Whistle Owre the Lave O't

DESCRIPTION: Verses begin "my mother sent me" and end "so whistle for the rest of it": sent to the well the singer fell in; to the stack with a basket her bones crack; to the sea a sailor fell in; to the moss to gather clods "a thing sprang up atween my legs"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1776 (Herd)
KEYWORDS: bawdy humorous nonballad
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber,Bord))
REFERENCES (6 citations):
GreigDuncan7 1414, "Whistle Owre the Lave O't" (5 texts plus a single verse on p. 522, 2 tunes)
Lyle-Crawfurd2 152, "Peggy Picken" (1 text)
Lyle-Crawfurd2 184, "Maggy She Has Daughters Twa" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: David Herd, editor, Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs, Heroic Ballads, etc. (Edinburgh, 1870 (reprint of 1776)), Vol II, p. 208, "Whistle O'er the Lave O't"
ADDITIONAL: Jon Raven, _The Urban and Industrial Songs of the Black Country and Birmingham_, Broadside, 1977, pp. 137-138, "Collier Lass - Love Song" (1 short text)

Roud #506
NOTES [210 words]: The Herd text is brief enough not to include verses unfit to print. The GreigDuncan7 texts begin with Herd's and some mildly suggestive verses beside.
See also Robert Burns, The Complete Poems and Songs of Robert Burns (New Lanark,2005), p. 260, "Whistle O'er the Lave O't" and Robert Chambers, The Scottish Songs (Edinburgh, 1829), Vol II, p. 456, "Whistle Owre the Lave O't." Chambers: "Burns wrote this song for a very old and very popular Scottish air, which was formerly unprovided with verses that were fit for print." The description for Burns's song would be "The singer recalls being beguiled by Maggie when they met and they still love -- 'I carena by how few may see' -- now that they are married." [Also a version in James Johnson, Editor, The Scots Musical Museum [1853 edition], volume III, #249, p. 258, "Whistle o'er the lave o't" (1 text, 1 tune) - RBW]
Roud separates "Peggy Picken" -- as Roud #2960 -- from the other "Whistle Owre the Lave O't" but the second verse -- "My mother sent me to the well ...." -- is a typical verse of "Whistle ...."
Lyle-Crawfurd2 184 replaces Herd's last line of the two verses -- "Whistle o'er the lave o't" -- with "They/he kis'd and did the lave o't"; Lyle-Crawfurd2 glossary glosses "lave" as "rest." - BS
Last updated in version 3.0
File: GrD71414

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 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.