These Rhymes were written by North Antrim Folk, in their own country dialect, about the 'Big Cat' that had been sighted around Ballybogey during the Winter of '03/'04.
I posted them in my column in the Ballymoney Times, 'Traditional Notes' and they were so well received, I thought other Bloggers might enjoy reading them too.
The language used in these Rhymes is the local North Antrim dialect of 'Ullans', which is in itself in my opinion, just a dialect of the Scots language, proper.
The fact is, there is even a debate as to whether Scots itself is actually a language at all and not just a group of strong country dialects of English, with regional variations. However, that's an argument for another day.
The fact is, whether a language or just a dialect, the country folk who use it are very familiar with it, in it's spoken form, but less so when it is written down. So that fact may help to explain why there seems to be so much variation when it comes to the spelling of words.
In any case, the language used in these rhymes is rich and full of quaint colloquialisms, which we should treasure.
I have been playing Scottish & Irish Traditional Music for over 40 years. I work as a professional musician, teaching Traditional Irish and Scottish Music in a number of Primary Schools during the week and Scottish Music in the Ulster-Scots Ullans Centre in Ballymoney. I also promote traditional music in the evenings, in a number of local bars, including an Irish session in Ballycastle, a Ballads & Tunes session in Bushmills & an Ulster-Scots session in Ballymoney, each week.