A Scots Ball-Room Ballad

The MacPry

- "A Scots Ballroom-Ballad" light-hearted verse urging the laddies to not fail to ask the ladies to dance! Note the kilted gentleman at the forefront of the picture, doing his dancing duty :-) Illustration: The State Ballroom, St. Patrick’s Hall, Dublin Castle. F.J. Davis, c.1845. This work records one of the major occasions of Dublin’s annual social calendar. Until 1922 the castle was the seat of British Government rule in Ireland. It is now part of the Government of Ireland’s official buildings. A SCOTS BALL-ROOM BALLAD (By The MacPry) Why sit ye on the stair, ladie, Why sit ye on the stair? It’s merry dancing in the hall, And partners still are there. Ye arena in a cosy neuk, But in the lamp’s full glare; No gentle whisperin’ words are spoke— Why sit ye on the stair? The runkled carle that’s by your side No tale of luve can tell; He fain wad win ye for his bride By talkin’ o’ himsel’. Your voice is clear, your laugh is cheer, But oh, your eyes are sad; You answer what the gaffer says, You’re lookin’ for the lad. (They winna stint their prattlin’ talk— Oh, but her eyes are sad!— Tis vain to cherche the fammy here, I’ll gang and speer the lad.) Why prop ye up the wa’, laddie, Why prop ye up the wa’? Your lissom shoes are stickit oot, Ye’ll gar the dancers fa’. Or feckless couples tearin’ past, Wi’ elbows at an angle, Will pin ye to the wainscoat fast As wild boar in a jungle. The floor’s as smooth as summer grass Sma’ feet, like crickets, caper, And whirlin’ kirtles, as they pass, Sair waste the swealing taper. The lassies’ gowns are creased and rent; The lads are oot o’ knowledge; They are as hot wi’ twirlin’ roon As blacksmith frae the village. The fiddles pour their love-sick pray’rs The flutie-man is whis’lin’, Just like when ancient madam scares A thrummock-touzle hisslin’. There’s young folks movin’ like a fair, There’s auld folks quaffin’ sherry. An’ you sae weary, fu’ o’ care, When all the world is merry? Gin ye maun feed your dowie grudge, At least fill up your programme, And come victorious from the crush Like Bonaparte from Wagram. Nay, dinna off the lassie score; Her heart sings, “Waly, waly!” She’s talkin’ with that awfu’ bore, The Laird o’ Lanthorn Jawley. Quit, quit, for shame! This winna do. Rouse up and play the man, sir! For they should dance who have the chance, And they should sup who can, sir. Ah, see, she smiles! Could any word More eloquently call ye? Now go and soothe your bonnie burd, And banish Lanthorn Jawley. So prop nae mair the wa’, laddie, So prop nae mair the wa’——’ (Ye dinna ken that on your coat Yon candle-droppin’s fa’?)

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