Document 639

Dipper: 27 - The Lassies

Author(s): Dr James A Begg

Copyright holder(s): Dr James A Begg


Written as part of the "Toast tae the Lassies" for the Anniversary Dinner of Alloway Burns Club, 23rd January 1986.

Ye men, wha think ye're God's anyntit,
Tae rule the roost by Him apyntit,
An rule the warld, if ye've a mind t' it,
An craw sae crouse;
Hark nou - ye'll sair be disappyntit,
Gin I cook yer goose!

I’ faith, I think ye ken whit's comin,
For Weemin's Lib hae deived ye, drummin
That 'hint ilk man there stauns a wumman
- Sae wyce an douce -
That evidence richt nou I'll summon
- An let it loose!

Wee hungert bairn, aicht pun at least,
Bawlin awa like muckle beast,
Till a soukin mou grups ticht her breist,
An ye draw thegither;
Whaur had ye gotten sic a feast
- Forbye yer Mither?

Wha chynged yer nappies, bonny wean,
An mony a waukrife nicht has lain,
As ye girnt awa wi grippin pain
O colic bad?
That tentie sowl, it gaes wi'oot sayin
- Wis no yer Dad!

An as ye grew, an skint yer knees,
Or hame frae schule ye'd come wi fleas,
Whan snotters flew wi every sneeze,
Wha'd dicht ye clean?
- Ne'er ance did Faither - (at his ease)
Himsel demean!

An throu thon lang het simmer weeks,
Whan lads ran free wi girrs an cleeks,
Ye'd tear the erse whiles oot yer breeks,
On trees an busses;
Wha'd shew them up tae hide yer 'cheeks'
- An spare yer blushes?

Mind, wha wis't then gied lads a pree,
O joys o life that were tae be,
As gethert roun wi boyish glee,
An smirks an snickers;
They haunstauns did, for aa tae see
- Their navy knickers?

There's mair tae come, if ye'd but listen,
For wha, wi rosy lips a-glisten,
Garrd lads fin oot whit they'd been missin,
(For aa their talk!)
Wi birlin heids frae aa that kissin
- At Postman's Knock?

Syne whiles at Pairties, whiles at Dances,
Lads stuid aroun the waas like pansies,
Ilk ane e'ein up the lass he fancies,
But feart tae stert;
O mony a callant's tint his chances,
For want o hert!

Whit cantraip's this maks men o muscle,
Wha wi bricks an timmer tussle,
Heich abune the City's bustle,
As traffic passes,
Tae doun their graith, an staun an whustle,
At bonny lassies?

- Maks laddies sclim the heichest trees,
Or in the cauld Antarctic freeze,
Or sail across the stormy seas,
Tae win the land,
Then blate, gae doun on bendit knees,
Tae ask her haund.

Nae man can tell juist whit beguiles,
There's some wad caa it Weemin's Wiles,
An blame it aa on Fashion's styles,
That turn oor heids;
But aye the wyce-like lassie smiles,
An tends oor needs.

There's aye a freshly laundert sark,
Spotless white, withoot a mark,
Oor meat's aye ready efter dark,
If late we're hame;
But is she ready for a lark?
- It's aye the same!

In single beds there's some wha swank it,
Wi piggy, or electric blanket,
But better faur, an Lord be thankit,
If these ye lack!
Whaur else suid icy feet be plankit
- Nor a saft, warm back!

Yet still an aa, we maunna grummle,
Whan kists an tubes begin tae rummle,
An intae bed we tak a tummle,
Wi cauld or flu;
Tho juist anent Daith's Door we trimmle
- She'll pou us throu!

Still, mind ye lads, it maks ye think,
While slavin ower the kitchen sink,
Nae wunner weemin tak tae drink,
Tae lowse their chains,
As aa their dreams o jewels an mink,
Gang doun the drains!

But nou's their Day o Liberation,
Aflame wi richteous indignation,
They've risen frae their hummle station
- As weel we've seen;
A Wumman even rules the Nation
- An it's no the Queen!

Wha else wad wrap us roun her finger,
Shove us heid-furst throu the wringer,
Or in a flamin temper swing ‘er
An skelp us wi a real humdinger
- Atween the een!

Aa roun aboot the roles are switchin,
Nou faithers plowter in the kitchen,
Daein aa the cairryin an fetchin,
(Whit dreary lives!)
Wi a guidsicht mair o girnin, bitchin,
Than did their wives!

If truth be tellt, we're on the spot,
(The hale stramash is aye oor faut)
An weel deserved whit e'er we got,
As like as no;
Deep doun we ken they're no a bad lot
- 'S faur's weemin go!

Tak mithers, sisters, dochters braw,
Grannies, aunts, e'en mithers-in-law,
Guid-sisters, kizzens, nieces aa,
Frae faur an near;
Tho they micht aiblins threip awa
- We lou them dear!

Guid men, cast Prejudice aside,
An niver true Emotion hide
Frae the gentle wumman by yer side,
But chairge yer tassies;
An rise wi deep, respectfu Pride
- Tae toast 'The Lassies'!

girr/iron hoop
piggy/earthenware hot-water bottle
plowter/splash aimlessly
threip/harp on

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Cite this Document

APA Style:

Dipper: 27 - The Lassies. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 16 July 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Dipper: 27 - The Lassies." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 16 July 2024.

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The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Dipper: 27 - The Lassies," accessed 16 July 2024,

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The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2024. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Information about Document 639

Dipper: 27 - The Lassies


Text audience

General public
Audience size 1000+

Text details

Method of composition Handwritten
Year of composition 1985
Word count 880
General description Anthology of prizewinning and other Scots poems, and short stories in Ayrshire Scots. This poem is the Diploma Winner (Highly Commended) Scots Section S.N.O.P.C. 1989.

Text medium

Other Audiocassette

Text publication details

Publisher Luath Press
Publication year 1991
Place of publication Barr, Ayrshire
ISBN/ISSN 0946487227
Edition First
Part of larger text
Contained in The Dipper an the Three Wee Deils: Tales and Poems in Ayrshire Scots
Editor Authors: Dr. J. A. Begg and J. Reid
Page numbers 64-67

Text setting


Text type



Author details

Author id 623
Title Dr
Forenames James
Initials A
Surname Begg
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1940
Educational attainment University
Age left school 17
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Medical Practitioner
Place of birth New Cumnock
Region of birth S Ayr
Birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Ayr
Region of residence S Ayr
Residence CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Clerical Officer, NCB
Father's place of birth Sandbank
Father's region of birth Argyll
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Arg
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Primary Teacher
Mother's place of birth New Cumnock
Mother's region of birth S Ayr
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
Danish No No No No A little
English Yes Yes Yes Yes Home, socially, at work
French Yes Yes Yes Yes Holidaying in France
Norwegian No No No No A little
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes Home, socially, at work