To AndrewÂ´s comments, your post works for me, though where I grew up a cornkist, was more in line whith the manger as shown at Christmas time, except the ones in the Christmas scene are sort of like a babyÂ´s cradle, with st AndrewÂ´s crosses at each end, the lower half as legs, the upper supporting the fodder. . As I grew up, we had a proper barn, with a concrete ramp running down the center, cows on both sides, the kist was basicly a triangular space, point down, with slats allowing cows heads to poke through to eat. Where as the concept of kist was a box, in many contexts including coffin, and and chest as in oneÂ´s rib cage. My image of one in a bothy would simply be a of straw.
The word "bothie" (dimunitive of booth) could be anything from a small cottage for farm workers, or a hand built stone shelter as is found to shelter hikers in the mountains. Both were used as temporary housing for farm workers, male, when not at home, such as lambing season. Of the latter type, the residents tended to have no furniture at all, sitting around a fire against one wall, the ballads evolved as after work entertainment. Tunes were often recycled, with the words an example of evolution, being added to in reference to local events. In the case of MacFarlane, while he might have been a real person regarding a real event, but like urban myths, as many farm workers were itinerant, the song would have been shared, and added to as it was passed on. The name probably would not change much because to do so would violate the meter: mac-FAR-lun-o-the SPROUTS-o-burnie-BOO-zle.
In spite of the history or actual facts, the theme is universal, which makes it a good song.