“The Mucking o' Geordie's Byre”


The singer describes the filthy habits of Geordie and his family, and the strange and immense task of cleaning out Geordie's byre. The family's ineptitude and the poorly trained animals result in improbable accidents

Supplemental text

Mucking o' Geordie's Byre, The
  Complete text(s)

          *** A ***

The Mucking of Geordie's Byar

From James Johnson, "The Scots Musical Museum," Volume I, #96, p.
97. As found in the 1853 edition (punctuation is somewhat uncertain,
given the state of the facsimile).

As I went over yon meadow,
  And carelessly passed along,
I listen'd with pleasure to Jenny,
  While mournfully singing this Song.

    The mucking of Geordie's Byar,
    And the shooling the Gruip fo clean,
    Has aft gart me spend the night sleepless,
    And brought the salt tears in my een.

It was not my fathers pleasure,
  Nor was it my mothers desire,
That ever I puddl'd my fingers,
  Wi' the mucking o' Geordie's Byar.

Though the roads were ever so filthy,
  Or the day, so scoury and foul,
I would ay be ganging wi' Geordie;
  I lik'd it far better than School.

My brither abuses me daily
  For being wi' Geordie so free,
My sister she ca's me hoodwinked,
  Because he's below my degree.

But when I do like my young Geordie,
  Altho' he was cunning and slee,
He ca's me his Dear and his Honey,
  And I'm sure that my Geordie loos me[.]


This humorous piece has an incredibly complex history, as various poets (including Robert Burns) have taken their hacks at it. The result is so thoroughly mingled that it probably is not possible even to describe the original. - RBW


  1. Kennedy 257, "The Muckin' o' Geordie's Byre" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Meredith/Covell/Brown, p. 82, "Muckin' of Geordie's Byre" (1 tune)
  4. ST DTMoGB (Full)
  5. Roud #2137
  6. BI, DTMoGB


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1797 (_Scots Musical Museum_, #96)
Found in: Britain(England(North),Scotland(Aber)) Australia