THE PILCHARD CURING RHYME / REEM AN PARRA HEARN
Attributed to John Boson, c.1700
Ma canow ve war hearn gen cowk ha rooz
My verses are of pilchards, with boat and net
Comerez en Zans* Carrack Looez en Cooz.
Taken en bay of the Grey Rock en the Wood.
Pothew an cucow devethez trea
When the boats have come in
Durt moer teez por "Dega, Dega!" creia,
From sea, with cove folk calling "Tithe, Tithe!"
Ha kiniffer benen ogas a toaz
And every woman coming nigh
Gen kawall, ha try canz hearn, war e kein
With a creel and three hundred pilchards on her back
Tha gweel barcadoes en keniffer chy,
To make up bulks in every building,
Gen ganow leeas, "Hearn, Hearn! Hollan mouy!"
With many voices, "Pilchards, Pilchards! More salt!"
Pothens sallez daa, edn meez warbar,
When they are well cured, a month altogether,
Preze ew tha squatchia man, ha tedna kerr
Its time to break up and pull away.
Oug'hedna, golhy glaneth en dowr sal:
After that wash clean in salt water:
E vedn ry hanow daa tha muzzi oll.
It will give al the maids a good name.
Gurra spladn en balliar, pedn ha teen,
Place gleaming in barrel, head and tail,
Gubber ha tra vroaz enz rag vertshants feen.
Income and a great thing they are for fine merchants.
Meero whye rag gwethan, heer tarthack trooz;
Look for a pole, thirteen feet long;
Gurra war hedna meanow pemp canz pooz.
Put in this five hundredweight of stones.
Try termen en jeath meero whye dotha.
Three times a day see to them.
Rag hanter meez durta saime vedn cotha.
For a fortnight oil will fall from them.
Thew hebma vorr gweer an hearn tha parra;
This is the proper way to cure the pilchards;
En marhas, gwelha gye vedn whara.
In the market, they will sell better.
Blethan war blethan gwra gurrollian doaz,
Year after year let ships come,
Ha gen hearn lean moaz urt Dowr Gwavas.
And filled with pilchard go at Gwavas Lake.
War duath, gwra gwenz Noor East whetha pell,
Eventually, let a North East wind blow far,
Rag an pobell en pow tubm debbry oll.
For the people in a warm country to eat all.
Ma peath hearn pecare oll an beaz
The pilchard business is like all the world
Mouy pobell bohodgack vel pobell broaz.
More of poor people than rich people.
*The word Zans "holy" was evidently transcribed
wrongly in mistake for "bay".
(Contributed by Andy & Mogg - July 2003)