The Jolly Gauger

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Melody -
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From the Merry Muses of Caledonia

There was a jolly gauger,
A gaugin' he did ride,
And he has met a beggar
Doon by yon river side,
Chorus:
And we'll gang nae mair a-rovin'
Wi' ladies tae the wine,
When a beggar wi' her meal-pyocks
Can fidge her tail sae fine.

2. Amang the broom he laid her,
Amang the broom sae green,
And he's fa'n tae the beggar,
As she had been a queen,
Chorus:

3. My blessings on thee, laddie,
Thou's done my turn sae weel,
Wilt thou accept, dear laddie,
My pyock and pickle meal?
Chorus:

4. Sae blythe the beggar took the bent,
Like ony bird in Spring,
Sae blythe the beggar took the bent,
And merrily did sing,
Chorus:

5. My blessings on the gauger,
O' gaugers he's the chief,
Sic kail ne'er crost my kettle,
Nor sic a joint o' beef,
Chorus:


This song was likely a parody of "The Jolly Beggar". At one time, Burns was an exciseman, and in this song he uses the public perception of excisemen as being little more than thieves or legal bullies. The phrase "pyock and pickle meal (a small bag of food), can be used as a substitute for the sex act. In short, everybody gets "screwed" by the tax man.

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