Played by his great-great-grandson Dave Edwards – first public performance of this piece, at Dragon Inn, Featherston, NZ, 6 Feb 2019
HERE’S A HEALTH TO MY CRONIES.
HERE’S a health to my cronies where’er they reside, Whether this side or that o’ yon big rowin’ tide ; I care na what country or kingdom they claim, Be they English or Irish to me it’s the same, Gif their hearts to a glass o’ gude whisky incline, I instantly class them as “Cronies o’ mine.”
Awa wi’ yon nabob purse-proud o’ his gear, Neither he nor his wealth hae charms for us here; Awa wi’ yon fop wi’ his clear headed cane, A bit trip through the warld, it’s use may explain; But welcome my cronies wherever ye be, To join in this gude reekin’ bumper wi’ me.
A ﬁg for the wealth that this warld can gie, We naething brought here, sae we’ve naething to lea; The farmer wi’ ousen an’ acres galore, Has his crosses just now, an’ may sune count on more; Then come here, my cronies, let’s kick awa care, As lang’s we’ve a groat or a shilling to spare.
Poem by John Collie (1834-1893),
from his book Poems and Lyrics in the English and Scotch Dialects, published in Scotland in 1856
John Collie emigrated to New Zealand in 1858. This poem seems to anticipate his leaving Scotland forever, to start a new life in a new country on the opposite side of the world.