“The Keach i the Creel”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1827 (Kinloch)
Keywords: courting father mother elopement nightvisit humorous
Found in: Britain(England(North),Scotland(Aber,Bord)) Ireland US(MA,NE) Canada(Mar)


A clerk and a girl wish to keep company/marry, but she cannot escape her parents' home. He plans to pull her up her chimney in a creel. The suspicious mother enters the room and is pulled up in the creel instead, then dropped by the startled clerk


Kinloch's "The Covering Blue" omit the ride in the creel, but is obviously the same song (and Child included it as his "D" text). Thus, though most of the humor of the piece comes when the clerk hauls the auld woman up the chimney, the key point is the nightvisiting theme. - RBW

Same tune



  1. Child 281, "The Keach i the Creel" (4 texts, 1 tune) {Bronson's #12}
  2. Bronson 281, "The Keach i the Creel" (38 versions)
  3. BarryEckstormSmyth pp. 336-339, "The Keach i' the Creel" (1 text plus a fragment, 2 tunes) {Bronson's #5, #6}
  4. Flanders-Ancient4, pp. 136-138, "The Keach i' the Creel" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
  5. Ford-Vagabond, pp. 277-280, "The Wee Toun Clerk" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #13}
  6. Stokoe/Reay, pp. 22-23, "The Keach i' the Creel" (1 text, 1 tune) {cf. Bronson's #4}
  7. FSCatskills 133, "The Little Scotch Girl" (1 text, 1 tune)
  8. SHenry H201, pp. 265-266, "The Ride in the Creel" (1 text, 1 tune)
  9. Tunney-StoneFiddle, pp. 92-93, "The Cetch in the Creel" (1 text)
  10. Kinloch-BBook XVII, pp. 61-63, "The Covering Blue" (1 text)
  11. DT 281, KEACHCRL*
  12. Roud #120
  13. BI, C281