From the recording Wild And Wicked Youth

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Mark Clavey: vocals, guitar
Mary Hanover: lead vocals, hammered dulcimer
Rachel Gaither: vocals, fiddle

Here is a well-known and well-loved traditional Scottish song. It was originally written in the 1840's by David Shaw, a weaver from the Angus burgh of Forfar, who published two collections of poems in the mid-19th century. The song shows a working man's awareness of his worth, and is a reminder of the position of weavers in the Scottish community prior to the Industrial Revolution, who were, by and large, self-educated and radical in their opinions and support for social and parliamentary reform. Shaw was a Chartist sympathizer, and would sing this song with other of his compositions, at trade and Chartist meetings during that period. The song was printed in Robert Ford's collection "Vagabond Songs and Ballads of Scotland" in 1899. There are two other verses to Shaw's song that we leave undone (the arrangement is long enough as is). "Black Run" is a hornpipe written by Kansas City's world-class piper and composer John Higgins, and refers to the midnight drive across Kansas they would make when the band (KC St Andrew Pipes and Drums) would drive through the night to get to the Golden CO games with enough time to squeeze in a little Friday sightseeing. We perform it as written by John at the front end of the arrangement, and place it in a quick march setting at the back end.


We're all met together here to sit and to craic, with our glasses in our hands and our work upon our back. But there's nae trade among them all can mend or can mak if it wasna for the work o' the weavers.

If it wasna for the weavers, wha' would you do? You wouldna hae clo' that's made out o' wool. Ye wouldna hae a coat neither black nor blue if it wasna for the work o' the weavers.

Now there's folk that have nae need o' other tradesmen's work - the women need nae barber, the dykers need nae clerk. But nane o' them can do without a coat or a sark, nae, they canna lack the work o' the weavers.

If it wasna for the weavers, &

Now there's sodgers and there's sailors, and hiremen and a'. There's doctors and there's ministers and them that live the law, and our friends in South America, though them we never saw--but we ken they wear the work o' the weavers.

If it wasna for the weavers, &c

Now the weaving is a trade that never can fail sae long as we need clo' for to keep a body hale. So let us all be merry owre a bicker o' good ale, and we'll drink tae the work o' the weavers.

If it wasna for the weavers, &c