DESCRIPTION: Tonight we gather to help "the good folks" for "their harbour is nane o' the best." When the singer looked "it nearly upset me To ken whare a place ca'd a harbour could be." At night the sweethearts "are toddlin'" along with the rabbits and hares.
AUTHOR: William Park (source: GreigDuncan8)
EARLIEST DATE: 1917 (GreigDuncan8)
KEYWORDS: fishing disaster nonballad animal
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (1 citation):
GreigDuncan8 1891, "Whitehills Harbour" (1 text, 1 tune)
cf. "Lass o' Glenshee" (tune, per GreigDuncan8)
NOTES: "Whitehills [Banff on Moray Firth], a village on the west side of Knock head ... has a small harbour ... defended by short piers facing northward, but it is rendered unsafe by the rage that is thrown in during northwesterly gales. It has 83 herring-boats, employing 170 men and boys. Population, 920 in 1881" (source: North Sea Pilot Part II. North and East Coasts of Scotland (London, 1885 ("Digitized by Google")), p. 144).
"Wrecks between the Firths of Forth and Moray are more frequent than on any other part of the coast of Scotland. This may possibly be accounted for by the great number of vessels passing and repassing along that coast. In the month of December 1799, a strong gale from the south-east occasioned serious disasters on these shores, when upwards of seventy sail were wrecked on the eastern coast of Scotland, and many of their crews perished" (source: David Stevenson, Life of Robert Stevenson Civil Engineer, (London, 1878 ("Digitized by Google")), p. 260).
Greig #153, p. 2: "There are not many traditional songs dealing with fisher folk; and as for fisher folk themselves they do not seem to have any old minstrelsy dealing with their special calling and interests." (See only "The Thurso Fishing Boat Disaster" and "The Bonnie Fisher Lass.")
GreigDuncan8: "Made up for Mr Quirrie by William Park blacksmith and sung by John Quirrie at concert in aid of Whitehills Harbour."
The last line of GreigDuncan8 is "But toddlin' aboot was the rabbits and bawds [hares]." The Dictionary of the Scots Language site quotes, as an illustration of the word "bauds," "And toddlin' about were the rabbits and bauds." The citation is "A. Cumming, Tales of the North (1896) 96." That site's bibliography dates the book publication as 1847.
Steve Roud sends the following information, if anyone can follow up on Tales of the North: "I have at last tracked down Cumming -- it's published by the Banffshire Journal (1896) so it's probably one of those newspapers articles-published-as-books numbers. The only copy I can find is in Aberdeen Univ Lib, see this link [http://tinyurl.com/tbdx-CummingNorth]." - BS
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