The Parish of Dunkeld

Traditional

Audio

This example of "The Parish of Dunkeld" is performed by Andy M. Stewart and Silly Wizard on the album "Live Wizardry" (out of print)
Please refer to Cantaria's Copyright information

Notes: Andy writes about this song: Supposedly a true story, but possibly occurring at Kinkel in Perthshire rather than in Dunkel' (we often drop the d). Finding the regime under the Church and it's "fire and brimstone" minister far too rigid and strict for their tastes, the fun-loving inhabitants of this little Perthshire village got together one day--and hung him! They silenced the church bell and installed a large whisky-still in the church. Thus fortified and with McDonald their piper blasting away from the pulpit, their Sundays were transformed into a series of tremendous Ceilidhs. I set the words to the old Jacobite air "Over the water to Charlie".

You can find music and chords for this song in The Andy M. Stewart Collection Songbook.

Oh, what a parish, a terrible parish; 
Oh, what a parish is that o' Dunkeld. 
They hangit their minister, droon'd their precentor, 
Dang doun the steeple and fuddled the bell. 

The steeple was doun but the kirk was still staunin', 
They biggit a lum  whaur the bell used to hang. 
A stell-pat they gat and they brewed Hielan' whisky; 
On Sundays they drank it and ranted and sang. 

O, had you but seen how graceful it lookit, 
To see the crammed pews sae socially joined. 
MacDonald the piper stood up in the poopit, 
He made the pipes skirl out the music divine. 

Wi' whiskey and beer they'd curse and they'd swear; 
They'd argue and fecht what ye daurna weel tell. 
Bout Geordie and Charlie they bothered fu' rarely 
Wi' whisky they're worse than the devil himsel'. 

When the hairt-cheerin' spirit had mounted their garret, 
Tae a ball on the green they a' did adjourn. 
The maids wi' coats kilted, they skippit and liltit, 
When tired they shook hands and then hame did return. 

If the kirks a' owre Scotland held like social meetin's 
Nae warnin' ye'd need from a far-tinklin' bell, 
For true love and friends wad draw ye thegither 
Far better than roarin' the horrors o' hell.