Aoir an Rodain

Composed by: Angus Campbell (Am Puillean)

Researched & performed by: Ceitlin L.R Smith

An old belief held that rats could be driven away by composing a satire. This satire comes from Ness and I found it whilst looking through songs at Comunn Eachdraidh Nis. I really enjoyed the story behind the song and that inspired me to learn it.


 

O hò rò rat ’s na hò hò rò èile
O hò rò rat ’s na hò hò rò èile
O hò rò rat ’s na hò hò rò èile
It’s silly the distance you travelled to visit;
O hò rò rat.

Oh sharp-snouted rat making mischief in the corn,
I pity your body if ‘Topsy’ comes hunting for you;
Your swift feet won’t save you or the hole in the wall,
He’ll be at your neck in a flash and kill you;
O hò rò rat.

Weren’t you deceived and quite the fool
When you, you little thief, should have begged for mercy;
The old woman has a trap and if that doesn’t catch you
Then the grey cat won’t let you live on this earth;
O hò rò rat.

What made you, poor soul, come scampering such distance,
When there are many places much richer in Eoropie?
All the happiness you would want would be the food of the town
With your teeth shredding it and a life free and easy;
O hò rò rat.

If you want my advice you should take off,
Leave the barn without delay and forever;
You’re better off poor with little wealth or means
Than to have a full purse and be inclined towards making a Will.
O hò rò rat.

There you would grow fat as you chewed what you took,
The smell of braxy on your breath, you thief;
There would be an inch of fat on your back and a cleft in it,
You’d be as full of blubber as the Gaisean from Habost.
O hò rò rat.

If you don’t like the soap town it would be good for you to leave
And I would recommend a jaunt down to Knockard;
And if you don’t stop in the Port, don’t make trouble in Lionel,
The police will be hard on you, make your escape to Habost.
O hò rò rat.

And if you were minded to take a lass home to marry,
There’s plenty in Adabrock and a good few in Eoropie;
And if she’s a proud one, you should deceive her,
Skigersta has plenty, head over the moor.
O hò rò rat.

If you want to end your journey, don’t take shelter in
Cross or Swainbost, make for the Dells;
And if you have strength left, finish your quest
Among the great host in Alec’s mill.
O hò rò rat.

But I was the fool to start satirising you
When I knew fine well that you wouldn’t leave your old home;
Before you and your progeny eat what I have grown
You’ll be drawing your pension, my friend.
O hò rò rat.

O hò rò rat ’s na hò hò rò èile
O hò rò rat ’s na hò hò rò èile
O hò rò rat ’s na hò hò rò èile
It’s silly the distance you travelled to visit;
O hò rò rat.

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