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Pit Gair

from Away From My Window by Iona Fyfe

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Known as Charlie o’ Charlie, I first heard this song when I was very young and have heard it at singarounds and competitions since. A Banffshire bothy ballad, the farm Pit Gair is found in the parish of Gamrie. The characters referred to in the song can be identified. It was said to have been written by a man named Shaw, who lived at Alvah and had reputation of being a “rhymer”. Shaw wrote other songs which featured in Gavin Greig’s “Folk-Song in Buchan” and writes himself into the Pit Gair. “Tae the lowsin‘ ye‘ll pit Shaw, ye‘ll pit Sandieson to ca”. Andrew Kindness, referred to as “Andra” died at Pit Gair in 1900. The song dates back to at least 1869, when farming in the North East was at the edge of improvement and mechanisation.The song features a Traditional tune titled The Fuddler. Pit Gair can be found in John Ord’s, GD (3:401)


Charlie, O Charlie, come owre frae Pitgair,
An’ I’ll gie ye out a‘ my orders,
For am gaun awa‘ tae yon high hielan‘ hills,
A while ti leave the bonny Buchan borders

O Charlie, O Charlie, tak‘ notice what I say,
And pit every man to his station,
For I‘m gaun awa to yon high hielan‘ hills,
For ti view the parts o‘ the nation

Tae the lowsin‘ ye‘ll pit Shaw, ye‘ll pit Sandieson to ca‘,
Ti the colin ye‘ll pit aul Andra Kindness,
And aul Colliehill, he‘ll feed the mill
Aye an see that he dee‘t wi‘ great neness

Ye‘ll pit Eppie tae the mill aye and Janet tae the cole,
The ither twa men for tae carry,
And as for George and Jeck ye‘ll pit them tae the rake
Aye and see that they do not tarry

Tae the gaitherin‘ o‘ the hay, ye‘ll pit little Isa Gray,
Wi‘ her ye‘ll pit her cousin o Peggy
And it‘s in below the bands it’s there ye‘ll pit your hands
Aye and see that they dae it richt tidy

It‘s you Willy Burr ye‘ll carry on the stir,
Ye‘ll keep a‘ my merry maids a-hoein‘
And ye‘ll tak‘ care o‘ Jeck, or he‘ll play you a trick
And will set a’ my merry maids a-mowin‘

And it‘s you Annie Scott ye‘ll pit on the muckle pot,
And mak‘ unto them porridge o’ plenty
For yon hungry brosiers that‘s comin‘ frae Pitgair
They live baith bare and scantly

Ye‘ll tak‘ little Annie Mack fae the colin‘ o‘ the quack
Tae help ye the dinner for tae carry
And at the hour o‘ one ye’ll mak‘ then a‘ tae staun‘
At the mull for a moment tae tarry

O Charlie, O Charlie, foo early ye’ll rise
Tae see a‘ my merry men yokin‘
And you Missy Pope ye‘ll sit in the parlour neuk
And will keep all my merry men frae smokin‘


from Away From My Window, released March 24, 2018


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Iona Fyfe Scotland, UK

Aberdeenshire folksinger, Iona Fyfe, has become one of Scotland’s finest young folk singers, rooted in the singing traditions of the North East of Scotland. The first ever singer to win the coveted title of Musician of the Year at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2021, Iona has been described as “one of the best Scotland has to offer.” (Global-Music.de)

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