“The Coble o Cargill”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1875
Keywords: jealousy death drowning infidelity homicide
Found in: Britain(Scotland)


Davie Drummond o Cargill has a bed waiting for him in Balathy, another in Kercock. But one of the women "bored the coble (boat) in seven pairts," and it sinks as he tries to cross the Tay. He regrets his death; the song ends with repetitions of same


Child reports a legend that Drummond was killed because one of his lovers suspected infidelity when he failed to visit her when he had opportunity. But he points out that such legends often grew up about ballads.

The song has very little plot, and that rather smothered in the repetitions at the end (of what sort of man Drummond was, and of how he drowned). It is not surprising that it did not flourish in tradition. - RBW


  1. Child 242, "The Coble o Cargill" (1 text)
  2. Roud #4021
  3. BI, C242