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Origins: Katie Bairdie/Katie Beardie/Kitty Beardie

DigiTrad:
KATIE BEARDIE


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Katie Bairdie (#1657a from the Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection)
Katie Beardie (2)


xenia@homestead.org 27 Jun 97 - 03:18 AM
Susan of DT 28 Jun 97 - 08:35 AM
28 Jun 97 - 09:09 PM
Murray 29 Jun 97 - 03:13 AM
Susan of DT 29 Jun 97 - 07:40 AM
Rick 01 Jul 97 - 04:24 AM
xenia@homestead.org 08 Jul 97 - 05:37 PM
Joe Offer 28 May 10 - 12:13 AM
Joe Offer 28 May 10 - 12:39 AM
Joe Offer 28 May 10 - 12:48 AM
Jack Campin 28 May 10 - 06:04 AM
Joe Offer 28 May 10 - 02:08 PM
goatfell 29 May 10 - 05:06 AM
Jim Dixon 01 Jun 10 - 11:29 PM
GUEST 29 Jun 11 - 02:47 PM
Jack Campin 29 Jun 11 - 03:34 PM
GUEST,Ewan McVicar 30 Jun 11 - 03:08 AM
GUEST,Ewan McVicar 30 Jun 11 - 03:19 AM
doc.tom 30 Jun 11 - 05:39 AM
GUEST,Ewan McVicar 30 Jun 11 - 06:15 AM
doc.tom 30 Jun 11 - 11:47 AM
Jim McLean 01 Jul 11 - 08:13 AM
Joe Offer 14 Nov 22 - 05:34 PM
GUEST,Don Meixner 18 Nov 22 - 12:58 AM
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Subject: Lyrics to "Kaitie Bairdie?"
From: xenia@homestead.org
Date: 27 Jun 97 - 03:18 AM

Also, does anyone one the lyrics to the old Irish children's ditty "Kaitie Bairdie"? I only know the first verse, as given in the Clark's Tinwistle Guide:

"Kaitie Bairdie had a coo (cow),/ All black and white about the moo (mouth),/ Wasn't that a dainty coo?/ Dance, Kaitie Bairdie!"

The book says that there a verses about a black cat and other animals, but didn't bother to quote them. :(

Thanks! Xenia (http://www.homestead.org)


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to
From: Susan of DT
Date: 28 Jun 97 - 08:35 AM

Jean Redpath does a mouthmusic series that starts with Kitty Bairdie. I was sure I had entered it into the database, but I guess not. I will look for it. It has only one Kitty Bairdie verse and goes on to other things, so it may not be the one you are looking for.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to
From:
Date: 28 Jun 97 - 09:09 PM


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to
From: Murray
Date: 29 Jun 97 - 03:13 AM

Here's my version--it is a Scots ditty by the way, or at least I've always thought so. I thought I'd given this to the DT but evidently only the footnotes or something. Anyhow:

There are several versions actually, e.g. this from Robert Chambers' Popular Rhymes of Scotland (1847): Katie Beardie had a coo,

Black and white about the mou';

Wasna that a dentie coo?

Dance, Katie Beardie!

Similarly: ... a hen, Cackled but and cackled ben;

... a cock, That could spin backin' rock;

...a grice [= a young pig], It could skate upon the ice.

Robert Ford in his Children's Rhymes has a cock "That could spin a gude tow rock" and a 5th verse, "Katie Beardie had a wean That was a' her lovin' ain" etc. This last has a variant in Norman Buchan's good little book 101 Scottish Songs (1962), "Katie Beardie had a wean, Widna play when it cam' on rain" etc. Yet another version from Aberdeenshire: Dolly Bairdie haed a coo, Black an' white about the mou, Wasna she a dainty coo-- Dance, Dolly Bairdie.

Similarly: ... a cat, She could tak' baith mouse and rat

... a hen, She could lay baith but an' ben

... a cock, An' he could spin at the hard or rock

... a wife, She could use baith fork an' knife.

There are two tunes to this; one, "Shirramuir", and the other "Whistle o'er the lave o't".


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to
From: Susan of DT
Date: 29 Jun 97 - 07:40 AM

Thanx Murray - I thought I remembered your having a version of this. I am still chewing on your bairn songs - we put in 20 or so each edition.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to
From: Rick
Date: 01 Jul 97 - 04:24 AM

For a recording of this and many other traditional and composed children's songs from Scotland, look for recordings by The Singing Kettle. The first two or three recordings are almost entirely traditional.

Singing Kettle, incidentally, are Cilla Fisher and Archie Trezise, who had a career on the British folk scene before becoming some of the best children's entertainers around.

Rick.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to
From: xenia@homestead.org
Date: 08 Jul 97 - 05:37 PM

Thanks both of y'all for your help! :)

Xenia


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Katie Bairdie / Katie Beardie
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 May 10 - 12:13 AM

Sorcha posted an ABC tune in another thread, but didn't indicate where she got the tune.

Thread #23672   Message #266247
Posted By: Sorcha
27-Jul-00 - 11:15 PM
Thread Name: Tune Add: Please Post Tunes Here I
Subject: RE: Tune Add: Please Post Tunes Here I
Tune Add:

http://www.mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=3353&Title=KATIE%20BEARDIE lyrics here, in DT

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=2085#7693 Lyr Req in forum here

X:1
T:Katie Bairdie, also spelled Katie Beardie
L:1/8
M:4/4
Q:1/4=160
K:D
A>B A>G F>G A2| E>F G>F E>F G2|
A>B A>G F>G A2| D2 F<A E2 D2:|>

File name: [ KITBEARD
[ BRODCOW
ane maybe, [ BABOWSTR

There are a lot of notes in the DT regarding these, and this is the "similar to London Bridge" tune, apparently also called "Shirramuir".

(please,let me have done this correctly. I really hope the http come out as http, not as invisible links)

To play or display ABC tunes, try concertina.net

Click to Play


Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on this song

    Katie Bairdie

    DESCRIPTION: "Katie Bairdie had a coo, Black and white about the mou, Wasna that a dainty coo, Dance, Katie Bairdie." "Katie Bairdie had a hen, cackled but and cakled ben...." "Katie Bairdie had a cock...." "Katie Bairdie had a grice...."
    AUTHOR: unknown
    EARLIEST DATE: 1824 (Mactaggart, under the title "Dolly Beardie," according to the Opies)
    KEYWORDS: animal dancing nonballad
    FOUND IN: Britain(England(North),Scotland(Aber))
    REFERENCES (7 citations):
    Greig/Duncan8 1657, "Katie Bairdie" (3 texts, 1 tune)
    Greig-FolkSongInBuchan-FolkSongOfTheNorthEast #154, p. 2, ("Dolly Bairdie hid a coo") (1 text)
    Opie/Opie-OxfordDictionaryOfNurseryRhymes 98, "Charley Warlie had a cow" (3 texts)
    Montgomerie/Montgomerie-ScottishNurseryRhymes 92, "(Katie Beardie had a cow)" (1 text)
    Palmer-FolkSongsCollectedBy-Ralph-VaughanWilliams, #76, "Willy Foster" (1 text, 1 tune)
    DT, KITBEARD
    ADDITIONAL: Robert Chambers, The Popular Rhymes of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1870 ("Digitized by Google")), p. 35, "Katie Beardie"

    Roud #8945
    CROSS-REFERENCES:
    cf. "Whistle Owre the Lave O't" (tune, per Greig/Duncan8)
    NOTES [105 words]: The Opies note various references in pre-nineteenth century sources to a rhyme about "Kette Bairdie" or "Katherine Bairdie," but none of these seem to have an associated text, so I have not cited them. It is possible that they refer to other songs than this. - RBW
    Chambers: "There is tolerable proof that this song dates from at least the beginning of the seventeenth century. 'Katherine Beardie' is the name affixed to an air in a manuscript musical collection which belonged to the Scottish poet, Sir William Mure of Rowallan, and which, there is good reason to believe, was written by him between the years 1612 and 1628." - BS
    Last updated in version 2.5
    File: MSNR092

    Go to the Ballad Search form
    Go to the Ballad Index Song List

    Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
    Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

    The Ballad Index Copyright 2022 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


You'll find this and many others in Popular Rhymes of Scotland. The version posted above has all the verses from "Popular Rhymes," and lots more.


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Subject: ADD Version: Katie Bairdie / Katie Beardie
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 May 10 - 12:39 AM

Here's another version:

KATIE BAIRDIE

Katie Bairdie had a coo,
Black and white aboot the moo,
An' wasna she a dainty coo,
Dance, Katie Bairdie.

Katie Bairdie had a hen,
An' aye as she flew but and ben,
Wasna she a dainty hen,
Dance, Katie Bairdie.

Katie Bairdie had a cock,
Black and white aboot the top,
Wasna that a dainty cock,
Dance, Katie Bairdie.


Singer: Mrs. Margaret Gillespie

#1657a, The Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection, Volume 8, page 193

Click to play

Note that the tune is completely different from Sorcha's.


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Subject: ADD Version: Katie Bairdie / Katie Beardie
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 May 10 - 12:48 AM

One More:

KATIE BAIRDIE

Dolly Bairdie hid a coo,
Black an' white aboot the mou';
Wisna she a dainty coo?
Dance, Dolly Bairdie.

Dolly Bairdie hid a cat,
She could tak' baith moose an' rat;
Wisna she a dainty cat?
Dance, Dolly Bairdie.

Dolly Bairdie hid a hen,
She could lay baith but an' ben;
Wisna she a dainty hen?
Dance, Dolly Bairdie.

Dolly Bairdie hid a cock,
An' he could spin at the hard or rock;
Wisna he a dainty cock?
Dance, Dolly Bairdie.

Dolly Bairdie hid a wife,
She could use baith fork an' knife;
Wisna she a dainty wife?
Dance, Dolly Bairdie.




Singer: F.R. Brown
#1657b, The Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection, Volume 8, page 193

I have to say I have trouble understanding some of these verses. Can somebody explain:

  • She could lay baith but an' ben
  • An' he could spin at the hard or rock


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Katie Bairdie / Katie Beardie
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 May 10 - 06:04 AM

Lay eggs, both inside the house and out
Spin with bare hand or distaff

(I'm guessing the word "hard" is a transmogrification of some local word for hand - a "rock" was originally just a rock tied on the end of a piece of yarn as you were spinning it, then the word got adapted to mean a proper distaff).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Katie Bairdie / Katie Beardie
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 May 10 - 02:08 PM

Thanks, Jack.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Katie Bairdie / Katie Beardie
From: goatfell
Date: 29 May 10 - 05:06 AM

Katie Bairdie's widdin leg
kicked the bairns oot the bed
a' the fleas ran up her leg
dance Katie Bairdie

from the singing of the corries


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Subject: Lyr Req: KATIE BEARDIE (from Chambers, 1847)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 01 Jun 10 - 11:29 PM

From Select Writings of Robert Chambers, Volume 7: Popular Rhymes of Scotland by Robert Chambers (Edinburgh: W. & R. Chambers, 1847), page 193:


KATIE BEARDIE.

Katie Beardie had a coo,
Black and white about the mou';
Wasna that a dentie coo?
Dance, Katie Beardie!

Katie Beardie had a hen,
Cackled but, and cackled ben;
Wasna that a dentie hen?
Dance, Katie Beardie!

Katie Beardie had a cock,
That could spin backin' rock;
Wasna that a dentie cock?
Dance, Katie Beardie!

Katie Beardie had a grice,
It could skate upon the ice;
Wasna that a dentie grice?
Dance, Katie Beardie!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Katie Bairdie / Katie Beardie
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 02:47 PM

I think the tune of Katey Bairdie was a pipe tune before the words we know today were written in the 1840s. I remember this song when all my friends grew up with the singing kettle, and because we play this song as part of our polka set the folks know this song and like it a lot. The tune was an instrumental before the words were added, but lots of kids think that when they hear it they are hearing London Bridge is falling down, and don't know the Scottish tune or words (but many now have the singing kettle).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Katie Bairdie / Katie Beardie
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 03:34 PM

The tune is in the Skene Manuscript of 1625 (tunes for the mandour, a sort of ukulele), under the present name, and the words are referred to in a witch trial record of a few decades earlier. The pipes don't come into it.

I hadn't thought of the connection with "London Bridge is Falling Down". Anybody know how old that is?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Katie Bairdie / Katie Beardie
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar
Date: 30 Jun 11 - 03:08 AM

I have written several pages on aspects of this in my 2007 book Doh Ray Me When Ah Wis Wee. Below is an extract or two.
The two tunes I have found employed for Katie Bairdie are 'Sherrifmuir' [more often on the west side of Scoland] and 'Whistle o'er the lave o't' [more often on the east side].

EXTRACT
Emmerson (p229) tells us that in the Gillespie Manuscript, 1768, categorised under Hornpipes, Jiggs and Reels, item 206 is 'Will You Go To Sheriff Moor'. Donaldson (The Jacobite Song, p108) says that 'Will Ye Go To Sheriffmuir' appears as a song for the first time in Hogg's The Jacobite Relics Of Scotland, (1819-21), and must in Donaldson's opinion be considered Hogg's own work. In view of the earlier evidence for a tune with the 'Sheriffmuir' title it is not unreasonable to accept that Hogg followed the same practice often employed by Robert Burns, of selecting a one verse song to rewrite and expand. In The Songs Of Scotland, 1859, Graham quotes from Hogg's own note upon the song,
The air has long been popular, and I have often heard the first verse of the song sung, perhaps the first two, I am not certain.
But the tune has a Gaelic pedigree older yet.
In one of a series of articles in The Celtic Monthly on The Martial Music Of The Clans, Vol 10, April 1902, p131/2, the writer Fionn states that the song 'Gabhaidh Sinn An Rath Mor', there translated as 'We Will Take the Highway',(though in other music books it is titled 'We Will Take the Good Old Way') belonged to the MacIntyres of Cruachan. But it was appropriated by the Stewarts of Appin 'as early as the 16th Century', and played by them returning from the Battle of Pinkie in 1547. The Gaelic lyrics relate to the Battle of Inverlochy in 1644.
We (the writer) believe this tune was played by the Stewarts at the battle of Sheriffmuir in 1715, and this caused it to be known among the Perthshire Stewarts as the 'Sherra'muir March', and it is interesting to note that a Scotch song ('Will you go to Sherra'muir') is set to the air of this well-known pipe tune.
The Gaelic pipe march has in all nine parts. The first two only are used for 'Sheriffmuir'. Many performances of 'Katie Bairdie' to this tune only use the first strain. But Alison Robertson who attended primary schools in both Glasgow and Edinburgh in the 1950s / 60s recalls singing 'Katie Bairdie' using both strains of Sheriffmuir alternately.
Katie Bairdie is by no means the only Scottish children's song to employ the Sheriffmuir tune. Ones I have found include 'Cat And Mouse', 'Hot Peas and Barley', 'Green Peas and Barley', 'Oats and Beans and Barley', 'Off The Carpet', 'Two And Out', 'Skip The Ladder High High High', 'Glasgow Ships' and others.
But as my Ghanaian friend Kofi Gift Amu Logotse pointed out, if the first strain of the 'Sheriffmuir' tune is converted from 6/8 to 4/4 time, it becomes the tune now universally used for, and known as, 'London Bridge Is Falling Down'.
The attachment of the 'London Bridge' text to the 'Sheriffmuir' tune appears to have occurred approximately 120 years ago. Prior to that time the tune associated with London Bridge was one usually called 'Nancy Dawson'. Christopher North in a article in Blackwood's Magazine, 1821, lists 'London Bridge is broken down' as one of four songs sung by Edinburgh children 'To the favourite tune of 'Nancy Dawson'.'
END OF EXTRACT


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Katie Bairdie / Katie Beardie
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar
Date: 30 Jun 11 - 03:19 AM

Collinson says that Katherine Beardie is the name affixed to an air in the Rowallan MS as well as the Skene MS, and Chambers [1842] tells us more about these.
There's a 1883 arrangment by Charles D'Esteve of a quadrille of children's songs in the Mitchell Library that includes the earliest 4/4 version of the 6/8 Sherrifmuir tune I could find, with the title Broken Bridges. J J Fuld says the first appearance of London Bridge with the modern tune was printed in 1879 in Philadelphia.   
I give transcriptions of various versions of these tunes in my book.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Katie Bairdie / Katie Beardie
From: doc.tom
Date: 30 Jun 11 - 05:39 AM

I remember my father dandling me with Katie Bairdie. He was from Stirling, born 1906.

Katie Beardie had a coo,
It was yellow, black and blue
Wasna that a dainty coo?
Dance, Katie Beardie!

Katie had a hen,
It would lay baith but an' ben
Wasna she a dainty hen?
Dance, Dolly Bairdie.

Katie Bairdie had a cock,
Black and white aboot the top
Wasna that a dainty cock,
Dance, Katie Bairdie.

Katie Bairdie's wooden leg
Kicked the bairns oot o' bed
A' the fleas ran up her leg
Dance, Katie Bairdie

TomB


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Katie Bairdie / Katie Beardie
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar
Date: 30 Jun 11 - 06:15 AM

But what tune did he sing. Tom?
'Will ye gang tae sherrifmuir' or 'Whistle o'er the lave o't'?
First one begins
soh soh soh fah me fah soh [or G G G F E F G]
Second one begins
doh lah soh lah doh ray me [or C a g a C D E]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Katie Bairdie / Katie Beardie
From: doc.tom
Date: 30 Jun 11 - 11:47 AM

Hi Ewan
He sang the 'gang to sherrifmuir' tune
TomB


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Katie Bairdie / Katie Beardie
From: Jim McLean
Date: 01 Jul 11 - 08:13 AM

Sometimes whwn I think of Katie Bairdie, the second part of pipe tune Sean Trews comes to mind. It is usually played for highland dancing. I used to play it for sword dancers.
Seann Triubhs


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Subject: Lyr ADD: Katie Bairdie
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Nov 22 - 05:34 PM

I found this here (click)


KATIE BAIRDIE

Tune: Whistle Ower The Lave O’t

Katie Bairdie had a coo
Black and white aboot the moo
Wisn't that a dainty coo?
Dance Katie Bairdie

Katie Bairdie had a hen
Toddled but and toddled ben
Wisn't that a dainty hen?
Dance Katie Bairdie

Katie Bairdie had a pig
It could dance the Irish jig
Wisn't that a funny pig?
Dance Katie Bairdie

Katie Bairdie had a wean
Widnae play oot in the rain
Wisn't that a clever wean?
Dance Katie Bairdie

Hey Jenny, cock-a-lee
Come tae bed and cuddle me
I'll gie you a cup o tea
Tae keep your belly waarm

Toorl-oorl, oorl-ey
Fal-de, ree-dl, al-de day
She's as sweet as honey dew
The lass o Killicrankie

Noo I'm getting auld and frail
Like a dug wi half a tail
O'er the heid o Jean McPhail
The lass that stole ma hankie

Hey Jenny, cock-a-lee
Come tae bed and cuddle me
I'll gie you a cup o tea
Tae keep your belly waarm


Words:
But and ben: the outer room and the inner ‘good’ room of a two-roomed house
Coo: cow
Dainty : pleasant, nice, thriving
Wean: child
Widnae: wouldn’t

This well-known children’s rhyme with all its menagerie has been around a long time and lends itself to favourite verses from elsewhere floating in and out, eg our last four.

But there are signs that adults too were once involved. In Doh Ray Me When Ah Wis Wee: Scots children’s songs and rhymes, Ewan McVicar quotes the collector Mactaggart in 1824: “In Galloway now slumbers a singular old song and dance, called Dolly Beardy.”  This is the first of Mactaggart’s 8 verses:
Dolly Beardy was a lass/ Deil the like o’r on the grass,/ Her lad was but a moidert ass,/Hey, Dolly Beardy.

The Opies in The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes say there is “tolerable proof that this song is more than three centuries old. Katherine Bairdie is one of the tunes given ‘for kissing, for clapping, for loving, for proving’ in a manuscript …. believed to have been written not later than 1628.”
After other suggestions of it being a popular dance, they add: “When it was first given into children’s keeping is uncertain, but William Dauney, born in 1800, said ‘Kitty Bairdie’ is the heroine of a nursery rhyme in the recollection of most people.”

Ewan McVicar quotes several other verses where Katie had a grice, a cock and a cat but also different names eg:
Katie Beardie had a cat/ That could eat baith moose and rat/ Wasna that a daintie cat?/ Dance Katie Beardie

He points out that “she seems to have had another cat, of rather less athletic habits:
Dally Bairdy had a cat/ That aye aboot the ingle sat/ She was sleekit plump an fat/ Canty Dally Bairdie”

Dally, in that verse and the next turns out to be the name of a chap, Adolphus:
Dolly Bairdie hid a wife/ She could use baith fork an knife/ Wisna she a dainty wife?/ Dance, Dolly Bairdie

Children’s imagination still finds fun with Katie Bairdie. McVicar quotes a 1961 Scottish version from Paisley:
Jeannie Bairdie had a wean/ Somebudy hit it wi a stane/ The doactur said it wuz a shame/ Dance Jeannie Bairdie

And in 1991 a Glasgow child made his own sense of “coo”:
Kitty Birdie had a canoe/ It was yellow, black and blue/ Open your legs and let it through/ Dance Kitty Birdie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Katie Bairdie/Katie Beardie/Kitty Beardie
From: GUEST,Don Meixner
Date: 18 Nov 22 - 12:58 AM

The Corries had verse.

Katie Bairdies wooden leg
Kicked the bairns oot o' bed
All the fleas ran up her leg
Dance Katie Bairdie.

The only place I ever heard that verse.

Don


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