Location: Stirling, Stirlingshire, Scotland (NS7993)
Year: Recorded about 1815; Publ. 1835
Time of Occurrence: Hogmanay
Collective Name: [Not given]


[James Maidment]
Edinburgh, 1835, pp.58-62 [B.M. Shelf No.4406 g 2 f.60]




Sir Alexander

Keep silence, merry gentlemen, unto your courts said I -
My name's Sir Alexander, I'll show you sport, said I.
Five of us all, fine merry boys are we,
And we are come a rambling your houses for to see -
Your houses for to see, sir, and pleasure for to have.
And what you freely give us we freely will receive.
The first young man that I call in, he is the farmer's son;
And he's afraid he lose his love because he is too young.

Farmer's Son

Altho' I am too young, sir, I've money for to rove,
And I will freely spend it before I lose my love.

Sir Alexander

The next young man that I call in, he is a hero fine;
He's Admiral of the hairy caps and all his men are mine.

The Admiral

Here am I the Admiral - the Admiral stout and bold,
Who won the battle of Quinbeck and wear a crown of gold.

Sir Alexander

The next young man that I call in is Galations of renown,
And he will slay our Admiral and take his golden crown.


Here comes in Galations, Galations is my name,
With sword and pistol by my side, I hope to win the game,

The Admiral

The game, sir, the game, it is not in your power -
I'll draw my bloody dagger, and slay you on the floor.


My head is made of iron, my body's made of steel,
I'll draw my bloody weapon, and slay you on the field.

Sir Alexander

Fight on, fight on, brave warriors - fight on with noble speed,
I'll give any man ten hundred pounds, to slay Galations dead.

{Here Galations and the Admiral fight, and Galations falls, being stabbed.}

Sir Alexander

Galations ye have killed, and on the floor have slain -
Ye will suffer for him, as sure's your [sic] on the plain.

The Admiral

Oh no, it was not I, sir, I'm innocent of the crime,
'Twas that young man behind me that drew his sword so fine.

Farmer's Son

Oh, you awful villain, to lay the weight on me,
For my two eyes were shut, sir, when this young man did die.

Sir Alexander

How could your eyes be shut, sir when you stood looking on?
When their two swords were drawn, you might have sindered them.
Since Galations ye have killed, Galations ye must cure -
Galations ye must raise to life, in less than half an hour.
Round the kitchen, and round the hall,
For an old greasy doctor I do call.


Here comes I, the best old greasy doctor in the kingdom.

Sir Alexander

What can you cure?


I can cure the rout, the gout, the ringworm, the cholic, and the scurvy -
and can gar an old woman of seventy look as gay as a young woman of sixteen.

Sir Alexander

What will you take to cure this dead man?


Ten pound and a bottle of wine.

Sir Alexander

Will five not do? - nor six


Six won't take down a Highlandman's breeks, to let the devil fart out fire.

Sir Alexander

Seven? Eight? Nine?



Sir Alexander



Yes ten! and a bottle of wine.

Sir Alexander

What will you cure him with?


I'll give him . . .
and I have a small bottle in my breek pouch full of Inky Pinky [*]
{sings} a little to his nose,
and a little to his toes {applying it accordingly.}
Start up Jack and sing.


Once I was dead, and now I'm come alive,
Blessed be the doctor that made me to revive.


We will all joins hands, and never fight more,
But we will all 'gree as brethren as we have done before;
We thank the master of this house, likewise the mistress too,
And all the little babies that round the table grow.
Your pockets full of money, and your bottles full of beer,
We wish you a good Hogmanay,
and a Happy New-Year.



Here comes in little diddlie dots,
With his pockets full of groats,
If you have anything to spare
Put it in there.

[* Inky Pinky, about seventy or eighty years since,]

[was used by the brewers of Stirlingshire to designate]

[the smallest kind of beer; the medium was termed]

[iddle-moy, and the best or strongest Ram-tambling.]


Maidment's Notes:

"As the schoolmaster is so busy in effacing any vestiges of ancient customs and habits, the preservation of this relic of the olden time will afford gratification to those who take pleasure in their early recollections of what happy Britain once was."

Peter Millington's Notes:

Digitised from the transcript in:
B.Hayward (1992) Galoshins : The Scottish Folk Play. Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 1992, ISBN 07486 0338 7, pp.280-284.

Hayward's Notes:

"Reprinted, with two minor alterations, as 'The Guisers in Stirling', The Stirling Antiquary ed. W.B.Cook (reprinted from the Stirling Sentinal 1888-93) (Stirling: Cook and Wylie, 1893), I, 67-9
James Maidment was born in London in 1794, and qualified as a Scottish lawyer in 1817. It has been suggested that the above report was written c.1815 (Principal Geddes, 'The Burlesque of Galatian', Scottish Notes and Queries (May 1889), Is, II, 177). Whether or not this is true, this is an early report in the Scottish corpus."

File History:

1999-07-10 - Encoded by Peter Millington
2021-01-15 - TEI-encoded by Peter Millington


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