DESCRIPTION: An old man tells the singer his story. When he first arrived he was well received. Then, sixty years ago, someone called him "Papist Knave." Then a more fashionable man arrived. He expects to see hard times until he dies. Then "Auld Yule he vanished"
EARLIEST DATE: 1916 (GreigDuncan3)
KEYWORDS: political religious
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (1 citation):
GreigDuncan3 539, "Auld Yule" (1 text)
NOTES: GreigDuncan3 quoting "the introduction and commentary" to the poem from Aberdeen Buchan Association Magazine No. 17 (January 1916): " ... The adoption of the Gregorian Calendar (New Style), to correct the cumulative deficiencies in the Julian Calendar (Old Style), came late into England and Scotland, and was resented much by the common people. It was adopted in England in 1758, when eleven days were omitted after the 2nd September, so that what should have been the 3rd, was counted the 14th. The year 1800, which was a leap year (old style) was made a common year, thus making a total of twelve days' difference between the new and old styles of reckoning. In Scotland, in outlying districts the old style was kept up as regards popular festivals (Yule and New Year's Day particularly) till within living memory. The poem before us is a lament for the passing of Auld Yule, who is personified as an old wandering outcast, met by the author." - BS
In defence of the common people, it should be noted that they often were charged rent for the eleven days that were removed from the calendar. Less defensible is their case that the whole thing was a Catholic plot. We do see some effects of the calendar shift in songs such as the Cherry Tree Carol, where the birth of Jesus is listed on some date in early January. - RBW
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