TANNAHILL WEAVERS LYRICS glossary index the old woman's dance tannahill weavers
The Diel's Awa' Wi' the Exciseman
Traditional, arranged by the Tannahill Weavers

It is said that Robert Burns rattled this up in ten minutes.  Any Scot will know this to be true as Burns is known to have rattled up more than songs in less than ten minutes.

A happy lament for the devil who, seeing the world in a sad state of oppression, musically seduces the taxman to dance all the way back to hell by playing an irresistible tune on his violin.

Hence began a tradition which, to this day, is religiously practiced as the inland revenue, never sleeping, is constantly searching for the fiddler.

The pipe tune here is the Old Womans Dance.


The deil cam' fiddlin' through the toon
And he's danced awa' wi' th' exciseman
And ilka wife cries "auld mahoon"
And I wish ye luck wi' your prize man


The deil's awa', the deil's awa', the deil's awa' wi' th' exciseman
He's danced awa', he's danced awa', he's danced awa' wi' th' exciseman

We'll mak' oor maut and we'll brew oor drink
We'll sing and dance and rejoice man
And many braw thanks tae the meikle black deil
That danced awa' wi' th' exciseman


There's threesome reels and there's fowersome reels
And there's hornpipes and strathspeys man
But aye the best dance ever cam' tae the land
Was the deil's awa' wi' th' exciseman




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