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Sic a wife as Willie's Wife

Willie Wastle dwalls on Tweed, The spot they ca' it Linkumdoddie; A creeshie wabster till his trade, Can steal a clue wi' ony body: He has a wife that's dour and din, Tinkler Madgie was her mither; Sic a wife as Willie's wife, I wadna gie a button for her. She has an e'e, she has but ane, Our cat has twa, the very colour; Five rusty teeth, forbye a stump, A clapper-tongue wad deave a miller: A whiskin beard about her mou, Her nose and chin they threaten ither; Sic a wife as Willie's wife, I wad na gie a button for her. She's bow-hough'd, she's hem-shin'd, Ae limpin leg a hand-bread shorter; She's twisted right, she's twisted left, To balance fair in ilka quarter: She has a hump upon her breast, The twin o' that upon her shouther; Sic a wife as Willie's wife, I wad na gie a button for her. Auld baudrans by the ingle sits, An wi' her loof her face a washin; But Willie's wife is nae sae trig, She dights her grunzie wi' a hushian: Her waly nieves like midden-creels, Her feet wad fyle the Logan-water; Sic a wife as Willie's wife, I wad na gie a button for her.


Paul Young

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It was written in 1792 and is read here by Paul Young.

Themes for this song

humour marriage

Selected for 07 October

Our selection for yesterday was a husband's jaundiced but unspecific review of life with a wife. No one could complain that today's catalogue of spousal deficiency lacks detail. Misogyny is never amusing, nor mockery of disability, but comedy of this sort was typical of the pre-'PC' times Burns lived in.

Donny O'Rourke

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