Get Up and Bar the Door

Original Text: 
The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, ed. Francis James Child, 5 vols. (1884-1898: New York: Dover, 1965), V: 98 (275A); from Herd's The Ancient and Modern Scots Songs (1769): 330.
2  And a gay time it was then,
3When our goodwife got puddings to make,
4  And she 's boild them in the pan.
6  And blew into the floor;
7Quoth our goodman to our goodwife,
10  Goodman, as ye may see;
11An it shoud nae be barrd this hundred year,
12  It 's no be barrd for me.."
14  They made it firm and sure,
16  Shoud rise and bar the door.
17Then by there came two gentlemen,
18  At twelve o clock at night,
19And they could neither see house nor hall,
20  Nor coal nor candle-light.
21."Now whether is this a rich man's house,
22  Or whether is it a poor?."
24  For barring of the door.
26  And then they ate the black;
28  Yet neer a word she spake.
29Then said the one unto the other,
30  ."Here, man, tak ye my knife;
31Do ye tak aff the auld man's beard,
32  And I 'll kiss the goodwife.."
33."But there 's nae water in the house,
34  And what shall we do than?."
36  That boils into the pan?."
37O up then started our goodman,
38  An angry man was he:
39."Will ye kiss my wife before my een,
41Then up and started our goodwife,
43."Goodman, you've spoken the foremost word,
44  Get up and bar the door.."


1] Martinmass: November 11, the feast of St. Martin. Back to Line
5] sae: so. cauld: cold. Back to Line
8] Gae: go. Back to Line
9] hussyfskap: housewifery. Back to Line
13] paction: compact. Back to Line
15] whaeer: whoever. Back to Line
23] wad: would. ane: one (of the husband and the wife). Back to Line
25] they: the two strangers. Back to Line
27] muckle: much. Back to Line
35] What ails ye: "why don't you use ...?"pudding-broo: pudding-broth. Back to Line
40] scad: scald. Back to Line
42] Gied: gave. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: