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Document 793

Dipper: 29 - Harpin

Author(s): John Reid

Copyright holder(s): John Reid

Audio transcription

M738 Harpin

In ilka country roun the warld
Aa manner o men tae the rod are thirled.
Miners, ministers, men o rank,
Ye'll fin them aa on the river bank,
Saunt an sinner, rich an puir,
Ae common bond will draw them there.
But ye'll never see, by stream or puil,
Mair diverse friens than Tam an Will.

Born in ae village, schuled thegither,
They'd roam the hills in ony wather
Wi weel-busked flee an birlin reel
Tae fill tae the lid the auld sauch creel -
Fishin friens, but in ither things
As faur apairt as cairds an kings.

Tam was an elder o the kirk,
A craftsman famed fir his jinerwark,
A faimily man, bass in the choir,
Kenned an respeckit ower aa the shire.
But Will was the pairish neerdaeweel,
He'd poach, he'd gamble - maybe steal.
Nae lass wad share his clarty hame.
For drucken splores he'd made his name.

But fishers aa, frae first tae last,
Throw, sune or late, their hinmaist cast.
A winter cauld, an deep wi snaw,
Saw baith oar cronies caad awa,
An Peter, wha kenned hou they'd run their race,
Airted each ane tae his proper place.

Will's fate was clear - amang lost sowls
Tae spend his days by the lowin coals.
Nae mair the burn in the springtime sweet,
But smeek, an stour, an scorchin heat,
An he'd sit by the sulphur lochs an wish
That the Deil wad stock wi asbestos fish.

Het, lang an dreich Will's days burned bye
- He'd never kenned his throat sae dry -
Until, ae day, in that waesome place,
He saw, through the reek, a weel-kenned face.
'My een,' he said,'are no worth a damn!
I thocht for a meenit - It is! - It's Tam!
'Man, Tam,' he cried, 'ye gied me a stert,
I never thocht you'd come this airt!'

'Sit doun,' said Tam 'on this cinnery knowe,
A bittie awa frae that bleezin lowe,
An here, for a wee while, rest yoursel,
For a lang sad tale I hae tae tell.
Whan Peter caad me yont the yett
I settled doun in a braw-like bit -
A ludge, as snug's a shilfa's nest,
With reels an rods an aa the rest

'My first day there, I stertit oot
In a heavenly dawn, tae luik for troot.
Frae the verra door I cuist my een
Ower the bonniest watter I've ever seen.
Wi pearly run an crystal puil
It wimpled quately, clear an cuil.'
(Will grained alood at that heavenly vision,
An a passin deevilock grinned derision).

'I hurried doun tae a braw bit run
An there he was - a guid fower pun! -
Sookin the flees frae a gless-clear glide
Wi the spots like bawbees on his side.
I threidit the line wi a haun fair shakin,
Tied on the mate o the flee he was takin,
Then, juist as I made tae raise the rod,
I heard a step, an alang cam God!

"Guid mornin, God," I blithely cried.
"Guid mornin, Tam," the Lord replied.
"An whit's tae dae the day?" says I.
"Oh, harpin," says He, an I gied a sigh,
Pit up my rod, an we turned away,
An harped, an harped, an harped aa day.

'Next mornin cam. Wi the early licht
I sped tae the bank o that river bricht.
The troot was there, as I'm alive
An his wecht, I'd hae said, was nearer five
My rod was up, an the flee tied fast
Whan the bankin shook, as the Lord cam past.

'An sae, "Guid morning, God," say I.
"Guid mornin, Tam," was the Lord's reply.
"An whit's tae dae the day?" I'm speirin.
"Oh, harpin," says He, an I felt like sweerin.
I luiked at the troot, then we turned away,
An we harped an harped the leelang day.

'The third day, man, it was still gey daurk
As I trotted doun that heavenly park,
An doun tae the watter, glintin grey
In the brekkin dawn o celestial day.
He lay by the stane whaur I'd seen him first,
An his spreckled sides were like tae burst
He was built like a pig, an I'll declare
He was six pun wecht - aye, maybe mair.

'I knelt on the bank tae mak my cast,
An thocht, "My lad, ye're mine at last"
But I heard that step, an checked the rod,
An turned my heid, an there was God.
"Guid mornin, God," says I, gey weary.
"Guid mornin, Tam."says He, quite cheery.

"An whit's tae dae the day?" I askit.
"Oh, harpin," says He,an I tuik my basket
An flung it frae me as faur as I could.
"Tae Hell wi harpin!" I roared oot lood.
Then fell ower aathing an awesome hush.
The birds were silent on ilka bush.
I luikit aa roun. The Lord had gane,
The troot itsel was ablow some stane.

An fower dreid words in Saint Pate's voice cam,
"Tae Hell wi you!" - Sae here I am!'
A moral clear this tale spells oot -
Men maun dae mair than juist catch troot
An contrar (gin the last word's Tam's),
There's mair tae life than singin psalms!

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The SCOTS Project and the University of Glasgow do not necessarily endorse, support or recommend the views expressed in this document.

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Cite this Document

APA Style:

Dipper: 29 - Harpin. 2021. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved January 2021, from http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=793.

MLA Style:

"Dipper: 29 - Harpin." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2021. Web. January 2021. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=793.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Dipper: 29 - Harpin," accessed January 2021, http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=793.

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2021. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk.

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Information about Document 793

Dipper: 29 - Harpin

Audio

Audio audience

General public
For gender Mixed
Audience size 1000+

Audio awareness & spontaneity

Speaker awareness Aware
Degree of spontaneity Fully scripted

Audio footage information

Original title The Dipper an the Three Wee Deils
Year of recording 1993
Recording person id 752
Size (min) 7
Size (mb) 26

Audio footage publication details

Published
Publisher/Broadcaster Scotsoun
Publication/Broadcast date 1993-01-01
Place of publication/broadcast Glasgow

Audio medium

Radio/audio

Audio setting

Leisure/entertainment
Private/personal

Audio relationship between recorder/interviewer and speakers

Friend
Speakers knew each other Yes

Audio speaker relationships

Friend
Other Co-authors of book from which recording was made

Audio transcription information

Title of original The Dipper an the Three Wee Deils
Transcriber id 689
Year of transcription 2005
Year material recorded 1993
Word count 888

Audio transcription publication details

Published
Publisher/Broadcaster Luath Press
Publication/Broadcast date 1991-01-01
Place of publication/broadcast Barr, Ayrshire
ISBN/ISSN 0946487227

Audio type

Poetry reading/song/ballad performance
General description From a recording of a selection of short stories and prize winning poems (Scottish National Open Poetry Competition)

Author

Author details

Author id 738
Forenames John
Surname Reid
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1910
Educational attainment University
Age left school 17
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Retired Head Teacher
Place of birth Dalry
Region of birth N Ayr
Birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Lockerbie
Region of residence Dumfries and Galloway
Residence CSD dialect area Dmf
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Commmercial Traveller
Father's place of birth Dalry
Father's region of birth N Ayr
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Housewife
Mother's place of birth Beith
Mother's region of birth N Ayr
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Mother's country of birth Scotland

Languages

Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes Home, socially
French Yes Yes Yes Yes As necessary
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes Home, socially

Participant

Participant details

Participant id 738
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1910
Educational attainment University
Age left school 17
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Retired Head Teacher
Place of birth Dalry
Region of birth N Ayr
Birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Lockerbie
Region of residence Dumfries and Galloway
Residence CSD dialect area Dmf
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Commmercial Traveller
Father's place of birth Dalry
Father's region of birth N Ayr
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Housewife
Mother's place of birth Beith
Mother's region of birth N Ayr
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Mother's country of birth Scotland

Languages

Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes Home, socially
French Yes Yes Yes Yes As necessary
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes Home, socially

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