Oran Na Caillich (Our Auld Wife)
DESCRIPTION: Scottish Gaelic. My wife is dour, sour, and the devil's own. I must have been bewitched to be drawn to her. She's so ugly. I have to drink to stand it.
AUTHOR: Allan McDougall [Ailean Dall] (1750-1829)
EARLIEST DATE: 1959 (Peacock)
KEYWORDS: foreignlanguage drink humorous wife
FOUND IN: Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Peacock, pp. 793-794, "Oran Na Caillich" (1 text, 1 tune)
Alan MacArthur, "Oran Na Caillich" (on PeacockCDROM)
NOTES [121 words]: Peacock notes that this "is called a milling song ... used to accompany the work of shrinking wool homespun. The wet cloth is alternately kneaded and pounded on a large table by several people either seated or standing. A leader sings the verses, and everyone comes in on the chorus." "Milling wool" and "waulking tweed" is the same process. For a note on the process and the songs see "Waulking" by Craig Cockburn at the Silicon Glen site.
The description is based on a translation by Malcolm MacFarlane available in the hard-cover edition of The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Highlands ed Alfred Moffat (Bayley & Ferguson, London & Glasgow, ca 1908), pp. 76-77. This song is not in the soft-cover edition issued ca. 1960. - BS
Last updated in version 2.6
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.