Lyr Add: Peri-Periwinkle (Robert Burns?) To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
10 messages

Lyr Add: Peri-Periwinkle (Robert Burns?)

21 Sep 04 - 02:04 PM (#1277517)
Subject: Lyr Add: Robert Burns & 'Peri-Periwinkle'
From: John M.

Dear Mudcat,

Here is the bawdy song Peri-Periwinkle (119KB) which was collected on 7 May 2004 from Tommy "Fuk Stic" Tarka.  This song is ultimately derived from a ribald song collected by Robert Burns: "The Bob O' Dunblane".

(Tune - Ach, Du Lieber, Augustin)

Noo a lassie was roamin' by the banks of Loch Lomand,
She slipped on her dress and a wee chunk o'stane.
Noo a Parson was passin' and on her took passion,
He lifted her up and he carried her hame.


Singin' Peri Periwinkle, I see your wee wrinkle,
Singin' Peri Periwinkle, but you canna see mine!

Noo he fed her and cled her and into bed led her,
And noo that wee lassie's asufferin with shame;
For he jumped in beside her and started to ride her,
And noo that wee lassie's the Whore of Dunbane.

Noo all the little angels are sent, are sent up,
Noo all the little angels are sent up on high.
Which end up? Ass end up.
Which end up? Ass end up.
All the little angles ass end up on high. (1)

Since I have been told to only have one song text per post, more will follow.

21 Sep 04 - 02:05 PM (#1277519)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Robert Burns & 'Peri-Periwinkle'
From: John M.

Here is another example of the song from Forbidden Fruit [ca.1895], p. 69.


The devil fell aff o' the heid o' Ben Lomond,
An' skinned a' his arse on a great muckle stane,
There was an auld wifie took pity upon him,
And carried him in till her hoose in the glen.
She fed him, she cled him, she in the bed laid him,
The wily auld devil wadna lie him lane,
She in owre aside him, and they fell a riding,
An' there they made "Jessie the Flower o' Dumblane".

21 Sep 04 - 02:07 PM (#1277520)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Robert Burns & 'Peri-Periwinkle'
From: John M.

Murray Shoolbraid has identified the "Peri-Periwinkle" song and the one above as parodies of a song by Robert Tannahill titled "Jessie, the Flower o' Dunblane" (see here for full text):

The sun has gane down o'er the lofty Ben Lomond
And left the red clouds to reside o'er the scene
While lanely I stray in the calm simmer gloamin'
To muse on sweet Jessie, the flow'r o' Dunblane.
How sweet is the brier wi' its saft faulding blossom
And sweet is the birk wi' its mantle o' green
But sweeter and fairer and dear to this bosom
Is charming young Jessie, the flow'r o' Dunblane.
Is charming young Jessie, is charming young Jessie
Is charming young Jessie, the flow'r o' Dunblane.

"The Flower o' Dunblane" was first published in the Scots Magazine, March 1808.  Matthew Tannahill, the poet's brother, said it was composed to supplant the old (and suggestive) "Bob o' Dumblane".   

21 Sep 04 - 02:12 PM (#1277526)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Robert Burns & 'Peri-Periwinkle'
From: John M.

For completeness here is the original Scotts ribaldry collected by Robert Burns which prompted the cleaned up version, the parody and the modern survival:


1. Lassie, lend me your braw hemp-heckle,
And I'll lend you my thripplin kame;
My heckle is broken, it canna be gotten,
And we'll gae dance the Bob o' Dumblane.

2. Twa gaed to the wood, to the wood, to the wood,
Twa gaed to the wood, three cam hame:
An't be na weel bobbit, weel bobbit, weel bobbit,
An't be na weel bobbit, we'll bob it again.-   (2)

It's hard to keep a good song from going bad or to make a bad song good.   Any comments or corrections are welcome.

Gargoyle according to the Mudcat archives, you have known the "Peri-Periwinkle" song since at least 1991. May I ask where and when you learned the song?

Thanks Murray for identifing the song and giving me the texts from your Musa Proterva. 


John Mehlberg
(1)   The "...angels ascend up..." verse can be found in Laycock's The Best Bawdry as the final chorus of "The Monk of Priory Hall" (pg 115).  Laycock mentions that this ditty is from Mess Hall Songs of the RAAF (ca 1945).  This chorus of this song also uses the "Ach, Du Lieber, Augustin" tune.

(2)  According to Murray Shoolbraid's Musa Proterva MS, this text was collected by Robert Burns. The text is printed in Kinsley (p. 804, no. 513, with music), from the Watson MS. (1136: Burns' letter to Johnson, autumn of 1795).


21 Sep 04 - 04:35 PM (#1277631)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Robert Burns & 'Peri-Periwinkle'
From: Lighter

John Mehlberg: This is amazing and overlooked material. The link to "Jessie, the Flower of Dunblane" is surprising but, I think, undeniable. On the other hand, the song from the "Merry Muses" is in a different meter and bears what looks to me like just a coincidental resemblance: outdoors, illegitimate pregnancy, rhyming on "Dunblane" (a good rhyming word).

Your website will only increase in value to researchers. It's astonishing.

I hope you'll post more of this older (as well as newer) material to Mudcat.

21 Sep 04 - 09:24 PM (#1277847)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Robert Burns & 'Peri-Periwinkle'
From: Lighter

I hear the words a little differently:

    "tripped on her dress ?on"

    "wee winkle"

    "proceeded to ride her"

21 Sep 04 - 10:09 PM (#1277876)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Robert Burns & 'Peri-Periwinkle'
From: Lighter

Burns's song is partially a recollection of Allan Ramsay's poem, "The Bob of Dunblane," published in his "Miscellaneous Works" in 1724:

Lassie, lend me your braw Hemp Heckle,
And I'll lend you my Thrippling Kame;
For Fainness, Dearie, I'll gar ye keckle,
If ye'll go dance the Bob of Dunblane.
Hast ye, gang to the Ground of ye'r Trunkies,
Busk ye braw, and dinna think Shame;
Consider in Time, if leading of Monkies
Be better than dancing the Bob of Dunblane.

Be frank, my Lassie, lest I grow fickle,
And tak my Word and Offer again,
Syne ye may chance to repent it mickle,
Ye didna accept of the Bob of Dunblane.
The Dinner, the Piper and Priest shall be ready,
And I'm grown dowie with lying my lane,
Away then leave baith Minny and Dad[d]y,
And try with me the Bob of Dunblane.

23 Sep 04 - 07:56 AM (#1279023)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Robert Burns & 'Peri-Periwinkle'
From: Jim Dixon

The last verse of PERI-PERIWINKLE (or something very close to it) has already been posted as a separate song in the following threads:

Ach du lieber Augustin
Lyr Req: All the Little Angels
'Teasing' songs

However, I was surprised to see two versions of the pun, one using British pronunciation:

"are sent up" / "arse end up"

and one using American:

"ascend up" / "ass end up"

I would expect Australians to use the British pronunciation. I'm not sure about Canadians. What nationality is your informant? Can anyone explain two different accents in the same song?

23 Sep 04 - 01:19 PM (#1279222)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Robert Burns & 'Peri-Periwinkle'
From: John M.

Thanks for the Mudcat thread links.

My informant is an American Hasher, age 30 and a chemical engineer. He learned his version from Ian, a British expartiot, who is living in NY City. My informant says that Ian has contributed many unusual songs to the Hash Hymnal and is perhaps the source for this song amongst Hashers.

There was some concern that the text I posted for Peri-Periwinkle was too similiar to the text posted by Gargoyle back in 2001 but Gargoyle seems to have gotten hold of a Hash House hymnal and pasted the texts in to his threads.

The Songs and Rhymes of the RAAF is the earliest date for the song and is Australian (RAAF = Royal Australian Air Force). I need to look at it again to see if it uses the Arse or Ass pun.

Thanks again.

John Mehlberg
My bawdy songs, toasts, and recitations website:

23 Sep 04 - 05:59 PM (#1279392)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Robert Burns & 'Peri-Periwinkle'
From: Lighter

It says "arse."

And what were they thinking when they named this new automobile the "Ascender"?

BTW, the "bob" in "The Bob of Dunblane" is literally a dance. The double-entendre seems inevitable, but Ramsay was known for his reluctance to "offend the modest ear."