Contains some strong language

The Auld Man's mare's dead


She was cut-luggit, painch-lippit, Steel-waimit, staincher-fittit, Chanler-chaftit, lang-neckit, Yet the brute did die. The auld man's mare's dead, The poor man's mare's dead, The auld man's mare's dead A mile aboon Dundee. Her lunzie-banes were knaggs and neuks, She had the cleeks, the cauld, the crooks, The jawpish and the wanton yeuks, And the howks aboon her e'e. The auld man's mare's dead, The poor man's mare's dead, The auld man's mare's dead A mile aboon Dundee. My Master rade me to the town, He ty'd me to a staincher round, He took a chappin till himsel, But fient a drap gae me. The auld man's mare's dead, The poor man's mare's dead, The peats and tours and a' to lead And yet the bitch did die.

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Liam Brennan

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It was written in 1795 and is read here by Liam Brennan.

More about this song

It is believed that Burns adapted the old song 'The auld man's mare's dead' for inclusion in James Johnson's Scots Musical Museum where it was published in 1796.

The song, written in broad Scots, relates the tale of a poorly mare who, as a result of 'the howks' (a form of equine disease which would have been commonly known to farmers) suddenly dies and leaves her negligent owner in the lurch.

The song might be considered a light-hearted reminder of the importance of caring for live-stock.

Pauline Mackay

Themes for this song

death man animal

Locations for this song

Dundee

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