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Skeealyn Vannin, Disk 1 Track 01: Recitation: 'The Miller of Ballawillin' by William Cubbon, Douglas

Date(s): 1948

Creator(s): Irish Folklore Commission

Transcript: A very old story is told of the Miller of Ballawillin whose mill was at Baldwin in the Parish of Kirk Braddan in the Isle of Man. Juan Cannell was his name.

On a day soon after mid-summer, he had to go over Slieau Beary to meet a farmer at Eairy Mooar. Before starting he told his son, Ffinlo, to put through the mill the barley of the nearby farm of Ard Whallian, and added “Ffinlo, mind thou take the foilliu.”

The foilliu was a proportion of the meal, ground for the farmer customer.That was the customer’s payment to the miller for grinding. It was always taken for granted that the miller was an honest man, although it was sometimes slyly said that the miller’s pig was usually very fat.

When Juan returned in the evening, he asked Ffinlo what he had done. “I put through the mill the barley of Ard Whallian” replied Ffinlo “and I’ve taken the foilliu”.When Ffinlo had gone his father said to himself “I don’t believe a word of his mouth.I will go and take the foilliu myself”.

Juan had almost finished when he heard the lhondhoo singing on a drine growing outside the mill doorway. The bird was singing in Manx:

Miller, thou wicked one
Miller, thou wicked one
Thou would take the foilliu twice, eh
Thou would take the foilliu twice
I will tell Ard Whallian
I will tell Ard Whallian
I will tell, I will tell, I will tell!

The miller felt ashamed. He threw down the contents of the dollan in his hand. He put back all he had wrongfully taken and never again did he act dishonestly.

(Transcribed by Phil Gawne, Cregneash)

Language: eng

Collection: Sound Archive

Level: WHOLE

ID number: SA 0579/1/1


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