Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Words to the Song were a Thousand Years Long

January's Fiddle Club covered some tunes to 18th century songs.

Here are the words (several courtesy of Patrick Wamsley):

"Johnnie Faa," aka The Gypsie Laddie and The Wraggle, Taggle Gypsies, O!

Numerous versions of this song are available:

The gipsies cam tae our lord's yett,
And oh! but they sang bonny,
They sang sae sweet and sae complete
That doon cam oor fair lady;
When she cam tripping doon the stair,
And a' her maids before her,
As soon as they saw here weel-faured face,
They coost the glamour ower her,

'Sae take frae me, this gay mantle,
And bring tae me a plaidie,
For if kith and kin and a handsworn,
I'll follow the gypsy laddy;
Yestreen I lay in a weel made bed,
And my guid lord beside me;
This nicht I'll lie in a tenant's barn,
What ever may betide me,

Come tae your bed, says Johnny Faa,
Come tae your bed, my deary,
For I vow and swear by the hilt o' my sword,
Your lord shall nae mair come near ye,
"I'll go tae bed my Johnny Faa,
And I'll go tae bed tae my deary,
For I vow and swear by what passed yestreen,
My lord shall nae mair come near me.

I'll mak a hap tae my Johnny Faa,
I'll mak a hap tae my deary,
And he'll get a' that it gaes round,
And my lord shall nae mair come near me,
And when our lord came hame at e'en,
And speired for his fair lady,
The tane she cried and the ither replied,
"She's awa wi the gypsy laddy.

Gae saddle tae me my black, black steed,
Gae saddle and mak him ready;
Before that I either eat or sleep,
I'll gae seek my fair lady.

He wandered heigh, he wandered laigh,
He wandered late and early,
Until he cam to that wan water,
And spied his fair lady.

O there were fifteen weelmade men,
Although they were na bonny,
And they hangit a' in a raw,
For the Earl o' Castle's lady.

"For our Lang Biding Here"

Here's the text of the original poem by Allan Ramsay,
also entitled "A South Sea Sang",
taken from page 31 of "The Tea-Table Miscellany."

When we came to London town
We dream'd of gowd in gowpings here
And rantin'ly ran up and down
In rising stocks to buy a skair
We daftly thought to row in rowth
But for our daffin paid right dear
The lave will fare the waur in trouth
For our lang biding here
But when we fand our purses toom
And dainty stocks began to fa'
We hang our lugs and wi' a gloom
Girn'd at stock-jobbing ane an a'
If we gang near the South Sea house
The whillywhas will grip ye'r gear
Syne a' the lave will fare the waur
For our lang biding here

"Will you go to Flanders"

Peter Hall of Aberdeen claims that the original stanzas date back to the 1st Duke of Marlborough's campaign in Flanders in 1706. This campaign climaxed at the Battle of Ramillies, where 62,000 men under the Duke of Marlborough defeated 60,000 men led by French Marshal Villeroi. Scottish, Irish, Swiss and German soldiers fought in the battle for both sides.

Will ye go tae Flanders, my Mally O?
Will ye go tae Flanders, my Mally O?
We'll get wine and brandy, sac and sugar candy
Oh will ye go tae Flanders, my Mally O?

Will ye go tae Flanders, my Mally O?
Tae see the bonnie soldiers, my Mally O?
They'll gie the pipes a blaw wi' their kilts and plaids sae braw
Oh will ye go tae Flanders, my Mally O?

Will ye go tae Flanders, my Mally O?
An' tak the royal shillin' there, my Mally O?
Will ye tae a foreign shore for tae hear the cannon roar
Oh will ye go tae Flanders, my Mally O?

Will ye go tae Flanders, my Mally O?
Tae see the bold commanders, my Mally O?
Will ye see the bullets fly and the soldiers, how they die
Oh will ye go tae Flanders, my Mally O?

[Peter's note: I suspect the second verse is a later intrusion, since Highland Regiments with their kilts and plaids and pipers were a thing of the future; and even in the 18th century songs, and the kilt itself (or philabeg, as Johnny Cope calls it, as opposed to the belted plaid, would not become common among soldiers until the end of the 18th century.]

"De'il Tak the Wars" aka -- De'il Tak the War! --

De'il take the war, that hurried Willy from me,
Who to love me just had sworn.
They made him captain, sure, to undo me:
Woe is me, he'll ne'er return.
A thousand loons abroad will fight him, He from thousands ne'er will run.
Day and night I did invite to stay safe from the sword and gun:
I used alluring graces with muckle kind embraces,
Now sighing, then crying, tears dropping fall.
And had he my soft arms preferred to war's alarms,
By love grown mad, without the Man of Gad,
I fear in my fit I had granted all!
I washed and patched to make me look provoking
Snares that they told me would catch the men
And on my head a huge commode sat cocking,
Which made me show as tall again;
For a new gown too I paid muckle money,
Which with golden flowers did shine.
My Love well might think me gay and bonny:
No Scotch lass was e'er so fine.
My petticoat I spotted, fringe too with thread I knotted,
Lace shoes, and silk hose, garter full over knee.
But oh! the fatal thought: to Willy these were naught,
Who rid to towns, and rifled with dragoons,
When he, silly loon, might have plundered me!

"O'er Bogie wi' my Love"

This song is also based upon an Allan Ramsay poem.

I will awa' wi' my love, I will awa' wi' her
Though a' my kin had sworn and said, "I'll o'er Bogie wi' her."
If I can get but her consent, I dinna care a strae
Though ilka ane be discontent, awa' wi' her I'll gane

"The Black Jock", aka "The Black Joke" or "The Black Joak"

This one is naughty. You have been warned.

Variant 1:

No mortal sure can blame ye man,
Who prompted by Nature will act as he can
Wth a black joke, and belly so white:
For he ye Platonist must gain say,
that will not Human Nature obey,
in working a joke, as will lather like soap,
and ye hair of her joke, will draw more yn a rope,
with a black joke, and belly so white.

The first that came in was an English boy,
and then he began for to play and toy,
With her black etc..
He was well vers'd in Venus's School,
Went on like a Lyon came off like a fool,
From her coal black etc.

Then Shonup a Morgan from Holly-head
Was stark staring mad to go to bed,
To her black etc.
His cruper her saddle did not fit,
So out of door she did him hit;
With her Coal black etc..

Then hastily came in a Hilland man,
His chanter and pipe both in his hand,
To her black etc.
But his main spring it was not strong
For he could only flash in the pan
Of her Coal black etc.

A Frenchman oh yh wth ruffles and wig
With her he began for to dance a Jig
With her black etc.
and wn he felt wt was under her smock,
Begar said Mounsier 'tis a fine Merimot
With a Coal black etc..

A rich Dutch skiper from Amsterdam
He came wth his gilt ready in hand,
To her black etc.
He fancy'd himself very fit for ye game,
She sent him to Holland all in a flame,
By her Coal black etc.

The good Irish Man he cou'd not forbear
But yt he must have a very good share,
Of her black etc.
Madam said he for money I have none.
But I'll play a tune on ye jiging bone
Of your Coal black etc.

Then next came in a brave Granadeer,
and calls in for plenty of Ale and beer,
For her black etc.
The cuning sly Jade show'd him a trick
and sent him away wth fire in his stick
From her Coal black etc..

Traverse ye Globe and you'l find none,
Who is nott addicted and very much prone,
To a black etc.
The Prince, ye Priest, ye Peasant do love it,
and all degrees of Mankind do covet
A Coal black etc.

The rigid recluse wth his meager face,
From fasting and prayer wd quickly cease,
For a black etc.
Let ye Clergy Cant and say wt they will
They stop ye mouth and tickle the Gill
Of a Coal black etc.

The Bishop in his Pontifical Gown,
Wou'd tumble another Susanna down,
For her black etc.
The Lawyer his Clients cause wd quit
To dip his pen in ye bottomless Pit
Of a Coal black etc.

Variant 2:

There was a lady came out of France
all for to learn an english Dance
with her coal black jack that will lather like soap
and the hair of her Joke will draw more than a rope
with a black Joak, and belly so white

We girls of the Town are Ladies of pleasure
We go to the Tavern and stitch at our leisure
with her coal etc.

Whe have such ways to draw men in
We'd rather stitch then learn to spin
with our--- etc.

In comes prime Phillis then in a great h--
and swears l--m her soul she'll stitch without men
with our --- etc.

She followed me from lane to lane
picking my pockets quite so clean
with her etc.

Of all the Collours that are in the Town
a red, a flaveen, a Grey or a brown
with her---etc.

Remember you Gallants, that follow the game
french Ladies first gave you sauce for the same
With a coal black etc.

It is our Delight for to pick up a spark
To] walk with at night in the Garden or park
With a Coal black etc.

You sparks of saint James's and likeways pall mall
I'd have you take care of this frenchify'd Girl
With a Coal black etc.

Songs of Market Crashes

During January's Fiddle Club meeting, we discussed song tunes of the 18th century. I'll be posting lyrics soon, but one song, For Our Lang Biding Here, was about the South Sea Bubble, which destroyed much of the wealth of Great Britain in 1720. But as crippling as this was for England, it was a knock-out punch for Scotland, whose economy had already been decimated by the Darien Scheme, which frittered away a quarter of the liquid wealth of a struggling Scotland in 1700.

The following is from a wonderful BBC Documentary, A History of Scotland, hosted by Neil Oliver; from Season 2, Episode 2, "Let's Pretend", about the Jacobite Rebellion period from 1688 through 1745.

Someone has uploaded the entire series onto YouTube - but it's definitely worth buying! The discussion of the Company of Scotland, starts at 6:55.

And continues in this portion, to 1:46 - and then leading into a discussion of how the weakened Scotland was pushed into the Treaty of Union.

And the rest of the episode:

Friday, January 14, 2011

Robert Burns Museum Opens on 22-01-2011

Forwarded from Fiddle Club member Patrick Wamsley:

New £21m Robert Burns Birthplace Museum opens

The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum (RBBM) in Alloway, Ayrshire, aims to attract visitors from across the world. The project, which has taken six years to complete, will feature more than 5,000 artefacts, including original manuscripts written by the poet. The official opening of the museum is due to take place on 22 January to coincide with Alloway's Burns weekend . . . . The RBBM replaces what was formerly the Burns National Heritage Park and brings together all of the Alloway sites, including the Burns Monument, Alloway Auld Kirk, Burns Cottage, an education pavilion and Auld Brig O'Doon . . . .

Nat Edwards, director of the museum, said: "Our aim is to provide a modern and relevant interpretation of Burns that will intrigue visitors of all ages, whether they are lifelong Burns enthusiasts or completely new to his work. Here, you will not just be able to read the manuscript of Tam o' Shanter, you can see the fireplace round which Burns first heard the stories that he turned into that poem, and you can look out the window and see that landscape, places like the Kirk Alloway and Brig O'Doon where the poem takes place. It gives you every facet of the man and his work."

Robert Burns, who died in 1796, is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland.