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Lyr/Tune Req: Caller Herrin'

DigiTrad:
CALLER HERRIN'


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Who'll Buy My Herring? (16)
Lyr Add: Three Jolly Fishermen (14)


John Bentley 21 Jan 97 - 11:16 PM
Anne Cormack 25 Jan 97 - 09:37 AM
,dick greenhaus 26 Jan 97 - 07:51 PM
John Bentley 03 Feb 97 - 01:35 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Jun 04 - 11:35 PM
Barry T 20 Jun 04 - 12:17 AM
Big Al Whittle 20 Jun 04 - 05:10 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Jun 04 - 07:22 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Jun 04 - 07:25 AM
Malcolm Douglas 20 Jun 04 - 11:32 AM
jack halyard 20 Jun 04 - 04:46 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Jun 04 - 01:46 PM
Emma B 24 Jun 04 - 02:16 PM
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Subject: Caller Herrin' - Looking for Music and lyrics
From: John Bentley
Date: 21 Jan 97 - 11:16 PM

Heard a song I think called: Caller Herrin' at a folk festival recently.

Does anyone know the the lyrics and music to this song?

JohnBentley@vut.edu.au


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Subject: ADD: Caller Herrin'
From: Anne Cormack
Date: 25 Jan 97 - 09:37 AM

Caller Herrin’


Chorus:
Wha'll buy my caller herrin'?
They're bonnie fish and halesome farin'
Buy my caller herrin' new drawn frae the forth.

V.1
When ye were sleepin' on yer pillows,
Dream'd ye ought o' our puir fellows,
Darkling as they faced the billows,
A' to fill the woven willows
Chorus

V.2
An' when the creel o' herrin' passes,
Ladies clad in silks and laces,
Gather in their braw pelisses,
Cast their heads and screw their faces.
Chorus

V.3
Noo, neebor wives come tent ma tellin',
When the bonnie fish yer sellin',
At ae word be in yer dealin',
Truth will stand when a' things failin',
Buy my caller herrin',
O ye may ca' them vulgar farin',
Wives and mithers, maist despairin',
Ca' them lives o' men,
Caller herrin'
Caller herrin'.


I have the music in an old school song book,
"The Oxford Song Book", Melody Edition Volume I
Edited by Percy C. Buck.

Incidentally, "caller" means fresh

^^^ (added to DT from this post)


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Subject: RE: Caller Herrin' - Looking for Music and lyrics
From: ,dick greenhaus
Date: 26 Jan 97 - 07:51 PM

Hi Anne, and thanx. It's a lovely song, and one that I had forgotten, dick greenhaus


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Subject: RE: Caller Herrin' - Looking for Music and lyrics
From: John Bentley
Date: 03 Feb 97 - 01:35 AM

Thanks Anne, this has really helped in my quest. I'm also investigating some links to the tune.


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Subject: Lyr Add: CALLER HERRIN'
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Jun 04 - 11:35 PM

There are several versions and order of verses in various websites. The one in the DT seems to have been modified from the original text written by Lady Nairne. A version at folkinfo.org is only four verses.

Here is a longer text, perhaps Malcolm Douglas will point out additions or revisions to the original.

Lyr. Add: CALLER HERRIN'

Chorus
Wha'll buy my caller herrin'?
They're bonnie fish and halesome farin',
Wha'll buy my caller herrin',
New drawn frae the Forth?

When ye were sleepin' on your pillows,
Dream'd ye aught o' our puir fellows,
Darkling as they fac'd the billows,
A' to fill the woven willows?

Buy my caller herrin',
New drawn frae the Forth.

Chorus

Wha'll buy my caller herrin'?
They're no brought here without brave darin';
Buy my cller herrin',
Haul'd through wind and rain.

Chorus

Wha'll buy my caller herrin'?
Oh, ye' may ca' them vulgar farin',
Wives and mithers, maist despairin',
Ca' them lives o' men.

Chorus

When the creel o'herrin' passes,
Ladies clad in silks and laces,
Gather in their braw pelisses,
Cast their heads and screw their faces,

Chorus

Caller herrin's no got lightlie;
Ye can trip the spring fu' tightlie;
Spite o' tauntin', flauntin', flingin',
Gow has set you a' a-singing.

Chorus

Neebor wives, now tent my tellin',
When the bonnie fish ye're sellin',
At ae word be in yere dealin'-
Truth will stand when a' thin's fallin',

Chorus

Caller= fresh, Firth of Forth, halesome= wholesome, faring= food (here), creel= basket usually woven from willow, pelisse= mantle, tent= pay attention, Neil Gow set the tune.

Caller Herrin'

Midi:
Caller Herrin' Midi


see www.glasgowguide.co.uk/wjmc/wjmc-c-d.shtml, for c-d index and link to melody (midi).


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Subject: RE: Caller Herrin' - Looking for Music and lyrics
From: Barry T
Date: 20 Jun 04 - 12:17 AM

According to my references it was composed by Nathaniel Gow, Niel's son (1763-1831).

Here's a midi that I sequenced from Nathaniel's arrangement...
http://www.contemplator.com/tunebook/midimusic/callherr.mid


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Subject: RE: Caller Herrin' - Looking for Music and lyrics
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Jun 04 - 05:10 AM

when I was a kid we used to sing that one in Singing together which was a radio prog we all listened to in primary school. everybody sat in desks with a little book from the BBC singing High Germany, Billy Barlow, the Keel Row etc. Piano accompaniment and toffs singing the songs of american Slaves, Geordie miners, jamaican fishermen in strained RP accents - but it gave us the tune.

we learned a lot of folksongs that way. Of course today folk songs aren't part of the national curriculum - except tangentially. Government in the 1950's were more aware that we had a culture worth hanging onto. Perhaps because we came within an ace of losing it if we had lost the war.

As I remember MacColl figured in some of the arrangements. The same sort of idealism that gave us the Radio ballads.


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Subject: RE: Caller Herrin' - Looking for Music and lyrics
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Jun 04 - 07:22 AM

Barry T, your midi is much better than the one I found.


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Subject: RE: Caller Herrin' - Looking for Music and lyrics
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Jun 04 - 07:25 AM

My error- Nathaniel Gow is correct.


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Subject: RE: Caller Herrin' - Looking for Music and lyrics
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 20 Jun 04 - 11:32 AM

Lady Nairne wrote the words, to existing music by Nathaniel, and donated them to him anonymously (few of her lyrics were attributed to her in her lifetime) so that he could publish the song as a fund-raiser; the Gow publishing business was in financial difficulties at the time. It does seem to have turned out to be a useful money-spinner.

The song has been much published since (sometimes in shortened form) but I don't know where the erroneous attribution to Niel (he always spelled his name that way) crept in. The germ of the tune, it appears, was the street-cry of herring sellers.


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Subject: RE: Caller Herrin' - Looking for Music and lyrics
From: jack halyard
Date: 20 Jun 04 - 04:46 PM

For them as is interested, Danny Spooner form Australia sings a superb version of Caller Herrin' and he's performing at the "Hoy at Anchor"- I think at Leigh on sea- in Essex on 29th of June.
Margaret Walters will be at that event too, so there will be some of Australia's best trad folk being sung. Get "Caller Herrin" and "The Farmer's Toast" out of Danny and "Shallow Brown" and "The trees they do grow high" out of Margaret W. They certainly raise goosebumps on me.
                                    Jack Halyard


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Subject: RE: Caller Herrin' - Looking for Music and lyrics
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Jun 04 - 01:46 PM

In the lyrics I posted above, there is a mistake in the last line, last word of the last verse, "Neebor's wives." Substitute failin' for fallin'.

I am still uncertain about Lady Nairn's exact lyrics.

The song has been placed, in shortened version, with music, in the school series, "Music For Living, Book Six, Music Around the World" (see Silver Burdett Permathread). The three verses reproduced are "When ye were sleepin', An' when the creel, Neebor's wives," plus refrain.

The school book has some slight differences (p. 166-167, 1956 ed.) from the lyrics posted above.
The last verse:

Noo, neebor's wives, come, tent my tellin',
When the bonnie fish ye're sellin',
At a word be aye your dealin',
Truth will stand when a' things failin'.

As usual, the music is wrongly credited to "Neil Gow" in the school book. There is a note: "This song was inspired by the mingling of church bells and the cries of fish sellers on the streets of Edinburgh, Scotland."


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Subject: RE: Caller Herrin' - Looking for Music and lyrics
From: Emma B
Date: 24 Jun 04 - 02:16 PM

There is a version attributed to Lady Nairne in "The Songs of Scotland" edtd by Brown and Pitman publishes 1877 which gives slight variations in the words
e.g.
Noo neebor wives, come, tent my tellin'
When the bonnie fish ye're sellin'
At a word be aye your dealin'
Truth will stand when a' things failin'

There is no refernce to Gow in the verses and the song ends on
"Ca' them lives o' men    Caller herrin' Caller herrin'"


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