“The Tinkler's Waddin (The Tinker's Wedding)”

Author: William Watt
Earliest date: 1904 (Ford); reportedly published 1835
Keywords: marriage wedding fight drink party humorous tinker Gypsy
Found in: Britain(Scotland)


Amid drink and celebration, bridegroom Norman Scott is wed for the fourth time (no mention of divorce or widowerhood), to fortune-teller Meg McNeil; a cheerful brawl ensues


The work "tinker" in Britain is applied both to workers in tin (i.e., menders of pots and kettles) and "travellers," or Gypsies. In many songs, including this, it's ambiguous which is meant -- but since many or most of the travelling tinkers *were* Gypsies, it barely matters. - PJS

According to Kennedy, William Watt was born in 1792, and also wrote "Kate Dalrymple," as well as a version of "The Peddlar." The tune used is reportedly identical to "Rothesay-O," though it is not entirely clear which came first. - RBW

Cross references




  1. Ford-Vagabond, pp. 1-4, "The Tinkler's Waddin'" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #5408
  3. BI, RcTTWttw