The Word on the Street
home | background | illustrations | distribution | highlights | search & browse | resources | contact us

Broadside entitled 'Habbie Simpson and his wife'

Transcription

HABBIE SIMPSON & HIS WIFE ;

Or, A New Way of Raising the Wind.

This story with many others was first introduced and made popular by the late James Livingstone, the
best Comic Singer and Scotch Story-Teller that has yet appeared in West of Scotland ; and still remem-
bered by the name of " Tak' your auld cloak about ye."-Copies can always be had from James Kay,
Printer and Publisher, Glasgow.


I pit nae doot but ye've a' heard tell o' Habbie Simpson the piper o' Kilbarchan ; but I'm no thinking ye
ever heard the story that I'm gaun tae tell ye aboot him and his wife, Janet.   Weel, ye see, it sae happened
that Habbie, like mony mae now-a-days, was geyan fond o' a wee drap o' the blue, and, as the story gangs,
sae was his wife, so it geyan often happened that when Habbie yokit the fuddle, Janet she yokit it tae.    Noo,
it's an auld saying, and a gey true ane tae, that when a cannel is lichtit at baith ends it sune burns dune, and
it was sae verified in the present case, for Habbie waukened ae morning after a hard fuddle, and says to Janet
-Rise, woman, and see if ye can get me hauf a gill, for, oh! my heid is liken to split.-Hauf a gill ! (quo'
Janet,) whaur wad I get it when there's no a plack in the house, and as for takin't on, ye ken that's clean oot
o' the question, so ye maun jist lie still and thole the best way ye can.-Oh, Janet (cries Habbie again), you're
no amiss at schemin'-is there nae way ava ye can think on to raise the wind?-I'll tell ye what I'll do (quo'
Janet), I'll awa' to the Laird o' Johnstone, and I'll tell him that ye're dead, and as you are a great favourite o'
his, I'm sure I'll get something frae him to help to bury ye.-Od, but that will be grand (quo' Habbie).- Sae
up gets Janet and awa' to the laird's house, when, ringing the bell, the door was opened by the lady, who see-
ing Janet sae pitiful looking, she says-Keep us a' the day, is there onything wrang at hame that ye hae come
here sae early in the morning?- Wrang! (quo' Janet )-dichting her een with the tail o' her apron-a's wrang
thegither, my leddy; isna our Habbie deid.- Habbie deid! quo' the lady, in surprise.-A-weel-a-wat is he (quo
Janet), and a sair trial it is to me, my leddy, for there's no as muckle in the house this morning as would seed
a sparrow, and whaur to get onything I'm sure I dinna ken. Oh, dear! oh, dear! that ever I should come to
this o't.- Compose yoursel' (quo' the lady) and come yer wa's ben, and we'se see what can be done.-Sae in
gangs Janet wi' the lady, and get a basket wi' some biscuits and speerits, and ither articles needfu' for sic an
occasion, and thanking the lady for her kindness, comes awa' hame to Habbie fu' blithely, when doon they sat,
nor did they rise till they made an end o' the contents o' the basket. Noo, as the auld sang says, the mair ye
drink the drier ye turn, for they were nae sooner dune than Habbie says-Losh, Janet, that was real guid; can
ye no get some mair o't ?- Na, na! (quo' Janet,) I hae played my turn already. it's your turn noo.-Oh, very
weel (quo' Habbie), if it's my turn noo ye maun jist be dead next.-Ods, I hae nae objections (quo' she), sae
awa ye gang and let's see what ye can do.-Weel, awa' gangs Habbie, and, meeting wi' the laird just coming
hame frae a hunting party, he says-This is a fine day, laird.-A fine day, Habbie (quo' the laird), hoo's a'
wi' ye? Are ye no coming up to play us a spring on the pipes the nicht?-It wadna look very weel, laird,
for me to be playing on the pipes at your house and my ain wife lying a corpse at hame.-What, is Janet dead?
(quo' the laird.)-Atweel is she (quo' Habbie), and I'm sure it couldna ha'e happened at a waur time, for there's
neither meat nor siller in the house, and hoo to get her decently aneath the yird I'm sure I dinna ken -Dinna
vex yoursel' aboot that (quo' the laird, gi'en him some money); there's a trifle for you.-Habbie thanked the
laird for his kindness, bade him guid day, and cam' awa' hame geyan weel pleased wi' what he had gotten, and
sends Janet oot wi' tha bottle to get mair whisky to carry on the spree. In the meantime, hame gangs the
laird, whaur the first thing he heard was that Habbie Simpson was dead.-Na, na! (quo' he.) it's no Habbie;
it's only Janet.-It's Habbie (quo' the lady); wasna Janet here this morning hersel' and tell't me? and didna
she get awa' some speerits and biscuits, as she said there was naething in the house?-And didna I meet Habbie
just as I was coming hame, when he tell't me that Janet was dead. But I See hoo it is-they are at their auld
tricks again. But come, we'll awa' to Habbie s and see what they're aboot.-In the mean time, Habbie and
Janet are fuddlin' awa' in fine style, and lauchin' heartily at the way ta'en to raise the wind, when Janet cries-
Guid preserve us, Habbie, what's to be dune noo? I declare if that's no the laird and the lady, and they're
coming straught here.-I dinna ken (quo' Habbie,) what to do, unless were baith dead.- Sae in the bed they
gaed, and they were nae sooner doon than the laird and lady cam' in, and-seeing Habbie and Janet in the Bed,
he says-Waes me! isna that an afuw' sicht to see? the man and the wife baith dead! But I'd gi'e five shil-
lings this moment to ken which o' the twa de'et first.--The words were nae sooner oot o' his mouth than up
jumps Habbie, crying-It was me, laird; noo gi'e me the five shillings-It is needless to add that the laird
gied Habbie the money, and mony a hearty laugh he had when he thought on the way Habbie and his wife
had ta'en to RAISE THE WIND.                                                                                                         

PRICE ONE PENNY.                  

previous pageprevious          
Probable period of publication: 1840-1850   shelfmark: L.C.1270(019)
Broadside entitled 'Habbie Simpson and his wife'
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland