THE HIGH ROAD TO LINTON
The tune is sometimes said to be about the old drove road (also called the Thieves’ Road) that ran from West Linton up across the Pentland Hills to the Catslackburn.
At one time that was the main route through the Borders for cattle drovers. They bought cattle in the Scottish Highlands and walked them all the way south.
Other drovers would bring their cattle to the great annual Tryst meetings at Falkirk. Yet other drovers would buy their cattle there and take them on to the south.
The tune is known by other titles, Scots and Gaelic. For example: ‘Kitty got a clinking coming from the races’ (she fell over).
Thinking about the fun at the annual Tryst, and the small china ‘fairings’ that people would buy there and at local fairs, Ewan McVicar wrote these verses to the tune.
Annie bought a fairing, a fairing, a fairing
Annie bought a fairing, a little china tea pot
She gave it tae her mammie, tae her mammie, tae her mammie
She gave it tae her mammie annd she put it on the mantel
Faither pit tobacca, pit tobacca, pit tobacca
Faither pit tobacca in the little china tea pot
Annie stood and stared, she said it wisnae fair
He shouldna pit it there in the little china tea pot
She went back tae the fair, tae the fair, tae the fair
She went back tae the fair for anither china tea pot
She met a nice young lad, the first she’d ever had
And she didn’t feel so bad about the little china tea pot.