Dun Cow, The

DESCRIPTION: "'Tis certain, that the Dun cow's milk, Clothes the prebend's wives all in silk; But this indeed is plain to me, The Dun cow herself is a shame to see.... O'er northern mountain, marsh and moor... Seven years St. Cuthbert's corpse they bore."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1834 (Sharp)
KEYWORDS: nonballad animal religious
REFERENCES (1 citation):
ADDITIONAL: [Cuthbert Sharp], _The Bishopric Garland, A Collection of Legends, Songs, Ballads, &c Belonging to the County of Durham_, 1834 (references are to the 1969 reprint), p. 30, "The Dun Cow" (1 short text)
NOTES [79 words]: I have no real evidence that this is a traditional song, but it it probably a traditional rhyme -- the reference to St. Cuthbert, who died in 687, makes that highly likely; he was the de facto patron saint of Northumbria. The mention of the Dun Cow is also interesting; there is a famous codex "The Book of the Dun Cow," but it is Irish and not related to St. Cuthbert. Looking at the form of the verse, I suspect that this is a by-blow of "Ewie Wi' the Crookit Horn." - RBW
Last updated in version 3.1
File: BiGa030

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