Edinburgh Toon. (words and music D. Gilfillan)

T’was tae Edinburgh toon frae the heilands that I came

To prosper in business Calum Ross was my name

In a fine house in the Canongate I took myself a room

midst the titled and the gentry of Edinburgh Toon

With a letter of introduction and small amount of gold

It was my about to make my mark I was young and I was bold

I flattered the lady’s and I made fun with the gents

soon my presence was requested to all the fine events

But I tired o’ the gentry being a lad o’ the land 

the dining and the wining it all became so bland

I started roving out to the Cowgate and West Port

Bad behaviour and bad company I started to court

Down in the howff’s there was music there was fun

And I soon became acquainted with the ale and the rum

Midst the frolicking and gambling by fate or just by chance

It was there that we met “how we laughed how we danced”


She riled me she beguiled me she robbed me of my sense

She teased me she pleased me I had no defence

I was lost like a fool I didn’t even care

O that wild gypsy child with the long raven hair

I knew from the first she’d be the ruin of me 

Her form was firm and perfect her hair was wild and free

As I lay down beside her night after night

She drank of my spirit and she took all my fight

Being weakened by the drink being drained of my soul

I was lost in a half world I was out of control

And the money that I squandering was not of my own

It belonged to the Laird it was only a loan

To Mary Kings close for rooming we upped and we went

Fleeing my fine lodgings for fear of the rent 

She taught me all the sleekit ways of show to steal a purse

On the day that I met the girl I was surly cursed

So the thieving an the robbing it soon became our way

We were out about our evil work by night and every day

But we would gamble our spoil if not we’d drink it dry

As we became more desperate as each day went by


So down by the west bow on a dreich wintry night

Was there a drunken merchant came into our sight

We would rob him of his money and things we could exchange

In that moment of madness my life would be changed

Well I hit him to hard that’s easy now to tell

For he staggered fell and died by the old bow well

She snatched his money bag and took off like a Hare

I was wrestled to the Ground and taken then and there

Now I’m rotting away in the old tollbooth cell

In the vile dark and damp with rats straight from hell

Being fed on nothing more than water and some bread

Found guilty of murder I’ll be hung until I’m dead

In my dreams every night I still see her smile

O’ god save the man who meets that devil’s own child

I wish I had stayed amongst the heather and the broom

Far far away from old Edinburgh toon

3 Replies to “Edinburgh Toon. (words and music D. Gilfillan)”

  1. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dave played that song in some kind of tuning from the looks of it.

    All the best,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *