The Cairin O’t reel

Also known as The Cairdin O’t, The Cairding O’T, I Coft A Stane O Haslock Woo, Queensbury’s Scots Measure, Salt Fish And Dumplings.

There are 5 recordings of this tune.

The Cairin O’t has been added to 3 tune sets.

The Cairin O't has been added to 17 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: The Cairin O't
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
|:E2|A2 AB cBcd|eaaf ecBA|dcdf ecBA|GABc BABc|
dcde fgaf|ecBA AGFE|A2 AB ceBd|c2A2 A2:|
|:af|ecAc e2 af|ecAc e2 (3cBA|dcde fgaf|g2e2 e2 dc|
dcde fgaf|ecBA AGFE|A2 AB ceBd|c2A2 A2:|

Seven comments

The Cairdin’ O’t

Although on Fair Warning by John Cunningham this tune is given as "The Cairin O’t", its actual title is "The Cairdin’ O’t", but it has had several names atached to it in its long career.

In a manuscript book in Perth (c.1710) it is called "Queensbury’s Scots Measure", and it has also been arranged as a 4-part pipe march called "The Braes o’ Glen Brun" by 19th century Glasgow dancing master Peter Wright. In James Aird’s 3rd Selection (1788) it is found as "Salt Fish and Dumplings". and it has been used for two songs, "I Coft a Stane o’ Haslock Woo’" and "Come Taste the Cup".

Nigel - Being a Scotsman, it is probably obvious to you. But, for the benefit of us doon sooth, what does ‘cairdin’ mean? My guess is, it has nothing to do with accordions.

Carding of wool, perhaps, given the alternate title, I Coft a Stane o’ Haslock Woo’? ‘Coft’ - cognate with German ‘kaufen’/’Ich kaufte’? ‘Haslock’ - A breed of sheep? Or something technical to do with wool, that modern types wouldn’t understand?

‘Salt Fish and Dumplings’ sounds rather Caribbean. And Queensbury’s just north of Wembley.


I coft a stane o’ haslock woo’,
To mak a wab to Johnie o’t;
For Johnie is my only jo,
I loe him best of onie yet.

The cardin’ o’t, the spinnin’ o’t,
The warpin’ o’t, the winnin’ o’t;
When ilka ell cost me a groat,
The tailor staw the lynin’ o’t.

For tho’ his locks be lyart grey,
And tho’ his brow be beld aboon,
Yet I hae seen him on a day,
The pride of a’ the parishen.


salt fish and dumplings

Jack Armstrong, famous piper and fiddle player from Northumberland played a version of this under the title of Gallowgate Lass.

Re: The Cairin O’t

There is a tune in the Goodman manuscript called "The Shepherd’s Hornpipe" which was subsequently copied by Joyce in one of his manuscripts, which is a setting of this tune.