Halloween in Scotland

Old Dec 21st, 2003, 02:53 AM
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Halloween in Scotland

A message on another board has caused me to do some research and remembering about Hallowe'en, and although this isn't STRICTLY a Fodors issue the stuff that came in on Babbity Bowster leads me to believe that I might get an answer here.

My mother used to have us sing a song when we went guising which started "We are the guisers" and finished "If you dinnae let us in, we will bash your windies in"

Can anyone help with the words of this.
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Old Dec 21st, 2003, 03:01 AM
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Sylvia
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My Scottish husband can't remember this at all. He says that he was a nice little boy and wouldn't dream of breaking windaes.
 
Old Dec 21st, 2003, 05:09 AM
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I believe it to mean..." If you don't let us in, we will bash your windows in"
what delightful words !
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Old Dec 21st, 2003, 06:26 AM
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The concept's exactly the same as trick or treat..

My mothe would have had kittens if there was any real danger of us breaking windows, but I'd still like to find the birds. Where's that Cletic supporting Glaswegian when you need him????
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Old Dec 21st, 2003, 07:04 AM
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Men tend to forget these things. My husband thinks that he would sing something like:
We are the guisers, the guisers, the guisers, we are the guisers, come for our halloween"

It wasn't really like the American trick or treat. You sang a song or recited a poem and you would be given a treat. There was no blackmail involved.
 
Old Dec 21st, 2003, 07:22 AM
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There wasn't when I was young, but the song had it. I know those words, but it wasn't that one. Faraboots is yer man fae? (If he doesn't mind me asking)
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Old Dec 21st, 2003, 01:49 PM
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Sheila,

Not sure if I'm the Celtic supporting Glasweigian you referred to earlier, but I have to admit I do match the description!

As I'm sure you're aware, we Celtic supporting Glaswegians have very little knowledge about breaking windows (records,yes, windows no)& I'm afraid that this isn't a song I'm familiar with. Our halloween rhyme used to go;

"The sky is blue, the grass is green, Have you anything for my halloween?"

I know that the children who came round to our door this year still used that rhyme. I was interested to read Sylvia's posting as it seems to me that guisers here nowadays do seem to have adopted the American "trick or treat" approach which wasn't the case when I was a lad. If we didn't come up with a joke or a song then we knew we would leave empty handed. We would never have expected to receive money either, whereas the older children today look disappointed if they only get sweets or fruit.

Ahhh, the old days......
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Old Dec 21st, 2003, 02:56 PM
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Of course it was you, old bhoy!

(nd a hard fought win this afternoon, I thought)

I agree with you about the kids today (we'd have got short shrift if we hadn't done a turn), but I'm disapppointed you don't know my rhyme.

I'll have to see if I can track it down elsewhere.
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Old Dec 21st, 2003, 08:26 PM
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Hello Sheila, my mum and dad will be visiting for Christmas, so I'll ask them if they recall your song.

Happy Christmas,
Maureen

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Old Dec 23rd, 2003, 09:54 AM
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Hi, Sheila. I dug into my collection of odd books and pulled out one of my old favorites, "The Singing Street" by James Ritchie. You may know it -- it's a collection of Scottish children's playground chants and such, from the days when kids had an oral tradition instead of picking everything up from TV or the internet. I found this in the chapter on guising:

Tramp, tramp, tramp the boys are marching,
We are the guisers at the door.
If you dinnae let us in
We'll bash your door in,
And you'll never see the guisers any more.

The tune, though not specified, is obviously that old WWI song. "Windies" certainly scans better than "door." And of course, Sheila isn't a marching boy. But is this related to your song, if not the actual one you knew?

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Old Dec 23rd, 2003, 11:00 AM
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What a star, KT. that's exactly it, except in my version it was windies. You have no idea how long this has been bugging me.

I don't know the book either, but i will check it out.
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