Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Willie Wastle

Scottish Poem By Robert Burns

Willie Wastle is a Scottish poem written by Robert Burns in 1792 for Johnson's Museum, and adapted to a tune called The Eight Men of Aloidart.

The poem is also given in Thomson's collection, to the tune of Tibbie Fowler o' the Glen and published in The Book of Scottish Poem (1843) edited by Alexander Whitelaw and is sometimes known as Willie Wastle Dwalt On Tweed and Sic A Wife As Willie Had (Such a Wife as Willie had).

J.R.Cosens, writing to The Scotsman in 1889, states;
"Five and a half miles above Broughton, on the road to Tweedsmuir and Moffat there is a hill burn, which joins the Tweed, called the logan water, and on the bank of the Tweed, nearly opposite to the spot where the waters meet, stood a thacched cottage known as Linkumdoddie"

This thatched cottage is a few miles away from an Inn which Burns is said to have stayed at when travelling between Edinburgh and Dumfries.

There is also a Scottish country dance called Linkumdoddie which references words from the first verse.


Willie Wastle By Robert Burns

Willie Wastle dwalt on Tweed,
The spot they ca'd it Linkumdoddie;
Willie was a wabster gude,
Cou'd stown a clue wi' ony bodie;
He had a wife was dour and din,
O Tinkler Madgie was her mither;
Sic a wife as Willie had,
I wadna gie a button for her.

She has an e'e, she has but ane,
The cat has twa the very colour;
Five rusty teeth forbye a stump,
A clapper tongue wad deave a milkr;
A whiskin beard about her mou',
Her nose and chin they threaten ither;
Sic a wife as Willie had,
I wadna gie a button for her.

She's bow-hough'd, she's hein-shin'd,
Ae limpin' leg a hand-breed shorter;
She's twisted right, she's twisted left,
To balance fair on ilka quarter:
She has a huaip upon her breast,
The twin o' that upon her shouther,
Sic a wife as Willie had,
I wadna gie a button for her.

Auld baudrans by the ingle sits,
An' wi' her loof her face a washin';
But Willie's wife is nae sae trig,
She dights her grunzie wi' a hushion.
Her wallie nieves like midden-creels,
Her face wad fyle the Logan-water:
Sic a wife as Willie had,
I wadna gie a button for her.


Willie Wastle Song Video

Willie Wastle Song - YouTube Video
Linkumdoddie Image
The Site Of Linkumdoddie


The Online Scots Dictionary Translate Scots To English.
Published in http://www.robertburns.org/works/368.shtml
Dance Information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence.
Text from this original Willie Wastle article on Wikisource.
Image Copyright M J Richardson under this Creative Commons Licence.

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