Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Jenny Dang The Weaver

Scottish Song By Sir Alexander Boswell

Jenny Dang The Weaver is a Scottish song written by Sir Alexander Boswell (1775-1822), and sung to the air Jenny Dang The Weaver.

The tune was probably first published in William Thompson's Orpheus Caledonius (2nd edition 1733), where it appeared as "Jenny Beguil'd The Webster" and is believed to have been composed by Reverand Alexander Garden (1688-1778), a minister of Birse, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Many explanations exist regarding the meaning behind the lyrics.

Hunter (1988) relates that around 1746 "the minister's 'handy-man,' and ex-weaver from Mary well called Jock, hotly refused to clean the parson's boots when requested to do so by Mrs. Garden. The enraged minister's wife gave him such a beating with her 'tattie-beetle' that he soon performed the task." They may be about a Spinning Jenny, a powered machine (invented in 1764) that replaced a weaver to produce cloth that could be said to 'dang' or 'beat' him, or it may simply be a song about a weaver who makes unwanted advances toward a lady called Jenny, who turns him down flatly, or 'dangs' him.

Related Scottish Country Dances

Jenny Dang The Weaver

Jenny Dang The Weaver By Sir Alexander Boswell

At Willie's wedding on the green
The lassies, bonnie witches
Were a' dress'd oot in aprons clean
And braw white Sunday mutches
Auld Maggie bade the lads tak' tent
But Jock would no believe her
But soon the fool his folly kent
For Jenny dang the weaver

Jenny dang, Jenny dang
Jenny dang the weaver
But soon the fool his folly kent
For Jenny dang the weaver

At ilka country dance or reel
Wi' her he would be bobbin'
When she sat doon, he sat doon
And tae her would be gabbin'
Where'er she gaed, baith but 'n' ben
The coof would ne'er leave her
Aye kecklin' like a clockin' hen
But Jenny dang the weaver


Quo' he my lass, tae change my mind
In troth I needna swither
You've bonnie een and if you're kind
I'll never seek anither
He humm'd and haw'd, the lass cried Peugh!
And bade the coof no deave her
Syne snapped her fingers lap and leugh
And dang the silly weaver


Jenny Dang The Weaver Song Video

Jenny Dang The Weaver Song - Information Video
Jenny Dang The Weaver
Jenny Dang The Weaver, From Glen Collection Of Printed Music, Printed Music, Lyric Gems Of Scotland, c. 1856

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