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Scots Sangs An Tunes Fur Schools

Traditional and new Scots songs and tunes
for use in Scottish schools - and everywhere else

The Shuttle Rins

The weaver's wife sits at the fire

And ca's the pirn wheel

She likes tae hear her ain gude man

Drive on the shuttle weel


The shuttle rins, the shuttle rins

The shuttle rins wi speed

O sweetly may the shuttle rin

That wins the bairns' breid

Threid efter threid maks up the claith

Until the wage he wins

And ilka weaver maks the mair

The mair his shuttle rins

He rises early in the morn

He toils fu late at nicht

He fain wad independent be

He kens what is his richt

Although he has nae dainty fare

His wages being sma

Yet he can wi his thrifty wife

Keep hungry want awa

He fondly soothes a neebor's grief

Or shares a neebor's glee

And fain tae gie his bairns lair

He gars the shuttle flee

State cormorants may craw fu crouse

And haughty be an proud

But were they paid by "ells o keels"

They wadna laugh sae loud

The proudest o the land wad pine

Wi 'oot the weavers' wark

The pampered priest, the haughty peer

Wad gang wi'oot a sark

Then cheer your hearts ye workin men

An aa like brithers be

Rise up against restrictive laws

And set industry free

A very interesting account of the process of making cloth. The wife turns the spinning wheel to make the thread. Her husband sits at his loom, throwing the shuttle from side to side through the threads. The later verses emphasise the weaver’s dignity and rights, as the writer intended, for the words come from Poems And Songs Chiefly For The Encouragement Of The Working Classes by Henry Syme.

In the note to her CD Gordeanna writes, “I learned this song some years ago for a concert organised by Danny Kyle as part of the Paisley 500 celebrations.The song itself, which conveys a strong sense of fellowship and humanity, has always appealed to me. Here the clarsach and fiddle emulate the rhythm of the loom and allow me to give freer expression to the words.”

The tune is also used for ‘The Boatie Rows’, a song made 200 years ago by John Ewen that Robert Burns considered nearly equal to ‘There’s Nae Luck Aboot the Hoose’. ‘The Boatie Rows’ is about fishing in Largo Bay in Fife.