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Caller O’u

[ Roud 17289 ; trad.]

Fiona Ross sang Caller O’u in 2020 on her and Shane O’Mara’s CD Sunwise Turn. She noted:

This 19th century song, Caller O’u, (fresh oysters), echoes the cries of the creel lassies as they sold their wares through the streets of Edinburgh. It was written by Dr John Gray and harks back to the days when fresh caught oysters were cheap enough to be bought by all and sundry, still being in plentiful supply in the Firth of Forth.


Fiona Ross sings Caller O’u

When winter winds howl and the seas rolling high
Our boatmen sae brave all dangers defy
Their last haul on board they head for the shore
Their live cargo landed is soon at our door

Chorus (after each verse):
Caller o’u! Caller o’u!
Caller o’u frae the Forth
Caller o’u! Caller o’u!

At nicht round the ingle sae canty are we
The oyster lass brings a treat frae the sea
Wi music and song, the hours pass us by
And we hear in the distance the creel lassie’s cry

Success tae the boatmen at hame and awa
At kirk and at fair there’s nane gangs sae braw
And leal be their dames, sae blythesome and fair
Their voice in the evening is music to hear