Campfire Songs Part 1: The Portree Kid

The first in a series of my favourite campfire songs that I sung when I was at Scouts, this is the songs about the Portree Kid.

Bill Hill (Chapell Publishing) (Tune: "Ghost Riders in the Sky")

A man came ridin' oot the west one wild and stormy day
He was quiet, lean and hungry; his eyes were smoky grey
He was lean across the hurdies, but his shoulders they were big
The terror of the Hieland glens; that was the Portree Kid!

CHORUS: Hiederum ho! Hiederum hey! The Tcheuchter that cam' frae Skye!

His sidekick was an alderman, and oh, but he was mean!
He was called the Midnight Plowboy, and he come frae Aberdeen
He had twenty-seven notches on his crommach, so they say,
And he killed a million Indians wae up by Storna way!

Portree booted in the door, he sauntered tae the bar
He poured a shot o'Crabbies, he shouted "Slainte Mhor!"
While Midnight was being chatted up by a bar-room girl called Pam
Who said "Well, howdy stranger! Would you buy us a babycham?"

Now over in the corner sat three men frae Auchtertule
They were playing games for money, in a "Snakes and Ladders" school
The fourth man was a southerner, who'd come up from McMarry
He'd been a river gambler on the Balahoolish Ferry!

Portree walked to the table and he shouted "Shake me in!"
He shuggled on the egg-cup; he gave the dice a spin,
He threw seven sixes in a row, and the game was nearly done
But then he landed on a snake, and finished on square one!

The game was nearly over, and Portree was daein' fine
He had landed on a ladder; he was up tae forty-nine
He only had but one to go, and the other man was beat
But the gambler couped the board, and he shouted "You're a cheat!"

Men dived behind the rubber plants t'try and save their skins
The accordionist stopped playing; his sidekick dropped the spoons!
He said "I think it's funny you've been up that ladder twice,
And do y'always dunt the table when I go t'throw my dice?"

The gambler drew his skean dhu as fast as lightening speed
Portree grabbed a screw-top; he cracked him o'er the heid
Then he gave him laldie wi' a salmon off the wall
And he finished off the buisness wi' his lucky grouse-foot's claw!

Portree he walked up tae the bar, he says "I'll hae a half!
And ya like the way I stuck it on that wee McMarry yaf?"
But the southerner crept up behind, his features wracked wi' pain
And he gobbed him wi' an ashtray made oot of a curlin' stane!

The fight went ragin' on all night til openin' time next day
Wi' a break for "soup and stovies" off a Coronation tray
It was gettin' kind of obvious that neither man would win
When came the shout that stopped it all: "There's a bus-trip comin' in!"

They sing this song in Gallowshiels, and up by Peterheid
Way down o'er the Border, across the Rio Tweed
About what became of Portree, Midnight and the gamblin' man:
They opened up a gift shop, sellin' fresh-air-in-a-can!