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COCKAYGNE

Cockaygne was the Peasant's ideal land during Middle-Ages England. It was also called Poor Man's Heaven, Pomona, Venusberg, the City of Caesars, the Country of the Young, the Big Rock Candy Mountain, etc.
Peasants of other countries also had their mythical dream lands.
Dancing_Peasants

Extracts from old Songs

Cockaygne

And all larks that are so couth
Fly right down into man's mouth
Smothered in stew, and thereupon
Piles of powdered cinnamon:
Every man may drink his fill
And needn't sweat to pay the bill.

Poor Man's Heaven

In Poor Man's Heaven we'll have our own way,
There's nothing up there but good luck,
There's strawberry pie
That's twenty feet high
And whipped cream they bring in a truck.

Big Rock Candy Mountains

There ain't no short-handled shovels,
No axes, saws or picks
I'm bound to stay where they sleep all day,
Where they hung the Turk that invented work,
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.

from Socialism For Beginners by Anna Paczuska

Cockaigne, Land of (kokân'). An imaginary land of idleness and luxury, famous in mediaeval story. Ellis in his Specimens of Early English Poets gives and early translation of a 13th-century French poem called The Land of Cockaign in which 'the houses were made of barley sugar cakes, the streets were paved with pastry, and the shops supplied goods for nothing'.

London has been so called, with punning reference to cockney. Boileau applies the name to Paris.

The name may well mean the 'land of cakes', ultimately from Lat. coquere, to cook. Scotland is called the 'land of cakes'.

from Brewer's Book of Myth & Legend


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cockaygne@embassy.org.nz

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