phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Cockle Pickers

Posted by Henry on February 08, 2004

In Reply to: Cockles of my heart posted by Rob on February 08, 2004

: I think that, as the previous contributors have identified, the cockle is a heart-shaped mollusc.
: This leads to the combination of "Cockle" and "Heart". Indeed, in German, it is called the edible heart-mussel (essbare Herzmuschel).
: We may also remember that a shell is a "coquille" in French - this is IMHO the origin of cockle since the similarity is striking. We English have the French to thank for a large part of our language ('education & intellectual words') and our Germanic forebears for much of the rest (everyday farmer life words).

To the Cockle Pickers

The siren sounds each tide across the bay,
"Beware you pilgrims walking on the sands"
And every traveller hurries on his way
Towards the treasure of the Promised Land.

Ring out anew you careworn Cartmel bells
To tell that nineteen men have lost their race,
And peal across the lonely Furness Fells
That nineteen souls today seek God's good grace.