Wooed And Married And A’ jig

Also known as Marry Them All, The Whistling Thief, Woo’d An’ Married An’ Aa.

Wooed And Married And A' has been added to 3 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: Wooed And Married And A'
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Emin
|:g|d2c BcA G3|d2d dgB d2g|dec BcA GAB|E2e eg^d e2:|
|:g|def gag fed|B2d gdB d2g|1 def gag fed|
B2e ef^d e2:|2 dec BcA GAB|E2e eg^d e2||

Six comments

Wooed And Married An A’

I was minded of this tune when looking through a manuscript that Nigel Gatherer had mentioned.
It is the tune to a song of which there are many variants, more than one of those variants being attributed to the poet Alexander Ross (1699-1784), who was born in Kincardine O’Neil, Aberdeenshire, and died in the parish of Lochlee, Glenesk, in Angus.
One variant goes:

Wooed and married and a’,
Married and wooed and a’;
The dandilly toast of the parish,
Is wooed and married and a’.

The wooers will now ride thinner,
And by, when they wonted to ca’;
‘Tis needless to speer for the lassie,
That’s wooed and married and a’.

I probably first heard it sung by Ivan Drever many years back, when he was with the band "Knowe o’ Deil", and he could well have got it through his former Dundonian wife Carolyn, who sang with the band back then (mother of Kris - she is a fine singer).

It has similarities to this tune (which has other variants):

The title is similar too.

It’s different enough to warrant its own place here - even if the difference was only slight, I’d be submitting it as a separate entry, as the new system is causing a loss of identity to many tunes. I’m wading through much of the confusion caused by the automation of the transcription of "settings", trying to list the errors.

The Bairns recorded it, on their last album; "may you never lack a scone", track 7.

A pal of my dad sang a version of this too, back when I was a kid, although that was a long time ago and I don’t actually remember the lyrics as sang then, early 70’s perhaps, but I do remember the melody from then, vividly so.

A stand up wee tune, thanks for posting…..


though it’s easier to find under its original title, if only there were an agreed way of spelling it. I like Nigel Gatherer’s version of the title - "Woo’d an’ Merrit An A’" - it’s usually spelt "woo’d" (though I’ve never heard anyone pronounce the "e" in "wooed").

I’m not going to suggest that this version be deleted. It’s much easier to find in its own wee place here. I actually searched under "woo’d" before submitting this and got no results, which shows how lacking the new search facility is. I’d rather it be kept here with cross-referencing, if this site is going to retain any hope of being a useful reference.

As to preference for the apostrophe in "woo’d", I’m not sure how the original Alexander Ross version was written, but both spellings have appeared in print (which is why I gave them both). The spelling "merrit" doesn’t appear in any printed version of of his, and does give me the impression of coming from further south.
There is no certainty that the song originates with Alexander Ross, but it does look convincing.

Agree, Weejie, it’s better here under its original (but who knows?) title.

"Woo’d and Married and A’" and "The Whistling Thief"

Fleischmann has reprinted several versions of this tune from the 18th and 19th century publications under the title "Woo’d and Married and A’". I think the earliest is a James Oswald collection c.1750. The Larry Smyth MS c.1880s-1920s, from Abbeylara, Co Longford has this tune under the title "Marry them All" and the Stephen Grier MS c.1883 of Gortletteragh, Co. Leitrim has this tune under the title "The Whistling Thief".