Murray, Charles

Scotland, (1864-1941)


  1. NOO that cauldrife Winter’s here
  2. There’s a pig in ilka bed,
  3. Kinlin’s scarce an’ coals is dear;
  4. Noo that cauldrife Winter’s here
  5. Doddy mittons we maun wear,
  6. Butter skites an’ winna spread;
  7. Noo that cauldrife Winter’s here
  8. There’s a pig in ilka bed.

Editor’s Note: Key to “Doric” dialect:

  1. [cauldrife = chilling]
  2. [ilka = every]
  3. [kinlin = kindling]
  4. [doddy = wool]
  5. [skites = skates around]

About the Poet

Charles Murray (1864-1941), Scottish poet. Murray wrote in the “Doric” or rural dialect of the people of north-eastern Scotland (the Grampian Region), a language seen as rich, expressive, and rooted in tradition.

Most of his poetry was written while in South Africa, where he emigrated in 1888 and worked as an engineer for a gold-mining company. Later, he became a lieutenant with the Railway Pioneers during the Boer War, and then became a South African civil servant and was appointed Secretary of Public Works in 1912. He retired and moved back to Scotland in 1924. [DES-6/03]

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