Blawin' Willie Buck's Horn
DESCRIPTION: Seemingly unconnected couplets. "I've a cherry, I've a chess, I've a bonny blue glass." A hare, or dog, or nothing, is in the corn, "Blawin' Willie Buck's horn." Willy Buck may have a cow, or cat, jumping like a Covenanter.
EARLIEST DATE: 1908 (GreigDuncan8)
KEYWORDS: nonballad animal
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Greig #20, p. 2, ("Keepit sheep, keepit swine"); Greig #22, p. 2, ("Owre Don, owre Dee"); Greig #159, p. 3, ("As I gaed owre yon heich heich hill") (3 texts)
GreigDuncan8 1640, "Blawin' Willie Buck's Horn" (5 texts)
ADDITIONAL: James Orchard Halliwell, The Nursery Rhymes of England (London, 1843 ("Digitized by Google")),#250 p. 144, ("Lazy dukes, that sit on their neuks")
Robert Chambers, The Popular Rhymes of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1870 ("Digitized by Google")), pp. 158-159, ("I've a cherry, I've a chess")
ST GrD81640 (Full)
Willie Buck Had a Coo
NOTES: There is no verse structure: sections of lines are glued together for no reason that I can understand. Greig quotes a correspondent: "...they used these long nonsense rhymes when they were spinning to count how many threads for the hank..." In Doh Ray Me, When Ah Wis Wee (Edinburgh, 2007), Ewan McVicar begins Chapter 5 by noting that, "There are many short, rhythmic pieces for counting out or counting in or eliminating, for choosing sides in games of football or cops and robbers, or choosing who is 'het' (it) -- who is to be chaser in a game of tig." He includes this GreigDuncan8 piece and Chambers's as examples and explains some of the garbling [pp. 81-86]. The description is just a random sample. The Halliwell entry is included in the Supplemental Tradition File.
There are two connections among the GreigDuncan8 texts:
1640A, 1640B, 1640C and 1640D: Excepting C and D, they have a section in the middle, "His fader wis a cadger, Sat ahin the cutty creels, Took a haddock by the heels"; all have a line towards the end, "I've [something], Blawin' Willie Buck's horn," followed by something like "Willie Buck had a coo, They ca'd her Bella Bentie, She lap o'er the Brig o' Dee Like ony Covenanter" [Greig #20]. Greig writes, "I recall a rhyme learned in early years which, differing from the above in the early part, begins to get in line with it at 'My father was a cadger' and maintains a fairly close correspondence to the end."
1640A, 1640B and 1640E: Have a section along the lines of .".. Gibb Fyke Staw the rumple fae my tyke -- Ti my ram -- Kent ye blin' Tam?" [Greig #20].
Neither of these connections is in Chambers, or its source, Halliwell, except "Blow, Willie, Buckhorn"; other lines link it to all of the sets.
For some background on the Covenanters see the notes to "The Bonnie House o Airlie" [Child 199] and "Bothwell Bridge" [Child 206]. - 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.