What will I do gin my hoggie die?
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WHAT WILL I DO GIN MY HOGGIE DIE? AKA and see “Cocks Louns Walie Hoyn,” “Moss Plate.” Scottish, Air or Scots Measure. D Major (McGlashan): E Flat Major (Manson). Standard tuning (fiddle). ABCD (Manson): AABBCCDD (McGlashan). The title is the name of a song by the Scots poet Robert Burns. James Dick (Songs of Robert Burns, p. 478) notes a song called “Coxton's hoggie" given by Peter Buchan to William Motherwell and published in 1834 was the original for Burns’ work.
Thomas Carlyle penned this anecdote of Sir Walter Scott, at the start of an outing with friends:
The order of march had been all settled, and the sociable was just getting under weigh, when the Lady Anne broke from the line, screaming with laughter, and exclaimed, "Papa, papa, I knew you could never think of going without your pet!" Scott looked round, and I rather think there was a blush as well as a smile upon his face, when he perceived a little black pig frisking about his pony, and evidently a self-elected addition to the party of the day. He tried to look stern, and cracked his whip at the creature, but was in a moment obliged to join in the general cheers. Poor piggy soon found a strap round its neck, and was dragged into the background; - Scott, watching the retreat, repeated with mock pathos the first verse of an old pastoral song -
"What will I do gin my hoggie die?
My joy, my pride, my hoggie!
My only beast, I had na mae,
And wow! but I was vogie!"
-the cheers were redoubled - and the squadron moved on.''
This pig had taken, nobody could tell how, a most sentimental attachment to Scott, and was constantly urging its pretensions to be admitted a regular member of his tail along with the greyhounds and terriers…
See also note for “Cockstouns Hoggie.”
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: James Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 5), Glasgow, 1797; No. 112, p. 43. Manson (Hamilton’s Universal Tune Book, vol. 2), 1846; p. 28. McGlashan (Collection of Scots Measures), 1780; p. 11.