“Nicky Tams”


Singer works as a plowman, always wearing his nicky tams. He courts "bonnie Annie," who admires his nicky tams. A wasp flies up his pants in church; he won't go again without them. He thinks about other jobs, but he'll never forget wearing his nicky tams


According to MacColl & Seeger, "Nicky tams," aka "yorks," "yaks," or "wull-tams," were leather thongs worn buckled just below the knee, to prevent the trouser legs from dragging in the mud. They were essential parts of a ploughman's attire. - PJS

Same tune

  • The Berryfields of Blaie (File: K339)

Cross references


  • Jimmy McBeath, "Nicky Tams" (on Voice05)
  • Jimmy Scott, "Nickie Dams" (on Borders1)


  1. MacSeegTrav 107, "Nicky Tams" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #1875
  3. BI, McCST107


Alternate titles: “A Pair of Nicky Tams”
Author: G. S. Morris
Earliest date: 1930s (composed)
Found in: Britain(Scotland, England(North))