Get Up Goodwife and Shake Your Feathers
DESCRIPTION: "Here comes in a guid new year" The singers come to the back of the house. "Rise up, goodwife and shake your feathers .. gie us oor hogmanay. ... Up stocks, doun steils, Dinna think that we're feils" We're cold. "Gie's a piece an' lat's rin"
EARLIEST DATE: 1822 (Blackwood's)
KEYWORDS: request begging ritual nonballad
FOUND IN: Britain(England(North),Scotland(Aber,Bord))
REFERENCES (8 citations):
Greig 5, p. 1, ("Get up gudewife and shak' your feathers") (1 fragment)
GreigDuncan3 639, "Get Up Gudewife" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Amy Stewart Fraser, The Hills of Home (London, 1973 ("Digitized by Google")), p. 74 ("Rise up, good wife, and shake your feathers")ADDITIONAL: K. M'Gonigle, "Scraps of English Folklore, XI: Northumberland (Ellingham Women's Institute)" in Folklore, Vol. XXXVI, No. 3 (Sep 1925 (available online by JSTOR)), pp. 250-251 ("Get up, auld wife, and shake your feathers") (1 text)
R[obert] Chambers, editor, The Book of Days: A Miscellany of Popular Antiquities in Connection with The Calendar (London, 1832 ("Digitized by Google")),Vol. II, p. 788, ("Get up, goodwife, and shake your feathers")
J. Christie in John Bulloch, editor, Scottish Notes and Queries (Aberdeen, 1888 ("Digitized by Google")), Vol. I, No. 10, March 1888, p. 163, "[Query ]81. New Year Rhymes" ("Here comes in a guid new year") (1 text with 5 verses, 1 tune)
John Muir, "Notes on Ayrshire Folk-Lore" in John Bulloch, editor, Scottish Notes and Queries (Aberdeen, 1895 ("Digitized by Google")), Vol. VIII, No. 3, August 1894, p. 39, ("Get up, Guidwife, and shake your feathers")
"Hogmanay and New-Year's Day" in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine (Edinburgh, 1822 ("Digitized by Google")),Vol. XI, January 1822, p. 31, ("Rise up, gudewife, and shake your feathers")
R.C. MacLagan, "Additions to 'The Games of Argyleshire' (Continued)" in Folklore, Vol. XVI, No. 2 (Jun 1905 (available online by JSTOR)), pp. 215-216 ("This night is called Hogmanay") (1 text: four verse epilogue to "The New-Year Mummer's Tale of Golishan" "'as it used to be said, sung, and acted all over Scotland, from Cheviot to Cape Wraith,' ... as communicated to the _Scotsman_ of 31st Dec, 1902.")
cf. "Ye Gae But to Your Beef-Stan'" (subject)
cf. "Our Feet's Cauld" (one verse, at least in Christie's version)
NOTES: "Hogmanay" is the Scottish New Year's Eve celebration.
Greig: .".. on the last day of the year we used to sally forth to serenade the neighboring houses with [this song]."
Muir, Chambers, M'Gonigle, Blackwood's, and GreigDuncan3 639 have only one verse. Chambers's version is "Get up, goodwife, and shake your feathers, And dinna think that we are beggars; For we are bairns come out to play, Get up and gie's our hogmany." Christie's text is the basis of the description. Christie's last verse is the GreigDuncan 640 fragment; most reporters that I have found separate the two and I have kept "Our Feet's Cauld" separate.
Christie's fourth verse - "Up stocks, doun steils, Dinna think that we're feils, For we're but bairnies come to play, Rise up an' gie 's oor hogmanay" - is also combined with the "shake your feathers" verse by Fraser as "Up sticks! Down stools! Don't think that we are fools."
MacLagan's example combines "shake your feathers" and "our feet's cauld" in a different way than Christie's text. The first verse is an introduction to the holiday and a "bless the master" verse. Then comes another "get up, guid wife" ("get up, guid wife, and binna sweir") that is usually reported as a separate rhyme; it concludes with "shake your feathers" and "our feet's cauld." Possibly, the formality of the mummer's play made combining usually independent verses attractive. - BS
Last updated in version 2.5
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 2017 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.