Scottish Rhyme – I’ll Tell Ma Mither

Gillian wrote me,

The following is a Scottish rhyme that I was brought up hearing. I’m afraid I don’t know how it originated…

I’LL TELL MA MITHER

My mother said I never should
Play with the gipsies in the wood
They tugged my hair and broke my comb
I’ll tell my mither when I get home.
My mither says that I must go
With my daddy’s dinner, oh.
Chappit tatties, beef and steak,
Twa reed herrin’ and a bawbee bake.
I cam’ til a river and I couldna get across,
So I paid five bob for an auld done horse.
I jamped on his back; and his banes gae a crack.
And I had tae play the fiddle til the boat cam’ back.

-Gillian

If anyone has any information about the origin of this rhyme, please write me.

Thanks! – Lisa

For other Scottish rhymes and children’s songs, visit Mama Lisa’s World’s U.K. Page!

This article was posted on Wednesday, September 28th, 2005 at 8:32 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, I'll Tell Ma Mither, Languages, Nursery Rhymes, Nursery Rhymes About Animals, Nursery Rhymes About Horses, Rhymes by Theme, Scotland, Scottish, Scottish Nursery Rhymes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to “Scottish Rhyme – I’ll Tell Ma Mither”

  1. Alisa Says:

    I know this is a response to an old post, but there is a neat similarity between an old American folksong, Turkey in the Straw, and the lyrics in your Scottish version of I’ll Tell Ma Mither. The stanza in Turkey is:
    I came to the river and I couldn’t get across
    So I paid five dollars for a big bay hoss
    He wouldn’t go forward and he wouldn’t stand still
    So he went up and down like an old saw mill

  2. Lisa Says:

    Stephen wrote me, “The rythym and the obvious third and forth line lead me to believe that this is a scottish variant of I’ll tell me Ma which I can see you also have on your site. I hope that this helps.”

    Best wishes,

    Stephen

  3. Payal Says:

    I am Scottish born and I thought the rendering of Loch Lomond was lovely. I deeply appreciate it when when people outside of Scotland singthe songs of Scotland. It is a lovely gesture. Thank you so much. Sincerely, Iona Syke

    P.S. There are plenty more traditional songs of Scotland which you can lend your voice to.

  4. Elspeth Durrand Says:

    The version sung to me by my granny was….
    Ma mither said that I must go, with ma daddy’s denner oh, chappit tatties, beef and steak, three salt herring an a ha’penny cake. I came to a river, I couldna get across so I paid five shillings for an old blind horse. I jumped on his back and I gave him such a crack that I made him play the fiddle til the boat came back

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