The Balerno Song

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At the first ‘Let it Blaw’ Supper in 1881, the Chairman James Pearson Snr. sang one of his favourite songs, a bothy ballad known elsewhere as “Row her in ma Plaidie.”

It must have been enjoyed by the company, as the Secretary saw fit to record the words in his report of the evening. Somewhere along the line, it became known locally as “The Balerno Song” and it’s been sung at every Supper since.  It remains one of the most important parts of our Suppers. The words are printed below for future generations.

1881, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1886, 1887, 1888, 1889, 1890

[It’s possible Johnny Fairbairn took over the duty of singing the Balerno Song from James Pearson prior to 1891]
1891, 1892, 1893, 1894, 1895, 1896, 1897, 1898, 1900, 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910
1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934
1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939

1940, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971,
1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983

1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 2002, 2003, 2005,  2006, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

1988, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001
1993, 2004, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

2007, 2008, 2009

2014, 2015

There lives a lass by yonder burn,
Wha jinks aboot the seggan,
And aft she gives her sheep a turn
That feed amang the bracken.
Could I believe she’d woo wi me
And leave her mam and daddy,
I’d aft times slip oot ower yon lea
And row her in ma plaidie.

Her breists tae busk I’d violets pu,
Frae yonder glen sae foggie,
And bluebells hangin wat wi dew,
Frae yonder den sae boggy.
I maun awa, I canna stay,
Should I gang tapsalteerie,
Should bogles meet me on the way,
This nicht I’ll see ma dearie.

I’ll ben the spense and dress a wee
Wi knots and bots fu gaudie,
For I canna wait until I see
If she’ll gang in ma plaidie.
Could I believe she’d woo wi me,
And tak me for her laddie,
I’d aft times slip oot ower yon lea
And row her in ma plaidie.