The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #57991   Message #3640147
Posted By: GUEST,leeneia
08-Jul-14 - 10:25 AM
Thread Name: Origins: rathlin bog / Rattlin' Bog / Rattling Bog
Subject: RE: Origins: rathlin bog / Rattlin' Bog / Rattling Bog
I agree with you, Jack.

This thread has got me to thinking about words which end in 'ing' and have little real meaning. Instead, they are used in traditional ways to express either approval or disapproval. Examples:

a brand *spanking-new automobile
a *bouncing baby boy (who might be too little even to raise his head)
a *corking great festival


a *bleeding great rhinoceros head a-mounted on a board!
a huge, *hulking, ugly yacht

and of course, the working man's all-purpose adjective, f*cking.
To me, the interesting thing about 'The Rattling Bog' is that it's a song for teaching. We sing it with children, and we are not only having fun and passing the time, we are teaching them language and order (from big to small) and memory skills.

Those are probably the reasons why the song is widespread and has lasted so long.