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AIKEY BRAE
(George Morris)

On a Sunday mornin fair,
The sun was bricht, the sky was clear;
Three pals o' mine they did appear,
And says, "We'll gang tae Aikey."
Says I, "I'll be there, niver fear,
I'll buy ye aa a bottle o' beer,
For I'm sellin the clip [colt] and the auld grey meer [mare]
On Wednesday first at Aikey Brae."

Akey Brae, Aikey Brae,
There's been a horse market for mony a day,
But listen and hear what I hiv tae say,
On the day we gaed tae Aikey.

Says Jock, "Man, Tam, we come ower the day,
Tae tak ye ower tae Aikey Brae,
On Wednesday we may be far away,
So this day we'll gang tae Aikey.
They wudna hear o' no denial,
So I shifted [changed] my claes and I scrapit [washed] ma dial,
An a claurted [smeared] ma heid wi the laddies hair ile,
An awa we gaed tae Aikey Brae.

Aikey Brae, Aikey Brae,
Awa we gaed on the Sabbath day
The sichts that I saw nearly turned ma hair grey,
On the day we gaed tae Aikey.

There wis motor cars and charabancs,
Daker gigs [a small pony gig] and caravans,
Auld folks wi Fordies and bairns wi prams,
Aa on the road tae Aikey.
Noo when I landed at the Brae,
I stood and glowert in great dismay,
I said, "Is this the Sabbath day?"
The day we gaed tae Aikey Brae.

Aikey Brae, Aikey Brae,
There's been a horse market for mony a day,
But if ever I ging back it'll be aa I wad dae,
If ever I gang tae Aikey.

This is typical of the later bothy ballads or cornkisters, in this case written
by the famous George Morris, who recorded the song on a 78rpm disc (Beltona
2235)
in the 1930s. George Morris had a hotel in Oldmeldrum and he and his
brother-in-law,
Willie Kemp, wrote many such songs which managed to catch the atmosphere of life

on the north east fairm touns. Use of the broad Buchan Scots dialect (or Doric)
was
an integral part of this later idiom. Maggie McPhee of Macduff, Banffshire, also

sang it, as published in the Folk Music Journal 3:1 (1975) p.53 as Aikey Fair-
and
she claimed to have written it herself. Jimmy McBeath also sang it, and these
are the
only two entries in Roud.

The horse fair at Aikey Brae, two miles south of Maud between New Deer and Auld
Deer
in the heart of the Buchan countryside, had been held once a year on a Wednesday
in
July since the mid 1800s, and a fair with rides and stalls had been held on the
Sunday before it since the early 1900s. The last real horse fair at Aikey took
place in 1946.

This song is nothing to do with the other song called Aikey Fair (Roud 167)
which
appears in Greig-Duncan and is in fact a 'localised' version of The Butcher and
the
Chambermaid.

(As sung at the King's Head folk club, Islington, North London, on 15.4.70.
Recorded
by Rod Stradling [RS:1970. DAT9]. Roud 2500).


filename[ AIKYBRAE
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