Bothy Tales

A Bothy Song In Honour Of The Bard On Burns Night

Burns Night in Scotland can bring out the best in our love of Scots word, married with the fantastic annual Celtic Connection Festival in Glasgow, we can somehow feel connected with our past in dreich January!

As a big fan of our folk music traditions, especially Bothy songs (obviously!), I would like to see a more widespread appreciation of the unique musical traditions we have here in rural Scotland.

Our culture and heritage is enviable worldwide, but if we don't hold onto and nurture it, it will be lost forever.

So having explained all year at our Gin tasting events what a Bothy is (it's a personal quest!) I thought I'd write my own Bothy Song to help tell the story of days of old. Bothy ballads were songs sung by farm labourers, specifically in the northeast region of Scotland.

A Bothy was basic and used to sleep in or for shelter from harsh conditions. To entertain themselves in the evening, the Bothy lads composed and sang songs. So here's my Bothy song, best accompanied with Gin, (Yes! I sing at Gin events too with bottle in hand! ) in the hope that this helps connect some "mair folk" to the world of traditional song and the bygone days of The Bothy.

The Bothies always cheery wi the stories o the day
O work an love an laughter an the lassies teasin ways
But at nicht when a is quiet and just the cracklin o the peat
An the sangs o lang ago and stories o the past
For the Bothy offers comfort despite its draughty door
And I know that in the future I'll miss it's flagstane floor
But nae matter whar I travel An nae matter whar I go
It's the Bothy days that linger Aye the days o lang ago
Whether highland, lowland, moorland, the Bothies all ways there 
It offers some hame comforts when the weathers nae sae fair
One room, one bed and a kettle sway and a kist an a book o dreams
An the sangs o lang ago an echoes o the past
So let's raise a glass tae the Bothy lads an their life in the days o auld
Whether Poutin, Gin or Whisky it's a life I aye behold
An matter far I travel, aye far fae Scotland's shores
It's the Bothy days that haunt us and I make oor heart sair.