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