The Yule Days – Day 13 – ‘Three stalks o’ merry corn’

Saturday 24 December 2022

The king sent his lady on the thirteenth Yule day,
Three stalks o’ merry corn, three maids a-merry dancing,
Three hinds a-merry hunting, an Arabian baboon,
Three swans a-merry swimming,
Three ducks a-merry laying, a bull that was brown,
Three goldspinks, three starlings,
A goose that was gray,
Three plovers, three partridges, a papingo-aye;

Wha learns my carol and carries it away? 

While most would think of maize when referring to a ‘stalk of corn’, in Scotland, the word ‘corn’ could also refer to crops or grain more generally, or often oats, as stated in George Robertson’s Rural Recollections (1829):

The image of the Scottish Country Dancers was taken at the local celebrations for the Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in May 1937. The Scottish Country Dance – ‘the corn rigs’ is based on the song by Robert Burns The Rigs O’ Barley. Corn-rigs are a traditional drainage system.

Poems, chiefly in the Scottish dialect (1787) For PR4300.D87E4  

Since that is the end of our song, we wish all our readers a very Happy Christmas. Be sure to rejoin us in the New Year for many more blogging adventures in 2023.

Best wishes for the festive season
from all in University Collections.

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2 thoughts on "The Yule Days – Day 13 – ‘Three stalks o’ merry corn’"

  • Nancy Gilmartin
    Nancy Gilmartin
    Saturday 24 December 2022, 11.09am

    Thank you!

  • Christopher Couch
    Christopher Couch
    Saturday 24 December 2022, 3.14pm

    Happy Christmas! And thank you so much for this special series. So much work took place to research, select, and arrange all parts. Your usual excellent work and then some, I believe. Enjoy your holidays!


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