DESCRIPTION: "Now westlin winds and slaught'ring guns Bring autumn's pleasant weather." The singer describes the new season, and the farmer's harvest, and thinks of his beloved Peggy, "My fair, my lovely charmer."
AUTHOR: Words: Robert Burns
EARLIEST DATE: before 1785 (source: Kingsley); 1792 (Scots Musical Museum)
KEYWORDS: courting farming animal bird nonballad
REFERENCES (2 citations):
ADDITIONAL: James Kinsley, editor, Burns: Complete Poems and Songs (shorter edition, Oxford, 1969) #2, p. 2, "Song, Composed in August" (1 text, 1 tune)
cf. "I Had a Horse, I Had Nae Mair" (tune)
NOTES [128 words]: This is the second song listed in Kingsley's edition, which would seem to date it to August 1774, but I am not sure if that date is firm, so I didn't list it in the EARLIEST DATE." I have no evidence that the song went into tradition, either. But it has been printed a lot, and recorded at least a few times. Garnet Rogers, in particular, that he didn't have any clue as to what a "cushat" is (in the second verse, where many birds and their habitats are listed, we read that "through lofty groves the cushat roves").
The answer is found in Arnold Kellett, The Yorkshire Dictionary of Dialect, Tradition, and Folklore, revised edition, Smith Settle, 2002, p. 43: In the north riding of Yorkshire, and presumably points north, "cushat" is a name for the ring dove. - RBW
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