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A pawky wee song in which the distinction between the seducer and the seduced is at first a little blurry. Nonetheless, Nancy has clearly had enough of Wilsy’s excuses by the last verse! We compiled this version from several textual sources (Herd, Crawfurd, Greig-Duncan), plus an oral version from Orkney called ‘Poor Will-o’, collected in 1961 by Elizabeth Neilsen from Bessie Skea of Rusness. Although this is a Scottish song, it is believed to derive ultimately from ‘Willie Stenson’ (Roud 12565), one of the many English ‘Rolling in the Dew’ songs. The tune is ‘Cawdor Fair’.

(SA1961.084.A18, Roud 298, Greig-Duncan 4:811)


from The Speaking Heart, released December 1, 2010
Trad. arr. Byrne/Wright [PRS-MCPS]


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Lucy Pringle & Chris Wright Edinburgh, UK

Award-winning song duo drawing mainly from the rich vein of the Scots singing tradition, with a belief in letting songs breathe.

“Absolutely fabulous songs”
- Mike Harding, BBC Radio 2

- Jim Gilchrist, The Scotsman
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