Traditional Scottish Songs
- Caller Herrin'

This song, by Carolina Oliphant (Lady Nairne), is one of many which she wrote in the first half of the 19th century. Prior to her death in 1845 she had published her works under the pseudonym of "Bogan of Bogan."

Caller Herrin'

Wha'll buy my caller herrin'?
They're bonnie fish and halesome farin';
Wha'll buy my caller herrin',
New drawn frae the Forth?

When ye were sleepin' on your pillows,
Dream'd ye aught o' our puir fellows,
Darkling as they fac'd the billows,
A' to fill the woven willows?
Buy my caller herrin',
New drawn frae the Forth.


Wha'll buy my caller herrin'?
They're no brought here without brave darin';
Buy my caller herrin',
Haul'd through wind and rain.


WhaIl buy my caller herrin'?
Oh, ye may ca' them vulgar farin'
Wives and mithers, maist despairin',
Ca' them lives o' men.


When the creel o' herrin' passes,
Ladies-clad in silks and laces,
Gather in their braw pelisses,
Cast their heads and screw their faces,


Caller herrin's no got lightlie:
Ye can trip the spring fu' tightlie;
Spite o' tauntin', flauntin', flingin',
Gow had set you a' a-singing


Neebour wives, now tent my tellin';
When the bonnie fish ye're sellin',
At ae word be in yere dealin' -
Truth will stand when a' thin's failin',


Meaning of unusual words:
Caller=freshly caught
halesome farin'=wholesome food
braw pelisses=beautiful mantles
trip the spring fu' tightlie=dance the jig very neatly
Gow= Neil Gow, the fiddle player

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