Cuddle Doon

by Alexander Anderson

The bairnies cuddle doon at nicht
Wi muckle faught and din.
"Oh try an' sleep, ye waukrife rogues,
Your faither's comin' in."
They niver heed a word I speak,
I try tae gie a froon,
But aye I hap' them up an' cry
"Oh, bairnies, cuddle doon!"

Wee Jamie wi' the curly heid,
He aye sleeps next the wa'
Bangs up and cries, "I want a piece!"
The rascal starts them a'.
I rin and fetch them pieces, drinks,
They stop a wee the soun',
Then draw the blankets up an' cry,
"Noo, weanies, cuddle doon."

But ere five minutes gang, wee Rab
Cries oot frae neath the claes,
"Mither, mak' Tam gie ower at aince,
He's kittlin' wi' his taes."
The mischief in that Tam for tricks,
He'd bother half the toon,
But aye I hap them up an' cry,
"Oh, bairnies, cuddle doon!"

At length they hear their faither's fit
An' as he steeks the door,
They turn their faces tae the wa'
An Tam pretends tae snore.
"Hae a' the weans been gude?" he asks,
As he pits aff his shoon.
"The bairnies, John, are in their beds
An' lang since cuddled doon!"

An' just afore we bed oorsel's
We look at oor wee lambs,
Tam has his airm roun' wee Rab's neck
An Rab his airm roun' Tam's.
I lift wee Jamie up the bed
An' as I straik each croon,
I whisper till my heart fills up:
"Oh, bairnies, cuddle doon!"

The bairnies cuddle doon at nicht
Wi' mirth that's dear tae me.
But soon the big warl's cark an' care
Will quaten doon their glee.
Yet come what will to ilka ane,
May He who rules aboon,
Aye whisper, though their pows be bald:
"Oh, bairnies, cuddle doon!"

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Mar 05, 2016
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Primary reader NEW
by: Jeanettr

This lovely poem was in our reading book in primary school in ayrshire 70 years ago and it had a black and white picture on the opposite page. As a wee girl who shared one room with two siblings,a mum and dad and lots of love the poem meant so much and still does. And I understood every word cos that's how we spoke then. Many thanks.

Nov 21, 2015
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Fab to find you again NEW
by: Brenda C

My dad recited this on many occasions great to find it again it brought a tear to my eye and a smile to my face

May 05, 2015
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The Meaning of "aye.
by: Jonathan

Aye can mean both yes and always. I am Scottish and have often heard it as both. For example "Your aye coming late" or '"Are you coming with me?" "Aye"'. There is the answer anonymous.

Dec 19, 2014
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Question about word "aye"
by: Anonymous

Someone in this thread translated the poem to English and seemed to translate "aye" to "yes" but I was under the impression in this Scottish dialect it meant "always" as if its origin was from from changing "always" to get rid of some of the consonants. Does anyone know how Scottish people pronounced it in the past, such as the 1800's and early 1900's?

Apr 08, 2014
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sequals to cuddle doon
by: Awillienonymous

I was born in the same village as Alexander Anderson,and want to tell that there was was two more follow ups to Cuddle Doon. There was Waulen Up (Waken) and The Last o' Cuddle Doon. (Very Sad)

Feb 19, 2013
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Blast from the past
by: William Anderson Herron

I am 75 years old. My mother was an immigrant to the U.S.A. from Scotland. When we were very young, my Mother would recite this poem to us. She loved the Scottish idiom & poetry generally. It really brought me back to read it in its entirety. It made me miss her & my youth. Time marches on.

Jan 28, 2013
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Fabulous!
by: Mary Docherty

My 9 year old daughter wanted to learn a poem for her Scottish poetry competition tonight. She fell in love with 'cuddle doon' as soon as she read it and has learned it in an hour or so! With our 4 children we live in Scotland and still try to keep up traditional Scottish family values. The fight to get them all to bed is still alive and well in our home! If anyone could direct me to the other poems about Tam, Rab and Jamie I would be very grateful x

Jan 27, 2013
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remember poem
by: Rita Colville

I remember family members reciting this poem when I was young.
How many of us parents had trouble getting oor wains tae cuddle doon.
Alexander Anderson was my great,great,great uncle.
I've written poetry but not nearly as good as Him. My uncle also writes poems so it's still in the family.

Jan 22, 2013
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childhood memories (the bes)
by: Anonymous

I learned this poem as a child at Newlands Primary on Glasgow Scotland and still remember it 43 yrs later thanks to Mrs Gibson xx

Nov 10, 2012
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cuddle doon
by: barbara

my mother used to recite this to me and my brotherwhen we were little over 60 years ago. i cudnt remember all the words so glad to read it here. im now expectin my first great grandchild and will certainly recite it to her as it tells such a lovely story.

Nov 01, 2012
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beautiful
by: J Hughes

my mother used to tell us the poem in bed ,we were asleep before she finished it

Nov 01, 2012
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beautiful
by: J Hughes

my mother used to tell us the poem in bed ,we were asleep before she finished it

Nov 01, 2012
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beautiful
by: J Hughes

my mother used to tell us the poem in bed ,we were asleep before she finished it

Sep 10, 2012
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Childhood memories!
by: Senga Dinnie

Shared memories of this poem with my brother but struggled to recall all the words. Great to see the entire poem in print.

Jan 01, 2012
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Comes in Handy
by: Louise Ridley Harris

I learned this poem from my grandmother many years ago as a wee lassie in Douglas. It comes in handy now in the US when I want to prove I once had that wonderful Scottish accent!

Dec 24, 2011
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memories
by: Jim

My dad often recited this poem at family parties, and it still bring a tear to my eye whenever I read it.

Dec 09, 2011
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Looking for a collection containing Bairnies Cuddle Doon
by: Bernadette

Does anyone know of a children's poetry book - I think it was called A Child's Treasury - that contains this poem along with others: Tim; I Remember, I Remember (by Thomas Hood)? I would love to get a copy of this slim book of verse that has influenced me and means a lot to me. The soft cover sleeve I remember was one of a roaring fireside with a rocking chair next to it, and possibly a Christmas tree.

Aug 21, 2011
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Cuddle Doon
by: Karen

Brilliant poem brought back many childhood memories and hogmanay mems as this was a favorite recital of my favorite great aunt.luv and miss you aunty mamie xxx

Aug 08, 2011
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THE BAIRNIES CUDDLE DOON AT NICHT...
by: ALICE LAUDER


This POEM paints a picture of a happy, normal family with loving, caring parents which in its time was usual. Children never thought there was anything different until they grew up into the cark and care of the world. Today family life for some children is not always as happy as for these fortunate children in the poem.
My thanks to Mr Alexander Anderson.

Jul 22, 2011
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MEMORIES.
by: LINDA COULL


THIS BROUGHT BACK LOTS OF MEMORIES AS I WAS TAUGHT THIS POEM AT PRIMARY SCHOOL MANY YEARS AGO. IT WAS GREAT TO SEE ALL THE WORDS AGAIN.

Jul 22, 2011
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THE BAIRNIES.
by: LINDA COULL

THIS BROUGHT BACK LOTS OF MEMORIES AS I WAS TAUGHT THIS AT PRIMARY SCHOOL MANY YEARS AGO. GREAT TO SEE ALL THE WORDS AGAIN.

Jun 03, 2011
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Whit it wis like!
by: Anonymous

If you want tae ken whit it wis like to grow up in Scotland. Read this.

Apr 08, 2011
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cuddle doon
by: sam johnstonAnonymous

My mother was born in Airdrie Scotland where her father was a cobbler. At the outbreak of world war two she was sent to Northern Ireland as her mother had died and her father was called up, from what i know he never returned.
She went on to meet my father and had four children who were all very proud of thier Scottish mum.
My mum recited this poem very often and it brings a tear to my eye as i recall those happy days of my childhood with a mother and father, something that my mum was deprived of.

Feb 22, 2011
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Oh tae be jist 3 or fower again
by: Tam

Ye ken ma late wife could receite this poem frae start tae finish when she was ony fower year auld. Ma sel as yin o' three brithers whae maist times slept a' the gither it brings back fond memories O' times lang since bye.

A for the days and nights of the 1940s-50s lang sin gone.

Tam

Jan 09, 2011
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Love this
by: Jerry

My long gone Great grandmother used to recite us this story as kids in full Scottish dialect One of my fondest memories of her.

Would anyone know the answer to this question another story she used to tell If so please answer

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110108210356AAcYeXj

Jan 04, 2011
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Alexander Anderson
by: Mary Bryden

I have great pleasure in saying that Alexander Anderson was a cousin of my Grandfather, and I myself love poetry also. His works were fantastic, and he has a memorial plaque dedicated to him in his home town of Kirkconnell.

Jan 03, 2011
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Brings back memories
by: Colin

Hi, I remember this from when I was a wee boy and we would have family parties at our grandparents and one of my aunts did this as her party piece, I used to wrap a tartan travel rug around me and wear my gran's woollen tammy, and do" Donald Where's Yir Troosers", great times!

Aug 29, 2010
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SEARCHING FOR A COPY OF THE TREASURY RECITER
by: Anonymous

This is a favourite in our family too, my mother and uncles learned it on their mother's knee in the early 1900s. It was one on many wonderful poems contained in a book which I think was called the Treasury Reciter. Many of the other poems were religious and used to be recited at saturday evening "soiree's. Our family would love to find a copy of this book, which has been lost in the passage of time. Please send details of where you think it may be available to [email protected]

Jun 21, 2010
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Reminds me of Grandad!
by: Susan

When mum and dad went out my Grandad would tuck my brother and I in and recite this poem. I'm so glad to have found it so I can read it to my children. Very happy memories!!

Apr 05, 2010
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all 4 poems of Rab, Tam and little Jimmy.
by: Anonymous

it is the 4th poem in this group that always brings tears to my eyes. When Rab comes home.

The 4 poems takes you through the years, John the father and the 2 other boys have passed away.
The second poem is called Wauken Up, about the Mother attempting to get them up and away to school in the morning.

Mar 28, 2010
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Sweet
by: Alasdair

I have just googled this poem for my Mum,who is 80. My Gran used to read it to her and her siblings. It is such a beautiful poem. The true Scottish version is much better.

Mar 19, 2010
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Wonderful memories
by: Jackie

My dear Mum and Aunt Isobel would say this to myself and brother Tom when we were small.
I have translated as best I can into English!

The Children cuddle down at night
With a little fight and din
Oh try and sleep you wilful rogues
Your fathers coming in
They never heed a word I speak
I try to give a frown
But then yes I shout
Oh children cuddle down

Little Jamie with the curlie hair
Always sleeps near the wall
Jumps up and shouts I want a sandwich
The rascal starts them all
I run and get them sandwiches, drinks
To try and stop the sound
Then pull their blankets up and shout
Now children, cuddle down

But only five minutes pass, little Rob
Calls out from beneath the clothes
Oh mother make Tom get over at once
He’s tickling my toes
The mischief in that Tom for tricks
He’d bother half the town
But then yes I shout
Oh children cuddle down

At length they hear their fathers feet
As he comes through the door
They turn their faces to the wall
And Tom pretends to snore
Have all the children been good he asks
As he takes of his shoes
The children John, are in their beds
And long since cuddled down

And just before we bed ourselves
We look at our little lambs
Tom has his arm round little Robs neck
And Rob has his arm round Toms
I lift little Jamie up the bed
And as I stroke each crown
I whisper till my heart fills up
Oh children, cuddle down

The children cuddle down at night
With feeling dear to me
But soon the big worlds problems
Will quieten down their glee
Yet come what will to one and all
May he who rules above
Always whisper, though they may not hear
Oh children cuddle down




Mar 16, 2010
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Happy memories!
by: Torquil

We learnt this poem when I was a five-year-old at Gair School, Waterbeck, Dumfriesshire, Scotland in the early 1950s. Mrs. Lauder was the (only) teacher. I have long remembered odd lines of it but not until tonight had I thought to Google it to be reminded of the complete version. Wonderful!! What happy memories it evokes and I am so pleased that I can now recite it to my children.

Dec 25, 2009
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Small world, big hearts.
by: Rachel

We're celebrating Christmas today with family in South Carolina, when my beloved Nicki suggested we read this poem to our nephews before they were put to bed after a full day of family fun and celebrating. I texted my sister for the author, and googled the title. I read over the poem, and then read the comments... written by my sister, Ginny, whose experiences with Cuddle Doon are mine as well. I'll enjoy sharing it with my extended family here tonight! :-)

Nov 04, 2009
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Beautiful textures of life
by: Ginny, U.S.A.

This poem has become a favorite of mine! I first heard of it four years ago around a firepit outside Kansas City. My cousin's daughter proposed someone read it, as her grandfather had many times when putting them to bed. I tried to read it, feeling I was somehow missing the mark; but afterwards I did some research to learn all those "different" words and what they meant . . . lo and behold, to find a touching account of the common elements of life worldwide in a loving home when it's bedtime for the children. I have since committed it to memory and will enjoy it once again this weekend around that same campfire with beloved relatives, Mom @ 95, Aunt Winnie @ 93 and cousins galore, including our newest arrival from China to his home in America. Thank you, Alexander Anderson!

Aug 07, 2009
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Memory Days
by: highland fling

My mother who will be 80 yrs old soon has fond memories of this poem. She would recite it to my sister and me while cuddling up to us in our bed. These old poems were our "bedtime stories".

Mar 25, 2009
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Help, Please Translate!
by: DeeAnonymous

This is such a sweet poem, but I would get a lot more pleasure from it if someone would explain some of the words! HELP!

Mar 01, 2009
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hi
by: Anonymous

there is one or two spelling mistakes but u got most of it right. It's a brill poem my mum cries at it all the time!!

Dec 29, 2008
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What does it mean ?
by: Anonymous

I like the poem and get the jist of it but is there somewhere that explains all the words ? I have a three year old and need to explain.

Dec 18, 2008
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memories
by: Cas

My mum used to recite this poem to my sister and I when we were wee - 60 years ago - it brings a tear to my eye every time I read it . I've tried to recite it myself but can never do it as well as she did.

Sep 10, 2008
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Words linger on after all--the mighty pen.
by: Robert McConnell

How fond a memory this poem is to me. 50 years ago at Kirkwood Primary School, I learnt the lines off by heart. Never forgotten. So thank you teachers for such a memorable experience. To think that all those years later, it can be brought to life by digits and a keyboard.

Sep 13, 2007
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thats lovely
by: Susan

brings out the maternal glow... a wee bit like John's gaelic coffee!

Sep 13, 2007
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Warm and cosy
by: Edwyn

This poem is delightful, full of Scottish warmth and humour. Thank you

Sep 13, 2007
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I LOVE it!
by: May

What a wonderful poem to tuck the bairns (children) in the beds at night. Like many Scottish poems, there might be a some parts that are hard for some folk to understand. But I just LOVE it.

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