★ Tommy Linn Story :
Tommy Linn is a Scotchman born, His head is bald and his beard is shorn; He has a cap made of a hare skin, An alderman is Tommy Linn.
Tommy Linn has no boots to put on, But two calves’ skins, and the hair it was on. They are open at the side and the water goes in: Unwholesome boots, says Tommy Linn.
Tommy Linn no bridle had to put on, But two mouse’s tails that he put on; Tommy Linn had no saddle to put on, But two urchin skins, and them he put on.
Tommy Linn’s daughter sat on the stair, Oh, dear father, gin I be not fair? The stairs they broke, and she fell in, You’re fair enough now, says Tommy Linn.
Tommy Linn had no watch to put on, So he scooped out a turnip to make himself one; He caught a cricket, and put it within; It’s my own ticker, says Tommy Linn.
Tommy Linn, his wife, and wife’s mother, They all fell into the fire together; Oh, said the topmost, I’ve got a hot skin: It’s hotter below, says Tommy Linn.
An immense variety of songs and catches relating to Tommy Linn are known throughout the country. The air of Thom of Lyn is one of those mentioned in the Complaynt of Scotland, 1549. See Chambers, p. 192, who gives a Scotch version of the above song. The song itself is quoted in Wager’s play, ‘The longer thou livest the more foole thou art,’ written about the year 1560. Dr. Leyden conjectures that the hero is the same with Tamlene, who is introduced into a well-known fairy ballad published by Sir W. Scott.
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