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Robert Coltard


1832 - 1880

Songwriter and weaver. Born in Galloway, Coltard came to Galashiels as a teenager to work as a weaver but began making boiled sweets to augment his income which he flavoured with aniseed and sold around the Scottish Borders. However, he is best remembered for the song he wrote to advertise his products, which has become a traditional lullaby and begins:

Ally bally, ally bally bee,
Sittin' on yer mammy's knee,
Greetin' for a wee bawbee,
Tae buy some Coulter's candy.

Coltard died of a brain tumour and was buried in an unmarked grave in Eastlands Cemetery in Galashiels. His song gained a wider audience in 1961 when it was recorded by the folk duo Robin Hall and Jimmie Macgregor.


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