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Tarry woo, and Tarry woo,
Tarry woo is ill to spin,
Card it well, and card it well,
Card it well e're ye begin:
? When its carded, wrought and spun;
Then the work is half in done.
But when woven, drest & clean
It may be cladding for a Queen.

Sing up my bonny, harmless sheep
That feed upon the mountains steep
Bleating swiftly as they go
Thro the winters frost & snow.
Hart & hind & fallow Deer
Not by half so useful are
Freak things to him that heads the plow
Are all oblig'd to Tarry woo.

Up ye shepherds dance & skip
O'er the hills & valleys trip.
Sing up the praise of Tarry woo
Sing the flocks that bear it, too.
Harmless creatures without blame
That clothe the back & cram the vein,
Keep us warm & hearty, too,
Lay me on the Tarry woo.

How happy is a shepherd's life
Far fray courts & frae of strife
While the gammers bleat & baa
And the lambkin's answer maa
No such music to his ear
Of Thief or Fox he has no Fear
Sturdy shent & Colly, too
Will defend the Tarry woo.

He lives content & envy's none
Not e'en a monarch on his Throne
Though he the royal steepler sways
Has not sweeter Hollydays
Who would be a King, can only tell
When a shepherd sings so well
Sings so well & pay his due
With honest heart & Tarry woo.

Scottish air before 1787

TARRY WOO(L) - "is bad to spin - card it well before you begin - card it well and spin it too - Before you make it into TW" "For when carded, row'd & spun, then the wark is hofelins (halfways) done - but when woven dreet & clean, it may be cleading (clothing) for a Queen" - Knitting Song to tune (first part only): "Corn Rigs are bonny" - ROUD#1472 - HERD AMSS 1776 2 pp100-101 (w/o) - RAMSAY TTM 1794 - VOC LIB 1822 p201 - GOW, Nathaniel (1823) 1 p13 m/o - DICKINSON Dialect of Cumberland (quoted in Northall) - JFSS 2 1906 pp215-6 RVW John Mason, Dent, Yorksh 1904 - McCOLL SS 1953 p136 from Ramsay 5v/m - PALMER EBECS 1979 #12 pp33-34 RVW: John Mason -- Lizzie HAYGARTH & Mrs ROWE rec by PK, Dent, Sedbergh, W Yorksh 23/11/54: RPL 22326 with talk about "The Terrible Knitters of Dent"


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