There was a wee cooper that lived in Fife,
Nickety nackety noo, noo, noo
And he has gotten a gentle wife.
Hey, Willie Wallocks, how John Dougal;
Alane qou' Rushity roue, roue, roue.
She wadna bake, nor she wadna brew,
For the spoilin o'her comely hue.
She wadna card, she wadna spin,
For the saming o'her gentle kin.
She wadna wash, nor she wadna wring,
For the spoiling o'her gowden ring.
The cooper's awa' to his woo' pack,
And he's laid a sheep skin on his wife's back.
It's, I'll no thrash ye for your proud kin,
Bit I will thrash my ain sheep skin.'
'Oh, I will bake and I will brew,
And never mair think on my comely hue.
'Oh, I will card and I will spin,
And never mair think on my gentle kin.
'Oh, I will wash and I will wring,
And never mair think on my gowden ring.'
A'ye wha hae gotten a gentle wife,
Send ye for the wee cooper o' Fife.
Everyman's Book Of Brittish Ballads - Roy Palmer
According to his notes, Palmer took his example from Bronson. It was noted by James B. Duncan from a Mrs. Margaret Gillespie of Glasgow, in 1905; she had learned it from her father. (Greig-Duncan collection, vol.7 pp. 30-33).
(Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six