Scots Sangs Fur Schools

Traditional and new Scots songs for use in Scottish schools


Scroll down to find song lyrics about how to speak in school, and school happenings, including Is a Dove A Doo? [the problems of 'speaking proper'], Listen Tae The Teacher [more Scots speaking problems], The School Lum Caught On Fire [adventure on the roof], The School Nativity Play [things that can go wrong do go wrong], and Oor School Space Machine.

 [To see more lyrics made by schools classes about School Life press here.]

 [The music on this page is Is A Dove A Doo  /

  The New Teacher, sung by a Forth Primary class with Ian Walker.





Is a Dove A Doo? [The New Teacher]
Words by Jim Douglas of Fife, a former teacher [?tune by Gifford Lind?] 

Now is a dove a doo Da, is a doo a dove?
Is a cow a coo Da, a sparrow just a speug?
And is a wall a wa Da, is a dog a dug?
She's goin tae box ma ears Da, insteed o skelp ma lug

Noo, oor teacher's awfa posh Da, she changes aw oor names,
Oor Shuggie is now Hugh Da, and Jimmy's ayways James
I'm puzzled wi it aa Da, the way she shoogles words
And I must be glaiket no tae ken that feathered friends are burds

You've taught me aw wrong Da, you call a ball a ba
Yer wife is noo ma mother Da, you said she wus ma maw
It fairly maks me scunnered Da, I'll never pass ma test
And I'm no sure what I'm wearin noo, a semmit or a vest

Now there's twa words for everythin aw shoogled in ma heid
How can I be well bred Da, when ah keep sayin breid?
Now is a crow a craw Da, is a bull a bul?
Ah'm goin' tae try ma hardest Da, ah wull, ah wull, ah wull!


Listen Tae The Teacher

by Nancy Nicolson of Caithness

Tune original

To hear this song press here

He's 5 year auld, he's aff tae school
Fairmer's bairn wi a pencil and a rule
His teacher scoffs when he says "hoose"
"The word is house, you silly little goose"
He tells his ma when he gets back
He saw a mouse in an auld cairt track
His faither laughs fae the stackyard dyke
"Yon's a moose ye daft wee tyke"


Listen tae the teacher, dinna say dinna

Listen tae the teacher, dinna say hoose
Listen tae the teacher, ye canna say maunna
Listen tae the teacher, ye maunna say moose

He bit his lip an shut his mooth

Which one could he trust for truth
He took his burden o'er the hill
Tae auld grey Geordie o' the mill
"An did they mock thee for thy tongue
Wi them sae auld and you sae young?
They werena makin a fool o' ye
They were makin a fool o' themsels ye see"

"Say hoose tae the faither, house tae the teacher

Moose tae the fairmer, mouse tae the preacher
When yer young it's weel for you
Tae dae in Rome as Romans do
But when ye grow an ye are auld
Ye needna dae as ye are tauld
Don't trim yer tongue tae suit yon dame
That scorns the language o' her hame"

Then teacher thocht that he was fine

He kept in step, he stayed in line
Faither says that he was gran
He spoke his ain tongue like a man
An when he grew and made his choice
He chose his Scots, his native voice
And I charge ye tae dae likewise
Spurn yon pair misguided cries


The School Lum Caught On Fire
Tune Wee Johnnie's Lost His Jaurie
By P6, St Michael's PS, Glasgow East End with Ewan McVicar

The school lum went on fire
The school lum went on fire
The school lum went on fire
Doon in Springfield Road

The jannie tried tae stoap it

He got the red sand bucket

He chucked it up the chimney

But the soot kept on burnin

 He got a bunch of ladders

He climbed up tae the roof

He had tae cover the lum

He took his brand new jacket

He draped it ower the lum

The jacket it caught fire

 Along came the fire engine

They pit oot the fire

 The jannie loast his jacket

But he stopped the school from burnin doon


The School Nativity Play
Written by Gill Bowman and P6/7 Bellyeoman Primary in Dunfermline, Fife in 1998/9. Gill and the class remembered and thought about things that had gone wrong at school nativity plays. Then Gill and the class worked together to write the song. Gill’s work in the school was in 1998/9, and was organised by the New Makars Trust.
To hear this song press here

A wise man opened the curtain too soon
The star in the east fell down with a boom
The innkeeper said "There's plenty of room"
Oh, it all went wrong on the day

A mouse popped out of the manger straw
Mary screamed and ran for the door
Dropped baby Jesus on the floor
In the school nativity play

Oh, the donkey sneezed and the stable fell down,
One of the three Kings broke his crown
Primary two were the talk of the town
In the school nativity play

Joseph's wee brother was violently sick,
He nearly choked on his lolly stick
So I held out Mum's handbag quick
And it all went wrong on the day

A shepherd made a dash for the loo
The rickety platform split in two
It was just a stage we were going through
In the school nativity play

"Fear not!" the teacher cried as the school bell started ringing
Ding dong merrily on high soon drowned out the carol singing

A spotlight fell and I got the blame
Gabriel's wings made a pretty blue flame
And we all went home when the firemen came
To the school nativity play

Jesus loves me this I know, Rev Harkess told me so.


Tune Bee Baw Babbity
Words by Ewan McVicar, in part with Fordoun Primary pupils

Oor school space machine
It’s roon the back an it can’t be seen
But we know it’s purple, yella an green
An made bi a man ca’d Wull

It’s made wi glass an rusty bars
That come frae rusty motor cars
But it’s good enough tae go tae the stars
Wi the man ca’d Wull

It’s awfy ecological
It’s run bi rottin vegtabuls
Ye throw them in in bucketfuls
Hurray fur the man ca’d Wull

Shirley MacCurl the Space Girl
Birls by and gies us a twirl
Cause her machine wis made as well
By the man ca’d Wull

Some fowk say his name is Billy
That’s no right, that’s just silly
We ken better, we ken really
That his name is Wull

Maybe he wis the jannie here
Maybe he’s Santa’s engineer
Whoever he is, gie three cheeers
For the man ca’d Wull

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