Text Kauld Cail?

Anselm Lingnau

Message 20083 · 20 Jan 2000 19:56:24 · Variable-width font · Whole thread

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Anja Girards <XXX@xxx.xx> writes:

> Is there somebody out there who knows the text and a translation in plain
> english?

I don't know whether the English -- or rather, Scots -- text (which goes
back to Robert Burns and then some) has anything to do with the Gaelic
version, but here it is anyway:

        Cauld Kail in Aberdeen,
        And castocks in Strabogie;
        But yet I fear they'll cook o'er soon,
        And never warm the coggie.

        My coggie, Sirs, my coggie, Sirs,
        I cannot want my coggie;
        I wadna gie my three-girr'd cap
        For e'er a quine on Bogie.

        There's Johnie Smith has got a wife
        That scrimps him o' his coggie,
        If she were mine, upon my life
        I wad douk her in a bogie.

        My coggie, Sirs, my coggie, Sirs,
        I cannot want my coggie;
        I wadna gie my three-girr'd cap
        For e'er a quine on Bogie.

        There's cauld kail in Aberdeen,
        And castocks in Strathbogie;
        When ilka lad maun hae his lass,
        Then fye, gie me my coggie.

        The lasses about Bogie gicht
        Their limbs, they are sae clean and tight,
        That if they were but girded right,
        They'll dance the reel of Bogie.

        Wow, Aberdeen , what did you mean,
        Sae young a maid to woo, Sir?
        I'm sure it was ane joke to her,
        Whate'er it was to you, Sir.

        For lasses now are nae sae blate
        But they ken auld folk's out o' date,
        And better playfare can they get
        Then castocks in Strabogie.

(from http://www.engl.virginia.edu/~tmj3a/abdn.html -- see the page for
more information as well as a sample of Jean Redpath singing the first
couple of stanzas). `Cauld kail' is cold (cabbage) soup, and `castocks'
are cabbage stalks; a coggie here is a sort of wooden dish (elsewhere it
can mean a small barrel).

> (1) what exact is mouth music? Everything somebody is singign? Only a capella?
> Only Gaelic?

Mouth music (`puirt-a-beul' in Gaelic) is a type of very rhythmic song,
used for dancing when no instruments are available (e.g., all the
fiddlers and pipers are too intoxicated to play). It is usually in
Gaelic, and the words don't very often make a lot of sense -- if you
look at translated mouth music it is frequently of the caliber of

The green cow has blue horns
The green cow has blue horns
The green cow has blue horns
And its coat is yellow with pink polka dots

A great album to listen to if you like puirt-a-beul (or Gaelic singing
in general) is called `Mairidh gaol is ceol', by Mac-talla. (Obligatory
SCD side note: I'm using a number of tracks from this album for
cool-down sessions after dancing.)

Incidentally, there are Scots songs which can be thought of as mouth
music. One example would be Burns's

Up with the carls o' Dysart
And the lads of Buckhaven
And the kimmers o' Largo
And the lassies o' Leven
Hi, ca' through, ca' through
For we hae muckle ado
Hi, ca' through, ca' through
For we hae muckle ado

(and so on -- I love that one). Anyway, it's that time of year again ...
thank you for reminding me of Cauld Kail -- since we're dancing on next
Tuesday (Burns Night) I might put it on the program :^)

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau ......................... xxxxxxx@xx.xxxxxxxxxx.xxx-xxxxxxxxx.xx
What happens if a big asteroid hits the Earth? Judging from realistic
simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we can
assume it will be pretty bad. -- Dave Barry

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