Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Pawky Duke

Scottish Poem - Mr David Rorie

The Pawky Duke is a Scottish poem, by Mr. David Rorie from the Scottish Students' Songbook, published by the Moray Press, Edinburgh.

David Rorie, DSO, MDCM, DPH (1867 - 18 February 1946) was a medical doctor, folklorist and poet writing in his native language, Scots. As a poet he is known chiefly for his authorship of the well-known song, 'The Lum Hat wantin' the Croon', (sung in Ladysmith during the siege, and widely amongst Scots troops in the Great War) and a volume of collected poems which appeared under that title in 1935.

Having received education at Aberdeen and Edinburgh Universities, where he earned an MD in 1908, he served as a joint Editor of the Caledonian Medical Journal for several years. During this time, he authored numerous articles for the Caledonian Medical Journal, as well as contributions to the Edinburgh Medical Journal and the British Medical Journal. He gained recognition as an authoritative figure in matters of public health in Scotland.

Renowned as a passionate collector and editor of Scottish folklore, he is recognized for his keen interest in folk medicine. His notable work includes authoring "Folklore of the Mining Folk of Fife" (Folklore Society, 1912), undoubtedly influenced by his time as a dedicated doctor in Bowhill (Cardenden), Fife.

Dr Rorie served in the RAMC during the 1914-18 War, attained the rank of colonel, and was awarded the DSO and Chevalier de la L├ęgion d'Honneur.

The following version of the poem comes from The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Auld Doctor and other Poems and Songs in Scots, with the prior inscription:

It is hoped that all Scottish characteristics known to the Southron are here: pawkiness and pride of race; love of the dram; redness of hair; eldership of, and objection to instrumental music in the Kirk; hatred of the Sassenach; inability to see a joke, etc., etc. An undying portrait is thus put on record of the typical Scot of the day.

Related Scottish Country Dances

Pawky Duke

The Pawky Duke By Mr David Rorie

There aince was a very pawky duke,
Far kent for his joukery-pawkery,
Wha owned a hoose wi' a gran' outlook,
A gairden an' a rockery.
Hech mon! The pawky duke!
Hoot ay! An' a rockery!
For a bonnet laird wi' a sma' kailyaird
Is naethin' but a mockery!

He dwalt far up a Heelant glen
Where the foamin' flood an' the crag is,
He dined each day on the usquebae
An' he washed it doon wi' haggis.
Hech mon! The pawky duke!
Hoot ay! An' a haggis!
For that's the way that the Heelanters dae
Whaur the foamin' flood an' the crag is!

He wore a sporran an' a dirk,
An' a beard like besom bristles,
He was an elder o' the kirk
And he hated kists o' whistles!
Hech mon! The pawky duke!
An' doon on kists o' whistles!
They're a' reid-heidit fowk up North
Wi' beards like besom bristles!

His hair was reid as ony rose,
His legs was lang an' bony,
He keepit a hoast an' a rubbin'-post
An' a buskit cockernony!
Hech mon! The pawky duke!
An' a buskit cockernony!
Ye ne'er will ken true Heelantmen
Wha'll own they hadna ony!

An' if he met a Sassenach,
Attour in Caledonia,
He gart him lilt in a cotton kilt
Till he took an acute pneumonia!
Hech mon! The pawky duke!
An' a Sassenach wi' pneumonia!
He lat him feel that the Land o' the Leal
'S nae far frae Caledonia!

Then aye afore he socht his bed
He danced the Gillie Callum,
An' wi's Kilmarnock owre his neb
What evil could befall him!
Hech mon! The pawky duke!
What evil could befall him?
When he cast his buits an' soopled his cuits
Wi' a gude-gaun Gillie Callum!

But they brocht a joke, they did indeed,
Ae day for his eedification,
An' they needed to trephine his heid
Sae he deed o' the operation!
Hech mon! The pawky duke!
Wae's me for the operation!
For weel I wot this typical Scot
Was a michty loss to the nation!



Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original David Rorie article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright The Project Gutenberg under this Permission.

Back to the top of this 'The Pawky Duke Poem' page