Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafebrownie

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Lyr Req: The Ball of Kerriemuir / ...Ballynore

DigiTrad:
GATHERING OF THE CLANS (continued)
THE BALL OF KERRIEMUIR (BALLYNORE)


Related threads:
If you don't get f** by saturday night./Kirriemuir (9)
Lyr/Chords Req: The Ball of Kirriemuir (27)
Lyr Req: If you cannot get laid in the SCA... (33)
Lyr Add: Gathering of the Clan (5)
Four an' twenty virgins (8)
Lyr Add: The Ball of Ballynore (3)


jay@widomaker.com 26 Oct 97 - 09:13 PM
Bruce 27 Oct 97 - 11:01 AM
Bill D 27 Oct 97 - 11:14 AM
rechal 27 Oct 97 - 11:45 AM
John Nolan 27 Oct 97 - 06:46 PM
Frank in the swamps 27 Oct 97 - 08:42 PM
Murray 27 Oct 97 - 09:14 PM
Murray 28 Oct 97 - 03:36 AM
John Nolan 29 Oct 97 - 12:41 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:



Subject: Looking for a Scottish song
From: jay@widomaker.com
Date: 26 Oct 97 - 09:13 PM

I'm looking for a Scottish song my late friend Angus used to sing. All I remember are the lines "there was firkin' in the haystack/ and firkin' in the oats/ and we were all firkin' women/ but the laird's son was firkin' goats" and the chorus which ran something like "an' he sing 'what'll do ya lass, tonight/ what'll do ya noo?/ the man who do ya last night, he canna do ya noo." I'd appreciate any help you all can give me. Jay


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Looking for a Scottish song
From: Bruce
Date: 27 Oct 97 - 11:01 AM

In DT as "Ball of Kerriemuir"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Looking for a Scottish song
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Oct 97 - 11:14 AM

and there are many versions around with many verses...this one just cries out for creative additions..*wink*


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Looking for a Scottish song
From: rechal
Date: 27 Oct 97 - 11:45 AM

Also try the Ballad of Ballynoor. I believe Oscar Brand used to sing this. My favorite verse is:

The Queen was in the parlor

Eatin' bread and honey

The King was in the chambermaid

And she was in the money.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Looking for a Scottish song
From: John Nolan
Date: 27 Oct 97 - 06:46 PM

Some verses of The Ball of Kirriemuir arguably have minor literary merit, if you subscribe to the Merry Muses of Caledonia school of thought. Burns reputedly contributed the closing verse:
Big Rab the fairmer cursed and swore,
And then he roared and grat,
A forty-acre field o'corn
Was nearly f---éd flat.
(Rye humor, perhaps?)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Looking for a Scottish song
From: Frank in the swamps
Date: 27 Oct 97 - 08:42 PM

rechal,

That verse reminded me of one from "Hot corn, cold corn" by The Holy Modal Rounders.

Preacher's in the pulpit,

Countin' up his money,

Kid's are in the out house, Eatin' bread & honey.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Looking for a Scottish song
From: Murray
Date: 27 Oct 97 - 09:14 PM

This is the notorious Ball o' Kirriemair (as I pronounce it). It's in the database, as The Ball of Kerrymuir I think, or Ballynure, both of which titles are inaccurate. That text though is a bit of a mishmash, with lots of stanzas from all over, old, new, etc. This is a real folksong, but has never been properly studied as such because it is outrageously obscene. A few texts have been published, though, of various levels of expurgation.

E.G.: "The Ball o' Kirriemeer" (begins "Oh the ball, the ball, the ball o' Kirriemeer"), in Kerr's Cornkisters (c. 1950), p. 40 (+ music). 11x2 lines + chorus ("Singin' fa'll dae it this time" etc.). Words collected, and trad. melody arranged and adapted, by RobertWilson. Expurgated.]

The tune is that used for a 19th-century song, "Castles in the Air", which is a variant of the 18th-century "Bonny Jean of Aberdeen". For documentation of the Ball, its historical basis, and some verses, see James Barke's essay "Pornography and Bawdry in Literature and Society" prefixed to "The Merry Muses of Caledonia" (1959 & later; 1964, 32 ff.). Cf. G. Legman, "Horn Book" (1964), 172, quoting a text from a bawdy anthology,"Forbidden Fruit", but with wrong estimate of date, and 423, with early congeners + 2 lines from the beginning of the text. On disc, we have it sung by Arthur Argo, *The Wee Thread o' Blue*, slightly expurgated.

A corrupt text (+ m.) in Vicarion, "Bawdy Ballads" (1957).

A much anglicised text, "The Ball of Kerrymuir", in Green, "Why Was He Born So Beautiful" (1967), 34: 43 stanzas ("Balls to your partner", etc.)Asterisk-expurgated. Includes 2 "Four and twenties", 33 personnel, 5 places, 2 concluding stanzas. St. 1: "Oh the Ball, the Ball of Kerrymuir, Where your wife and my wife, Were a-doing on the floor."

An American copy in Brand, "Bawdy Songs and Backroom Ballads" (1960): "The Ball of Ballynoor", 8 st. + chorus, rewritten as usual with Brand to suit the editor's public. His version of the chorus is "Who do you last night? Who do you noo? The one who do you last night, He canna do you noo", presumably a lamentable stab at Scots dialect. Another American version ("The Ball of Kirriemuir") in Ed Cray, "The Erotic Muse" (1969), 34 (tune very close). 19x4 lines + cho. St.1: "'Twas the gathering o' the clans, And all the Scots were there, A-skirlin' on their bagpipes, And strokin' pussy hair." Cho.: "Singing, 'Who hae ye, lassie, Who hae ye noo? The ane that had ye last time He canna hae ye noo'." [!] See Cray's notes, 153-5. This is a conflated version made from 2 copies. In the 2nd ed. (1992), we get two separate versions, with tune, and a good note (p. 95ff.). Cray, being a real scholar, hasn't interfered with these texts.

There is another tune, used particularly in the North-East of Scotland [the scene of the orgy], which is the vehicle of the folk version of the ballad "The Battle of Harlaw".

I haven't seen that verse about the goats before; it's very good. It may of course have been composed by your friend himself.As Legman says, "it is very much to be doubted whether any male Scot alive today, above the age of twelve, has not at least once heard 'The Ball o' Kirriemuir' sung, and joined in *at least* on the chorus. It is also a positive fact that numerous cultivated persons in Scotland today would consider their lives incomplete if they did not manage to add at least one" utterly scrofulous stanza to the ever-growing saga. [I've done this myself, I must admit.] Also, the word *firkin* in your quotation would seem to be your friend's playful bowdlerisation of the original forthright *fucking*--although again a respected philologist (Shipley) would derive the latter from the former [not proven, however].


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Looking for a Scottish song
From: Murray
Date: 28 Oct 97 - 03:36 AM

P.S.--John, Burns has nothing to do with it. That stanza about Rab the farmer may be the last verse in a version, but it isn't *the* last, and can't be by Burns either, not if the text as we have it originates in the 1880s at least. Barke quotes it in his essay, but makes no claim that it's by the Bard. It is traditional, however--I picked up a variant in Vancouver many years ago. The Oscar Brand verse properly belongs in a parody of the nursery rhyme "Sing a Song of Sixpence", surely. I also find it stylistically not in keeping with the rest of the song. But that [he said tolerantly] may be just me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Looking for a Scottish song
From: John Nolan
Date: 29 Oct 97 - 12:41 AM

An excellent post, Murray! I had no idea that someone would devote their life to such a thorough research of this song. You are invited to my next party.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 21 September 5:14 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.