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folk songs - Caller Herrin'

(11 Posts)
Fennel Mon 08-Jan-18 15:00:37

This came up recently on another forum, hoping you Scots can help.
I remember singing the song:
"Wha'll buy my caller herrin
They're bonny fish an haelsome farein" etc.
What does caller mean?

wildswan16 Mon 08-Jan-18 15:11:14

caller just means fresh - I think originally it derives from an old word meaning cool

Greyduster Mon 08-Jan-18 15:11:22

It means “fresh”.

Greyduster Mon 08-Jan-18 15:11:46


NfkDumpling Mon 08-Jan-18 17:27:07

Oh, I do wish I hadn't seen this thread. I've got it on the brain now!

Fennel Mon 08-Jan-18 17:45:33

Here are the words for the full song:
We once stayed in a cottage neat Eilean Donan castle for a holiday. One morning someone knocked on the door and said she had some fresh herring, just caught, so I bought some. I fried them quickly, but really you could almost have eaten them raw. The bones were so soft they melted.

Greyduster Mon 08-Jan-18 18:16:10

I absolutely adore herrings; could eat them all day long. Dipped in seasoned flour and fried; grilled; soused; and of course kippers - just wheel ‘em on! 😋

paddyann Mon 08-Jan-18 19:02:23

try dipping them in oatmeal before frying

AlieOxon Mon 08-Jan-18 19:42:41

'You shall have a fishie, when the boat comes in'!

MawBroon Mon 08-Jan-18 22:39:41

“While you were sleeping on your pillows
Thought you ought to our poor fellows
Darkling as they faced the billows
All to fill our woven willows”

I so remember “Singing for today “(I think) when the wireless was turned on in our primary classroom and we sang along to songs like , “The Miles tae Dundee”,

Caledonai14 Mon 08-Jan-18 23:29:30

Sae smooth his speech. Sae true his hert.
His breath's like caller air
His very fit has music in't when he comes up the stair.

This is from a song called There's Nae Luck Aboot the Hoose in which the singer welcomes sight of her husband's boat coming back to port for the first time in weeks. The singer says there is no luck or happiness in her home when her husband is away.
Yes, caller is fresh (and fit is foot).