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Dance There's Nae Luck aboot the Hoose 6523

Strathspey · 32 bars · 3 couples · Longwise - 4   (Progression: 213)

Devised by
Thomas (19C) Wilson (1816)
800 844 822 866 = 58% (1 turn), 44% (whole dance)
  • Strathspey setting, Strathspey travel
Published in
Recommended Music
Extra Info
There's Nae Luck Aboot The Hoose

For there’s nae luck about the house,
  There’s nae luck at a’;
There’s little pleasure in the house
  When our guidman’s awa’.

And are ye sure the news is true?
  And are ye sure he’s weel?
Is this a time to talk o’ wark?
  Ye jades fling by your wheel.
Is this a time to think o’ wark,
  When Colin’s at the door;
Rax me my cloak, I’ll to the quay,
  And see him come ashore.
    For there’s, &c.

Rise up and mak’ a clean fireside,
  Put on the muckle pot;
Gi’e little Kate her cotton gown,
  And Jock his Sunday coat.
And mak’ their shoon as black as slaes,
  Their hose as white as snaw;
It’s a’ to please my ain guidman,
  For he’s been lang awa’.
    For there’s, &c.

There’s twa fat hens upon the bauk,
  They’ve fed this month and mair;
Mak’ haste and thraw their necks about,
  That Colin weel may fare.
And spread the table neat and clean,
  Gar ilka thing look braw;
For wha can tell how Colin fared,
  When he was far awa’.
    For there’s, &c.

And gi’e to me my bigonet,
  My bishop-satin gown;
I maun tell the bailie’s wife
  That Colin’s come to town.
My Sunday’s shoon they maun gae on,
  My hose o’ pearl blue;
It’s a’ to please my ain guidman,
  For he’s baith leal and true.
    For there’s, &c.

Sae true his heart, sae smooth his speech,
  His breath like caller air;
His very foot has music in’t,
  As he comes up the stair.
And will I see his face again?
  And will I hear him speak?
I’m downright dizzy wi’ the thought, –
  In troth, I’m like to greet.
    For there’s, &c.

The cauld blasts o’ the winter wind,
  That thirled through my heart,
They’re a’ blawn by, I ha’e him safe,
  Till death we’ll never part;
But what puts parting in my head?
  It may be far awa’;
The present moment is our ain,
  The neist we never saw.
    For there’s, &c.

Since Colin’s weel, I’m weel content,
  I hae nae mair to crave;
Could I but live to mak’ him blest,
  I’m blest aboon the lave.
And will I see his face again?
  And will I see him speak?
I’m downright dizzy wi’ the thought, –
  In troth, I’m like to greet.
    For there’s, &c.

About this song the editor of The Lyric Gems of Scotland commented: “The authorship of this charming domestic song has been much disputed; one party ascribing it to William Julius Mickle, an accomplished scholar and poet, and another, with equal probability, claiming it for Mrs. Jean Adams, a poor schoolmistress, who lived at Crawford’s Dyke, neer Greenock, early in the last century, and died in the Town’s Hospital, Glasgow, in 1765. Mrs. Fullerton, a pupil of Jean Adams, frequently heard her repeat the song and affirm it to be her own composition; on the other hand, the Rev. John Sim (Mickle’s editor) says, that Mrs. Mickle perfectly recollected her husband giving her the ballad as his own composition and explaining to her (she being an Englishwoman) the Scottish words and phrases. A judicious modern critic justly observes, ‘that the schoolmistress was brought up at a sea port, which Mickle was not, and must have been often the witness of partings and meetings between sailors and their wives. The very familiar expression in the song, I’ll to ‘the quay’ is in her favour, as is also the name of the hero, ‘Colin;’ which is a name only common in the West Highlands.’ On comparing the evidence, pro and con, we think the claim of the old schoolmistress to be, at least, as fully substantiated as that of the elegant translator of the Lusiad.”

Robert Burns felt that “This is one of the most beautiful songs in the Scots, or any other language.”

There were two parodies of the song. The first was the anonymous and very long “Nae Luick about the House When Our Goodwife’s Awa’” which appeared in James Johnson’s The Scots Musical Museum, Volume 6, of 1803. Of the second, Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe (1781–1851) said, “A parody of this song, on the conclusion of Peace with America, appeared in 1782, and was printed in the common stall-form. It begins thus –

But are you sure the news is true?
  And is it really fact?
Have Conway, Burke and Fox at last
  Laid North upon his back?
There’s nae luck about the Court,
  There’s nae luck at a’;
There can be nane while we’re at war
  Wi’ North America.

It is a very poor performance, and only worthy of notice to show the popularity of the original song.”

There's Nae Luck aboot the Hoose 3/4L · S32
1c cast off behind own lines ; cast back to places
1c cross into 1W+2M & 1M+2W 1½ RH turn, to (2,1x,3) ; 1W+3M & 1M+3W LH turn, 1c finish facing 1cnrs
SetH&G , finish 1M facing up and 1W facing down
Reels3{6} on the sides (Rsh to 2cnr) | 1c cross RH (2,1,3)
There's Nae Luck aboot the Hoose 3/4L · S32
1s cast down behind own lines & cast back up to places
1s cross down (passing RSh), 1M turns 2L RH 1.1/2 times as 1L turns 2M RH 1.1/2 times to end in 2nd pl opp sides: 1M turns 3L LH as 1L turns 3M LH, 1s end facing 1st crnrs
1s dance ‘Hello-Goodbye’ setting & set to partner turning about to 1M facing up & 1L down
1s dance reel of 3 on sides (giving RSh to 2nd corner) & cross RH to places

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Added on: Dec. 17, 2012, 3:19 p.m.
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Martina Mueller-Franz
Added on: Feb. 11, 2020, 7:09 a.m.
Quality: Demonstration quality

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IdSubjectDateSubmitterAssigned toPriorityDisposition
618 Error Jan. 17, 2015, 11:37 a.m. Rosemary Smart Eric Ferguson Normal Fixed