Scots Sangs An Tunes Fur Schools

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

Wha Saw The 42nd?


Wha saw the 42nd, wha saw them gaun awa?

Wha saw the 42nd merchin doon the Broomielaw?

Some o them had boots an stockins

Some o them had nane at aa

Some o them had tattie scones

For tae keep the cauld awa.


Wha saw the 42nd, wha saw them gaun awa?

Wha saw the 42nd merchin doon the Broomielaw?

Some o them had tartan toories

Some o them had nane at aa

Some o them had green umbrellas

For tae keep the rain awa.


Wha saw the tattie howkers? Wha saw them gaun awa?

Wha saw the tatttie howkers merchin doon the Broomielaw?

Some o them had boots an stockins

Some o them had nane at aa

Some o them had a wee drop whisky

For tae keep the cauld awa


The first two verses of this song are about soldiers of the 42nd Highland Regiment, The Black Watch, marching along the Broomielaw which runs alongside the River Clyde in Glasgow. They are going to board a ship to travel abroad, maybe to fight in a war, but the song makes fun of how they are dressed. In Perth the song marched them down the Thimbleraw.

The third verse changes the song just a little to make fun of the classes of Scottish city children who used to be sent to rural farming areas to lift the potatoes (tatties).


This pipe march has an old Jacobite lyric, which was collected or made by poet James Hogg.


Wha wouldna fecht for Charlie,

Wha wouldna draw the sword,

Wha wouldna up and rally

At the Royal Prince’s word?


Think on Scotia’s ancient heroes,

Think on foreign foes repelled,

Think on glorious Bruce and Wallace,

Wha the proud usurpers quelled.

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