Singer's wife is an ale-seller and drunkard. She goes to market with her barrel; all know that he can't keep her out among men. Chorus: "The ale-wife, the drunken wife/The ale-wife she deaves me/My wifie wi' her barrelie/She'll ruin and she'll leave me"
Despite its long history, this song does not seem to have spread outside Aberdeenshire. - PJS