Duncan Williamson tells some riddles heard round the campfir...

Date 01 November 1976
Track ID 32660
Part 1

Track Information

Original Track ID


Original Tape ID



Duncan Williamson tells some riddles heard round the campfire.

During the war a soldier from Caithness called MacPhee, who was a Taveller, came into a camp where Duncan Williamson was and told this riddle: " Teedelum, a todelum, I had a [?]." The answer was an iron for smoothing clothes.

Old Sandy Cameron's mother told this one at a gathering round the campfire: "In fir rosin, in oak nonis / In clay eelis, in earth nonis." Isa Williamson comments that her mother told this riddle too. Duncan explains that there is rosin in fir but none in oak, eels in the sea where the bottom is clay, but none in earth. The Travellers used rosin from trees when they were soldering tin.

A riddle:
In the sea there's a moat,
In the moat there's a lady with a white petticoat.
If ye cannae guess her name,
I won't tell ye again.
Answer: her name is Eve. Duncan explains that it is said so that 'if ye' sounds like 'Evie'.

A riddle:
There were nine apples hanging high,
There were nine riders passing by.
Each took one, how many were left?
Answer: eight. The man's name was 'Each'.

Recording Location

County - Fife

Parish - Cupar

Village/Place - Cupar





Source Type

Reel to reel

Audio Quality