Coulters Candy 1. Johnnie Scott was awfu thin, His banes were stickin through his skin; Noo he's got a double chin Wi eatin Colter's candy. Allabally, allabally bee, Sittin on yer mammie's knee, Greetin for anither bawbee, Tae buy Colter's candy. 2. Ally, bally, ally bally bee, Sittin' on yer mammy's knee Greetin' for anither bawbee, Tae buy mair Coulter's candy. Ally. bally, ally, bally bee, When you grow up you'll go to sea, Makin' pennies for your daddy and me, Tae buy mair Coulter's Candy. Mammy gie me ma thrifty doon Here's auld Coulter comin' roon Wi' a basket on his croon Selling Coulter's Candy. Little Annie's greetin' tae Sae whit can puir wee Mammy dae But gie them a penny atween them twae Tae buy mair Coulter's Candy. Poor wee Jeannie's lookin' affa thin, A rickle o' banes covered ower wi' skin, Noo she's gettin' a double chin Wi' sookin' Coulter's Candy. 3. Ally, bally, ally, bally, bee, Sittin' on your mammy's knee, Greetin' for anither bawbee, To buy mair Coulter's candy. Mammy, gie me ma "thrifty" doon, Here's auld Coulter comin' roon, Wi' a basket on his croon Selling Coulter's candy. Here is Coulter comin' roon, A big lum hat upon his croon, He's been roon' aboot the toon Singin' and sellin' candy. Ally, bally, ally, bally bee, Sittin' on your mammy's knee, Greetin' for another bawbee To buy mair Coulter's candy. 4. There was a wee lassie awfy thin, A bundle o' bones wrapped up in skin. Now she's gettin' a wee double chin, Wi' eatin' Coo'ter's candy. [Cho.:] Ally bally, ally bally bee, Sittin' on your mammy's knee, Greetin' for another bawbee To buy some Coo'ter's candy. Poor wee Annie's greetin' too, What can her poor mammy do, But gi'e them a penny between them two, To buy some Coo'ter's candy? [Cho.] `Mammy gi'es my banky doon, Here's auld Coo'ter comin' roon', Wi' his basket on his croon An' sellin' Coo'ter's candy.' [Cho.] `Dinna you greet, my wee babby, You know your daddy's gone to sea, Earnin' pennies for you and me To buy some Coo'ter's candy.' [Cho.] ________________________________________________________ (1) Montgomerie SC (1948), 133 (no. 232), from Edinburgh. (2) Buchan, 101 SS (1962), 138, with music. In 3.1 thrifty = "money box, piggy bank". (3) A Garland of Folk Songs, ed. John MacPherson; Mozart Allan, n.d. (1970?), p. 6, with music. (4) Scotsgate (ed. Hendry and Stephen, 1982), 38, with music. Buchan notes (p. 156) that "Coulter" was Robert Coltart, who sold his home-made candy round the Borders in the early part of the century. B. learned the song (from the actor Roddy Macmillan) with two verses, and added another (the second), now accepted as part and parcel of the song; cf. version 4. Another verse came from a correspondent (cf. version 3, st. 3): Here come Coulter doon the street, A big lum hat upon his heid, He's been roon' aboot a' the toon, Singin' an' sellin' candy. Hendry/Stephen Scotscape (1978), 26 has the chorus, line 4 "To buy some sugar candy"; Ritchie Singing Street (1964), 54, (omits "some") used "for a greetin' bairn". The tune is yet another variant of Ah vous dirai-je maman. Another verse collected by the editor in 1971, from a lady who came from Friockheim, learned c. 1910: There's no money for a poor wee soul, Yer daddie's signing on the dole, But there's a penny in the sugar bowl To get your Coulter's candy. The parent of the song may be a rhyme preserved in Maclagan, GDA (1901), from Argyll, perhaps a conflation of the candy rhyme and "Bobbie Shafto": Hullaballa, hullaballa, sitting on his mother's knee, Crying for a wee bawbee to get some sugar-candy. My wee lad's awa' to sea, he'll come back and marry me, Silver buckles on his knee; my wee lad's a sailor. MS
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