Coulters Candy

Coulters Candy

Coulter's Candy, also known as "Ally Bally", is a Scottish folk song, originating from Galashiels in the Scottish Borders.

It was written by Robert Coltard (died 1890) as an advertising jingle for an aniseed-flavoured sweet, manufactured in Melrose. The recipe is no longer known, but the song lived on. In 1958 a letter to "The Weekly Scotsman" reported that a man remembered hearing it from his grandmother, who in turn had learned the song in around 1845. It was collected in a children's playground in 1964 by James T. Ritche, who published it in a book called "The Singing Street".

However, Norman Buchan published it earlier in "101 Scottish Songs", Collins, 1962. He states there:"This song probably produced more correspondence than any other when I printed it in 'The Weekly Scotsman' a few years ago. Robert Coultart - the 'Coulter' of the song - made and sold his own candy round all the country fairs and markets in the Borders..............etc. I first heard it from Scots actor, playright and folk singer Roddy McMillan." He also added one of the verses.

The word bawbee is slang for a sixpence coin.


Ally bally, ally bally bee, Sittin' on yer mammy's knee,Greetin' for anither bawbee, "(crying)"Tae buy mair Coulter's candy. "(to) (more)"

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, "(give)Here's auld Coulter comin' roon', "(old) (around)"Wi' a basket on his croon, "(with) (crown/head)"Selling Coulter's Candy.

Little Annie's greetin' tae,Sae whit can puir wee Mammy dae, "(what) (poor) (do)"But gie them a penny atween them twae, "(between) (two)"Tae buy mair Coulter's Candy.

Poor wee Jeannie's lookin' affa thin, "(awfully)"A rickle o' banes covered ower wi' skin, "(heap) (bones) (over)"Noo she's gettin' a double chin, "(now)"Wi' sookin' Coulter's Candy. "(sucking)"

Covers and parodies

Robin Hall and Jimmie MacGregor sang it on their "Scottish Choice" LP, Decca ACL1065, 1961. All the verses in this version, except one, were written by Robin.

It was recorded by Donovan on "HMS Donovan" (1971). Canadian singer Catherine McKinnon also recorded a version of the song on her album "Voice Of An Angel".

Hamish Imlach recorded a parody version, where a buyer complains about the poor quality of the candy. The song was also parodied on BBC Radio Scotland, by comedy group Flying Pig Productions in their show Desperate Fishwives, who related the song to the stereotypically poor Scottish diet.

External references

* [ notes]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужна курсовая?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Coulter's Candy — Coulter s Candy, also known as Ally Bally or Ally Bally Bee, is a Scottish folk song, originating from Galashiels in the Scottish Borders. It was written by Robert Coltard (died 1890) as an advertising jingle for an aniseed flavoured sweet,… …   Wikipedia

  • Индекс народных песен Роуда — (англ. Roud Folk Song Index)  база данных из 300 000 ссылок на более чем 21 600 песен, которые были собраны в устной традиции на английском языке на всех континентах, где язык имеет распространение. Труд по систематизации был проделан… …   Википедия

  • Roud Folk Song Index — The Roud Folk Song Index is a database of 300,000 references to over 21,600 songs that have been collected from oral tradition in the English language from all over the world. It is a combination of the Broadside Index (printed sources before… …   Wikipedia

  • Ann Coulter — At a book signing at CPAC FL in Orlando, Florida …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”