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Jim McLean Origin: Dumbarton's Drums (28) RE: Origin: Dumbarton's Drums 14 Feb 20


For clarity's sake it should be pointed out that there are two songs which are entireley different, both in melody and text but they share only the title Dumbarton's Drums.
Th e first is the Scottish traditional song, copied exactly by Burns from Thompson's Orpheus Caledonia and published in Johnson's Scots Musical Museum.
The Royal Scots March is taken from this melody.

The second Dumbarton's Drums came through an American Traditional Folk family led by Robert 'Fiddler' Beers and they were active from the 1950s to the 70s.
Kenneth S Goldstein covers their association with this tune in his study 'Two penny Ballads and four dollar whiskies.' He says the song was recorded on a tape in 1963 and subsequently issued on an LP Introducing the Beers Family, Columbia 1965.
This is the song recorded by Jean Redpath in 1995 on an LP called 'Summer of MY Dreams'. Jean Redpath knew the Beers in the 1960s and coincidentally her early records were produced by Kenneth Goldstein. It's possible she introduced the song into Scotland as she was a lecturer in the University of Stirling in 1979. of course the Beers Family album of 1965 could have been heard in the UK. This is the version that the Corries et al now sing except the Corries swap the gender of the two main characters but I emphasise, the song only shares its title with the Scottish trad song collected/copied by Burns, two different songs, not versions, with the same title.


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