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Reiver 2 Dainty Davey: What's a curly pow? (230* d) RE: Dainty Davey: What's a curly pow? 17 Nov 04

This thread is really incredible! Reiver 1 and I used to sing a version of this. Lovely melody. I don't remember whose singing we learned it from -- possibly Finbar and Eddie Furey. Reiver 1, though a Liverpudlian by birth was from a Scots family and explained to me that "curly pow" was a reference to a head with curly hair. I always thought that the "dainty" term was just an alliterative expression. I had no idea that in the original the song might have been based on an actual event and real people. I always took it to be just a bawdy ballad. We first learned a badly bowdlerized version which I haven't seen here. Perhaps because it's poorly done (even to the point where Dainty Davie is given as the man's name!):


Once there was a tender maid
She was mistress of her trade
She fell in wi' a roving blade
And his name was Dainty Davie.

CHO: Leeze me on thy curly pow
      Bonnie Davie, dainty Davie
      Leeze me on thy curly pow
      He was her Dainty Davie.

In through the window brought
Weel's the pleasure she might tote
The sweetest kiss she ever got
Was from her Dainty Davie.


Doon amang her faether's leas
E'ee below the cherry trees
There he kissed her as he pleased
He was her Dainty Davie.

CHO: (twa times)

Later we found this, obviously earlier, version which we took to be the original. I think now that it wasn't, but at least it makes more sense than the "expurgated" version above. We Reivers always referred to this version as "Dirty Davie." The girl is speaking in this version. I'll only print the verses as the chorus is the same.


Bein' pressed by the Dragooons
In my bed he was laid doon
Weel, I wat, he was worth his room
My ain dear, dainty Davie

My mither laid him at my back
I trow he lay nae lang at that
But turned and in a verra crack
Produced a dainty Davie.

In the field amang the pease
Behin' the hoose and cherry trees
Again he won atweesh my thies
And, splash, gaed oot his gravy.

Had I gowd or had I land
It should be a' at his command
I'll ne'er forget wha' he pat i' my hand
It was a dainty Davie.

Reiver 2

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