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TITLE
Cromarty Fisher Folk (9 of 20)
EXTERNAL ID
AB_CROMARTYFISHER_AUDIO_09
PLACENAME
Cromarty
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS: Cromarty
DATE OF RECORDING
2 April 2007
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Bobby Hogg & Gordon Hogg
SOURCE
Am Baile
ASSET ID
1132
KEYWORDS
language
linguistics
songs
ballad
ballads
audio

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The former royal burgh of Cromarty lies on the northern tip of the Black Isle peninsula, at the mouth of the Cromarty Firth in northeast Scotland. It is home to brothers Bobby and Gordon Hogg, descendants of a long line of local fisher folk. They can trace their ancestry back for centuries in the small coastal port. In the 1861 census there were no less than 96 Hoggs living in the Cromarty district and an entry for the family name in the Old Parish Register dates back as early as 1698.

Bobby and Gordon believe they are the last two fluent speakers of the 'Cromarty fisher dialect', a unique Scots dialect identified in Robert McColl Millar's study of 'Northern and Insular Scots' as 'North Northern A', mainly associated with the fishing communities of the Black Isle (Cromarty and Avoch) and other small towns and villages on the Cromarty Firth. It is said that at one time there were at least two, if not three, dialects in the Cromarty area - fisher, town, and farmer. While several Cromarty residents retain aspects of the fisher vocabulary, when Bobby and Gordon get together they converse fluently in the dialect.

[N.B. Gordon Hogg passed away in 2011, aged 86. Bobby Hogg died a year later, aged 92.]


In this audio extract from March 2007, Bobby and Gordon sing a fisher folk song.

Interviewer: Do ye know any wee stories or any wee songs?

Bobby: Oh, song, ah'll gie ye a song, aye.

Gordon: At thee [?] thinking aboot?

Bobby: 'There's nothing left -

Gordon: - left for me
Of the coal that came by sea
And Nichol's charity gaes past ma door'

Bobby: That's a charity - a charity was given out, ye know, once a year?

Gordon: Gaes past ma door, like -

Bobby: The minister was Moore an one thing an another, right? But there's other, there's other ones too, Ah mean eh, other songs that eh, which brings in the words, like.

Interviewer: Mm-hmm.

Bobby & Gordon: 'The bay is very beautiful an full a biggar-men

Bobby: Biggar-men - there's another -

Gordon: That's a sort a fish

Bobby: - is the name of a kinda fish, right?

Bobby & Gordon: 'Ah'll tak ma scoo an scanty, an try the (fleuk) line again

Bobby: See what Ah mean?

Gordon: Maybe Ah'll get a quarter -

Bobby: A scoo's a basket, an a scanty's a line, an it's all with the trade, sort o thing.

Interviewer: Yes. Yes.

Bobby: All o that things.

Interviewer: Could you sing a wee bit of that, just now?

Bobby: Oh, Ah'll sing it, aye. If ye give me enough drams, Ah'll sing all damn day!

Interviewer: I didn't bring any with me. [Laughter]

Gordon: 'There's nothing' (well, you started us off)

'There's nothing left for me
Of the coal that came by sea
And Nicol's charity gaes past ma door
And even Mr Moore
Although he kens Ah'm poor
Gaes past my door like stoor withoot my sovereen'

See that's a sovereign, ye see, a sovereen.

Interviewer: Uh-huh, uh-huh.

Bobby: Didnae get a pound, didnae get a pound charity. Mm-hmm

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Cromarty Fisher Folk (9 of 20)

ROSS: Cromarty

2000s

language; linguistics; songs; ballad; ballads; audio

Am Baile

Am Baile: Cromarty Fisher Folk

The former royal burgh of Cromarty lies on the northern tip of the Black Isle peninsula, at the mouth of the Cromarty Firth in northeast Scotland. It is home to brothers Bobby and Gordon Hogg, descendants of a long line of local fisher folk. They can trace their ancestry back for centuries in the small coastal port. In the 1861 census there were no less than 96 Hoggs living in the Cromarty district and an entry for the family name in the Old Parish Register dates back as early as 1698. <br /> <br /> Bobby and Gordon believe they are the last two fluent speakers of the 'Cromarty fisher dialect', a unique Scots dialect identified in Robert McColl Millar's study of 'Northern and Insular Scots' as 'North Northern A', mainly associated with the fishing communities of the Black Isle (Cromarty and Avoch) and other small towns and villages on the Cromarty Firth. It is said that at one time there were at least two, if not three, dialects in the Cromarty area - fisher, town, and farmer. While several Cromarty residents retain aspects of the fisher vocabulary, when Bobby and Gordon get together they converse fluently in the dialect.<br /> <br /> [N.B. Gordon Hogg passed away in 2011, aged 86. Bobby Hogg died a year later, aged 92.]<br /> <br /> <br /> In this audio extract from March 2007, Bobby and Gordon sing a fisher folk song.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Do ye know any wee stories or any wee songs?<br /> <br /> Bobby: Oh, song, ah'll gie ye a song, aye.<br /> <br /> Gordon: At thee [?] thinking aboot?<br /> <br /> Bobby: 'There's nothing left -<br /> <br /> Gordon: - left for me <br /> Of the coal that came by sea<br /> And Nichol's charity gaes past ma door'<br /> <br /> Bobby: That's a charity - a charity was given out, ye know, once a year? <br /> <br /> Gordon: Gaes past ma door, like - <br /> <br /> Bobby: The minister was Moore an one thing an another, right? But there's other, there's other ones too, Ah mean eh, other songs that eh, which brings in the words, like.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Mm-hmm.<br /> <br /> Bobby & Gordon: 'The bay is very beautiful an full a biggar-men<br /> <br /> Bobby: Biggar-men - there's another -<br /> <br /> Gordon: That's a sort a fish<br /> <br /> Bobby: - is the name of a kinda fish, right?<br /> <br /> Bobby & Gordon: 'Ah'll tak ma scoo an scanty, an try the (fleuk) line again<br /> <br /> Bobby: See what Ah mean? <br /> <br /> Gordon: Maybe Ah'll get a quarter - <br /> <br /> Bobby: A scoo's a basket, an a scanty's a line, an it's all with the trade, sort o thing.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Yes. Yes.<br /> <br /> Bobby: All o that things.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Could you sing a wee bit of that, just now?<br /> <br /> Bobby: Oh, Ah'll sing it, aye. If ye give me enough drams, Ah'll sing all damn day!<br /> <br /> Interviewer: I didn't bring any with me. [Laughter]<br /> <br /> Gordon: 'There's nothing' (well, you started us off) <br /> <br /> 'There's nothing left for me<br /> Of the coal that came by sea<br /> And Nicol's charity gaes past ma door<br /> And even Mr Moore<br /> Although he kens Ah'm poor<br /> Gaes past my door like stoor withoot my sovereen'<br /> <br /> See that's a sovereign, ye see, a sovereen.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Uh-huh, uh-huh.<br /> <br /> Bobby: Didnae get a pound, didnae get a pound charity. Mm-hmm