dancin days are done ma bonnie lassie O

Repeat Verse 1

Glossary :

shearin’ – harvest
growin’ fu’ – swelling full
winna – won’t
frae – from
nocht noo – nothing now
dool – sadness
shoon – shoes
unco loon – weird young man

Originally from Edinburgh, Ed Miller has made his home in Austin, TX, 
for over 40 years. He is a singer, folklorist, geographer, teacher,
 tour guide (Folksong Tours of Scotland), and radio host  ("Across the
Pond" on sunradio.com). He performs at festivals, house concerts,
 Highland Games and other events all over the United States and teaches each year at 
The Swannanoa Gathering in NC and Spanish Peaks Festival in CO. He has
 recorded 10 CDs of both traditional and contemporary Scots songs.
www.songsofscotland.com

     
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