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Lyr Req: The Lum Hat Wantin' the Croon

John Nolan 23 Jan 99 - 03:26 PM
Susan of DT 24 Jan 99 - 09:33 PM
John Nolan 25 Jan 99 - 07:54 AM
Susan of DT 25 Jan 99 - 07:18 PM
Murray on Saltspring 28 Jan 99 - 03:06 AM
Murray 28 Jan 99 - 03:10 AM
John Nolan 28 Jan 99 - 08:07 AM
Jon W. 28 Jan 99 - 03:01 PM
John Nolan 28 Jan 99 - 06:44 PM
Susan of DT 28 Jan 99 - 07:54 PM
Murray on Saltspring 30 Jan 99 - 02:17 AM
John Nolan 30 Jan 99 - 10:41 AM
Jim Dixon 24 Aug 17 - 04:31 PM
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Subject: A lum hat wantin' a croon
From: John Nolan
Date: 23 Jan 99 - 03:26 PM

Anybody have all the words of A Lum hat Wantin' a Croon?


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Subject: RE: A lum hat wantin' a croon
From: Susan of DT
Date: 24 Jan 99 - 09:33 PM

It's on Redpath's early record, Skipping Barefoot thru the Heather. If I remember correctly, it was dificult to catch words on that one, so I won't volunteer to try to get them off the record unless you get desperate.


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Subject: RE: A lum hat wantin' a croon
From: John Nolan
Date: 25 Jan 99 - 07:54 AM

Susan of DT: I'd be grateful if you post what you think she's saying. I know at least half of it, and have heard the rest often enough to recognize it if my memory gets jogged. (It's all in my Border dialect.) Then I could repost what is a little known gem.


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Subject: RE: A lum hat wantin' a croon
From: Susan of DT
Date: 25 Jan 99 - 07:18 PM

ok, but it will probably be a few days. And I might find it easier than I remember - that was my first record of Redpath and I have listened to her a lot since.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LUM HAT WANTIN THE CROON (D Rorie)
From: Murray on Saltspring
Date: 28 Jan 99 - 03:06 AM

THE LUM HAT WANTIN THE CROON
[by David Rorie]

1.
The burn was big wi' spate,
An there cam tumblin doun
Tapsalteerie half o a gate
An auld fish-hake, an a great muckle skate,
An a lum hat wantin the croon.

2.
An auld wife stood on the bank
As they gaed swirlin roun,
She took a guid look, and syne says she,
There's food an there's firin gaun tae the sea
An a lum hat wantin the croun.

3.
She gruppet the branch o a saugh,
An she kicket aff ane o her shoon,
And she stuck oot her fit, but it caught i the gate,
An awa she went wi the great muckle skate
An the lum hat wantin the croon.

4.
She floated for mony a mile
Past cottage a village an toun,
She'd an awfu time astride o the gate
Though it seemed to gree fine wi the great muckle skate
An the lum hat wantin' the croon.

5.
A fisher was walkin the deck
By the light o his pipe an the moon,
When he sees an auld body astride o a gate
Come bobbin alang in the waves wi a skate
An a lum hat wantin the croon.

6.
There's a man overboard, cried he.
Ye leear, quo she, I'll droon!
A man on a board? It's a wife on a gate,
It's auld Mistress Mackintosh here wi a skate
An a lum hat wantin the croon.

7.
Was she nippit to daith at the Pole?
Has India bakit her broun?
I canna tell that, but whatever her fate,
I'll wager ye'll find it was shared by a gate
An a lum hat wantin the croon.

8.
There's a moral attached to my sang:
On greed ye should aye gie a froon,
When ye think o the wife that was lost for a gate,
An auld fish hake, an a great muckle skate
An a lum hat wantin the croon.


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Subject: RE: A lum hat wantin' a croon
From: Murray
Date: 28 Jan 99 - 03:10 AM

Sorry--verse 6 lost a line-- should go like this:

There's a man overboard, cried he.
Ye leear, quo she, I'll droon!
A man on a board? It's a wife on a gate,
It's auld Mistress Mackintosh here wi a skate
An a lum hat wantin the croon.

The vocabulary is pretty think with the north-east dialect--if you have any questions, ask.
Cheers Murray


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Subject: RE: A lum hat wantin' a croon
From: John Nolan
Date: 28 Jan 99 - 08:07 AM

Murray: Thanks very much. The only real difference I can remember is in verse two.

An auld wife stood on the bank
As they gaed swooming by
She took a guid look and syne cried she
There's food and there's raiment gaun doon tae the sea
Ans ah'll get them baith if I try, I try
Ah'll get them baith if ah try.

By the way, who was David Rorie?


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Subject: RE: A lum hat wantin' a croon
From: Jon W.
Date: 28 Jan 99 - 03:01 PM

What is a great muckle skate, anyway?


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Subject: RE: A lum hat wantin' a croon
From: John Nolan
Date: 28 Jan 99 - 06:44 PM

A great muckle skate is a great muckle Pandora's box because a skate is a fish of temperate seas. Yet it is associated with an old fish hook in this song. However we are not talking river estuary here, because the skate, like the lady astride of the gate, floated past village and cottage and town. So how did a salt water fish get in the upper reaches of a river? On the other hand a "skate" is a contemptuous term for a stupid or objectionable person, as we gather the floating lady was from her crotchety remark to the fisherman (or sailor in my version). But could not the great muckle skate be a great muckle slidy thing you strap on your foot? No, because there's food and there's raiment gaun doun tae the sea. The raiment is the top hat. The food must be the skate, perhaps with an intentional self-depracatory pun by the song's stupid author.


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Subject: RE: A lum hat wantin' a croon
From: Susan of DT
Date: 28 Jan 99 - 07:54 PM

Thanx Murray, I wasn't looking forward to scribing that off the record.


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Subject: RE: A lum hat wantin' a croon
From: Murray on Saltspring
Date: 30 Jan 99 - 02:17 AM

The fish-hake isn't a hook, it's a frame for drying fish, made of wood, like the gate, hence the reference to "firing", = fuel. The food is the skate; what she was to do with the top hat we can only guess. But the variant verse is interesting--only thing is, it isn't in the pattern of the rest, which I assure you is the "right" version. David Rorie was a bard of the North-East of Scotland, circa 1910 maybe, who wrote several good poems, including "MacFadden and MacPhee", which may be on one of Jean Redpath's records--she certainly used to sing it with gusto, to the (English) tune of "Barbara Allan".


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Subject: RE: A lum hat wantin' a croon
From: John Nolan
Date: 30 Jan 99 - 10:41 AM

Murray - in the version I know, every last line (except the errant verse) finishes with the word Mahoun - meaning the Devil, and then the line is repeated. E.g.
A lum hat wantin' a croon, Mahoun,
A lum hat wantin' a croon.

By the time this song drifted south, "firing" - a word foreign to us Borderers - had become "raiment" and hake (from the low German word for hook) had lost its specific meaning, it seems. Pandora's box, awricht! This song was part of the Border folksinger Eck Elliot's repertoire, playing at shepherds' suppers, kirns and the like, in the '50s and '60s.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Lum Hat Wantin' the Croon
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 24 Aug 17 - 04:31 PM

The entire book The Auld Doctor and Other Poems and Songs in Scots, by David Rorie, M.D. (London: Constable & Company Ltd., 1920), can be downloaded in PDF format here:

https://www.forgottenbooks.com/en/download/TheAuldDoctor_10502298.pdf

THE LUM HAT WANTIN' THE CROON is on page 4.

I think the words are the same as those posted by Murray on Saltspring above, but the punctuation is considerably different (a lot more apostrophes and some quotation marks).


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