The Ulster-Scots Language Society, formed to promote the Ulster-Scots language, our own hamely tongue

Drinking Song

By Samuel Fee Given. Taken from Poems, from College and Country by three brothers, Belfast,1900. Air — "A wee drap o' whiskey."

The bottle's before us, we're a' gey an' jolly,
May we aye hae sich stuff to drink when we're dry;
I hae but yin fae, and that is Melancholy,
For this nicht at least I'll gie him the go-bye.
Ye're frien's on the left, and ye're frien's on the richt o' me,
I hope ye'll a' join in the toast I propose;
I'll stand on my feet that ye'll a' get a sicht o' me,
So Guid bless us a' and here's health where it goes.

Ye a' hae a sample o' Dame Fortune's favours,
I manage to catch a few still as they pass;
Three principal yins always crown my endeavours —
A rich honest frien' and a girl and a glass.
But should fate be unkind and restrict me to yin o' these,
Would you wish to know which o' the three I would choose?
Och, whiskey's the essence o' friendship an' fun, my boys,
So Guid bless us a', here's a health where it goes.

Life is but short, an' time's always flying,
Yet here's what I hold to be nature's great plan;
Instead o' complainin' and sabbin' and sighin',
Aye squeeze out o' life as much joy as you can.
An' here's we hae mony mair big nichts as this is,
Scattered through life even on to its close;
That we a' may hae plenty o' guid solid blisses,
A glass when we want it, an' health where it goes.

What guid wull it dae sittin' doon on yer hunkers,
When poverty's cauld blast blaws in at the door;
Though rich, some men need na the lugs an' the winkers
Tae tell what they are, it's nae sin tae be poor.
Then whistle at Fate shud she frown on yer labour,
Think mair o' yer pleasures an' less o' yer woes;
Uphold the just cause an' be kind tae yer neighbour,
Success tae the present an' health where it goes.