Posts filed under ‘HEY WILLIE WINKIE’


by Sarah Hartwell

“Hey, Willie Winkie, are ye comin’ ben?
The cat’s singin’ grey thrums to the sleepin’ hen.
The dug’s spelder’d on the flair, and disna’ gi’e a cheep,
But here’s a waukrife laddie that winna fa’ asleep!”

Onything but sleep, you rogue? Glow’ring like the mune.
Rattlin’ in an airn jug wi’ an airn spune,
Rumblin’, tumblin’, roond aboot, crawin’ like a cock,
Skirlin’ like a kenna-what, wauk’nin’ sleepin’ fowk.

“Hey Willie Winkie – the wean’s in a creel!
Wambling aff a bodie’s knee like a verra eel.
Ruggin’ at the cat’s lug, and rav’lin a’ her thrums.
Hey, Willie Winkie!” – see, now, there he comes!

Wearit is the mither that has a stoorie wean,
A wee stumpie stoussie, that canna rin his lane,
That has a battle aye wi’ sleep before he’ll close an e’e,
But ae kiss frae aff his rosy lips gi’es strength anew tae me.

This is probably the most famous of all the Scottish nursery rhymes and is used when putting children to bed. It is also used to teach children (and adults) their first Scottish accented words. It basically says everyone else is asleep, or ready to go to sleep, except the child. The child is not only wakeful, he is tormenting the cat.

May 26, 2008 at 4:05 pm Leave a comment