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Come, Hielandmen, come Lowlandmen, come ev'ry man on earth, man,
And I'll tell you how I got on atween Dundee and Perth, man.
I gaed upon an iron road, a rail they did it ca' man,
And draggit by an iron horse, an awful beast to draw, man.

Then first and foremost, near the door, there was a wee bit wicket,
It was there they made me pay my ride, and they gave me a ticket.
I went away up through the house, sat down upon a chest, man,
To take a look on all I saw on the great iron beast, man.

There was houses in a long straight row, a-standing up on wheels, man,
And then the chiels that fed the horse were black's a pair of de'ils, man
And ne'er a thing they gave the brute but only coals to eat, man,
He was the queerest beast that e'er I saw for he had wheels for feet, man.

A chap came up and round his cap he wore a yellow band, man.
He bade me go and take my seat, say I, I'd rather stand, man.
He asked if I was going to Perth, says I, and that I be, man,
But I'm well enough just were I am, because I want to see, man.

He said I was the greatest fool that e'er he saw on earth, man,
For 'twas just the houses on the wheels that went from this to Perth, man.
And then he laughed and wondered how I hadnae more discernment.
Say I, the ne'er a ken kent I, I thought the whole concern went.

Then after that we crossed the Tay and landed into Perth, man,
I vow it was the queerest place that e'er I saw on earth, man,
For the houses and the iron horse were far above the land, man,
And how they got them up the stairs I canna understand, man.

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Source: Singing Together, Spring 1976, BBC Publications

Simply identified as 'Scotland'. Also in Greig-Duncan (II, number 291, 364-365; 1 tune, 2 texts). Greig stated (notes, p 567) that " 'The Iron Horse', according to Ford, was written by Charles Balfour, for many years stationmaster at Glencarse between Dundee and Perth. It was first sung in public at a festival of railway servants held in Perth in 1848, and has since then attained wide popularity."

Roud: 5834 (Search Roud index at VWML)

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