Updated: 25 February, 2019


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1st Meal Call NCOs Mess - Brose and Butter

The tune Brose and Butter is 17th century, reputedly a favourite air of Charles II in his exile (see, Ford, Song Histories [1900], 189-90). It seems to be published first in Scotland in Robert Bremner's Collection of Scots Reels IV (1758), 32 (Glen, SDM). Although not in every collection, it is well known to pipers, and a Northumberland set is called The Peacock Follows the Hen (in e.g. John Peacock, Favourite Collection of Tunes, c. 1800; and with its words, in Bruce and Stokoe [1882], 152, the alternative title being Cuddle me, Cuddy; the authors got the words from Bell, Rhymes of Northern Bards [1812], 322). (see Chappell, PMOT II.603-4; Wooldridge's ed., II.74).

The tune was also published in the 1790s by Niel Gow, as a fiddle tune, and first appears as a pipe tune in 1822, in Donald MacDonald's music collection, titled "Uilleam's Calum's Morag" but with the subtitle "Brose and Butter." Angus MacKay's manuscript, from 1825-54, shows it under both names.

This tune is also known as Cuddle Me Cuddy, Mad Moll, The Peacock Followed The Hen, The Peacock Follows The Hen, and Yellow Stockings.

Used at mess dinners for 15 and 5 minute meal calls and to call the Junior NCOs Mess to a meal.

O gie my love brose, lasses;
O gie my love brose' and butter,
For nane in Carrick wi' him
Can gie a cunt its supper.

  1. Jenny sits up i' the laft,
    Jockie wad fain a been at her;
    But there cam a wind out o the west
    Made a' the winnocks to clatter,
  2. The laverock lo'es the grass,
    The paetrick lo'es the stibble:
    And hey, for the gardiner lad,
    To gully awa wi' his dibble!
  3. My daddie sent me to the hill
    To pu' my minnie some heather;
    An drive it in your fill,
    Ye're welcome to the leather.
  4. The Mouse is a merry wee beast,
    The Moudiewart wants the een;
    And O, for a touch o' the thing
    I had in my nieve yestreen.
  5. We a' were fou yestreen,
    The night shall be its brither;
    And hey, for a roaring pin
    To nail twa wames the gither!