Annotation:Kittle Cattle

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KITTLE CATTLE. Scottish, Reel. B Flat Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB'. Kittle-cattle is a compound word meaning capricious or unpredictable, although not necessarily with a prejorative meaning. It is used in context in the poem "The Mugger's Song", published in Wilfrid Wilson Gibson's [1] (1878-1962) collection Whin (1918):

Driving up the Mallerstang
The mugger cracked his whip and sang
And all his crocks went rattle, rattle -
"The road runs fair and smooth and even
From Appleby to Kirkby Stephen
And womenfolk are kittle cattle.

And Kirkby Stephen's fair to see
And inns are good in Appleby,"
And all his crocks went rattle, rattle.
"But what care I for Kirkby Stephen,
Or whether roads are rough or even,'
And womenfolk are kittle cattle?''

And what care I for Appleby,
Since Bess of the Blue Bell jilted me?"
And all his crocks went rattle, rattle -
"And wed today in Kirkby Stephen,
A sweep whose legs are odd and even?
And womenfolk are kittle cattle."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Kerr (Merry Melodies), vol. 3; No. 178, p. 21.

Recorded sources:

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