Our Feet's Cauld
DESCRIPTION: "My feet's cauld, my shoon's thin; Gie's my cakes and let me rin!"
EARLIEST DATE: 1832 (Chambers)
KEYWORDS: request food begging nonballad clothes
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (6 citations):
GreigDuncan3 640, "Our Feet's Cauld" (1 short text)
ADDITIONAL: 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, ("My feet's cauld, my shoon's thin")
J. Christie in 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) [I consider this "Get Up Goodwife and Shake Your Feathers"; the last verse is the "my feet's cauld" couplet.
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. 40, ("My feet's cauld, my shin's thin")
R.C. Maclagan, "Additions to _The Games of Argyleshire_" in Folk-Lore, (London, 1905 ("Digitized by Google")), Vol. XVI, 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.")
E.F. Coote Lake, "Folk Life and Traditions" in Folklore, Vol. LXVII, No. 1 (Mar 1956 (available online by JSTOR)), p. 45 ("Ma feet's cauld, ma shane's thin") (1 text: two lines)
cf. "Get Up Goodwife and Shake Your Feathers" (text) and references there
NOTES: The current description is all of the Chambers entry.
Chambers presentation argues for keeping "shake your feathers" and "my feet's cauld" as separate entries. He lists "shake your feathers" and, as a different entry, the "get up, goodwife, and binna sweir" verse from MacLagan, and then introduces the "my feet's cauld" couplet as "the most favorite of all ... more to the point than any of the foregoing." Of the reports I have seen, only Christie and MacLagan have "my feet's cauld" in a combination with other verses.
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, and concluding with "shake your feathers" and "our feet's cauld." Possibly, the formality of the mummer's play made combining usually independent verses attractive.
Muir points out that another rhyme, current among children waiting outside school on cold winter mornings -- "Master, master, let me in, My feet's cauld, my shin's din, If ye dinna let me in I'll be frozen to the shin" is similar but that the Hogmanay couplet is :much smarter, more laconic, and more to the point." - BS
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