The Puddock

Music: Peter Hill & Sheena Phillips, Words: J.M.Caie

Voicing: SATB

Performance time approx: 1m 30s

Range S: b – b' / A: b – b' / T: B – f'# / B: B – c'

Price code: B


This humorous narrative song portrays an ebullient frog who believes there’s never been a better one than himself, although he makes only a small snack for the heron who gobbles him up.

The word ‘puddock’ (Scots for ‘frog’) forms a playful musical background suggestive of the call of the frog, while the story line is passed between different voices in the choir.

A Puddock sat by the lochan's brim,
An' he thocht there was never a puddock like him.[thought]
He sat on his hurdies, he waggled his legs,[haunches]
An' cockit his heid as he glowered throu' the seggs.[rushes]
The bigsy wee cratur' was feeling that prood,
he gapit his mou' an' he croakit oot lood:
'Gin ye'd a' like tae see a richt puddock,' quo' he,[if you'd all..]
'Ye'll never, I'll sweer, get a better or me.
I've fem'lies an' wives an' a weel-plenished hame
wi' drink for my thrapple an' meat for my wame[thrapple – throat, wame – belly]
The lasses aye thocht me a fine stappin' chiel,[fine-stepping youth]
An' I ken I'm a rale bonny singer as weel.
I'm nae gaun tae blaw, but the truth I maun tell –[not going to boast]
I believe I'm the verra MacPuddock himsel'.'
A heron was hungry an' needin' tae sup,
Sae he nabbit th' puddock and gollup't him up;
Syne runkled his feathers: 'A peer thing,' quo' he,[syne – then, peer – poor, i.e.“it's a shame”]
'But puddocks is nae fat they eesed tae be.' [not what they used to be]

J M Caie

Canasg has so far been unable to trace copyright on this poem.

Card ImageScottish

The Puddock

Peter Hill


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