Today I heard this ballad read out, and after much rootling around I found a sound file or two.
The Ballad of the Deluge by W D Cocker (1882 – 1970)
The Lord took a staw at mankind,
A righteous and natural scunner.
They were neither tae haud nor tae bind,
They were frichtit nae mair by his thunner.
They had broken ilk edic’ an’ law,
They had pitten his saints tae the sword.
They had worshipped fause idols o’ stane
“I will thole it nae mair” said the Lord.
“Ah’m weary wi’ flightin’ at folk
Ah’ll dicht them clean oot o’ ma sicht!
But Noah, douce man, ah will spare,
For he ettles, pair chiel, tae be richt”.
So he cryet unto Noah ae day,
When naebody else wis aboot.
Sayin’ “Hearken ma servant tae Me,
An these, Ma commands, cairry oot.
A great muckle boat ye maun bigg,
An ark that can float heich and dry,
Room in’t for aa yir ain folk,
An’ a hantle of cattle forbye.
Then tak ye the fowls o’ the air
Even unto the big bubblyjocks,
And tak ye the beasts o the field
Whittrocks, an’ foumarts, an’ brocks.
Wale ye twa craturs o each,
See that nae cratur rebels.
Dinny ye fash aboot fish,
They can look after theirsels.
Herd them a’ safely aboard,
And aince the Blue Peter’s unfurled.
Ah’ll send doon a forty day flood,
An the de’il tak the rest of the warld”.
Sae Noah rocht hard at the job,
An searched tae the earth’s farthest borders.
An’ gaithered the beasts and the birds,
And telt them tae staun by for orders.
His sons, Ham and Japhet and Shem,
Were thrang a’ this time at the work.
They had fermed a wheen trees in the wid,
An biggit a great muckle ark.
Noo, this wisny done jist on the quait,
An’ neebors would whiles gaither roon.
Then Noah would drap them a hint, like
“Eh, the weather is gaun tae brak doon”.
But the neebors wi’ evil were blin’,
An little jaloused whit wis wrang, saying,
“Och, that’ll be guid for the neeps”, or
“Oh, the weather’s been drouthy owre lang”.
Then Noah, wi’ a’ his ain folk,
The beasts and the birds got aboard.
An’ they steekit the door o’ the ark,
And they lippened themselves tae the Lord.
Then boom! cam a lashin o’ rain,
Like the wattest wat day in Lochaber.
The hailstanes like plunkers cam stoat,
The fields turned tae glaur, and syne glabber.
An the burns a’ cam doon in a spate.
An the rivers ran clean owre the haughs
The brigs were a’ soopit awa’,
An whit had been dubs, becam lochs.
Then the folk were sair pitten aboot,
An they cried, as the weather got waur,
“Oh Lord, we ken fine we hae sinned,
But a joke can be cairried owre faur”.
Then they chapped at the ark’s muckle door,
Tae speir gin douce Noah had room,
But Noah ne’er headed their cries,
He said “This’ll learn ye tae soom”.
An the river roared loudly an’ deep,
An the miller was droond in the mill.
An the watters spread owre a’ the land,
An the shepherd was droond oan the hill.
But Noah and aa his ain folk,
Kept safe fae the fate o’ ill men.
Til the ark, when the flood had gien owre,
Cam dunt! on the tap o’ a ben.
An’ the watters rowed back tae the seas,
An’ the seas settled doon an’ were calm.
An’ Noah replenished the earth,
But they’re sayin, he tuik a good dram!
*Whittrocks, an’ foumarts, an’ brocks.
= weasels, and polecats and badgers.
v. To trust, rely or depend on, have confidence in a person to do something. With tae or wi: to entrust something to someone or someone with something. To expect, look for with anticipation, count on, reckon.
Note – badgers saved for posterity, most important.