mudcat.org: Lyr Req: The Highland Widow's Lament
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Lyr Req: The Highland Widow's Lament

Related threads:
Lyr Req: The Highland Widow's Lament (9)
Tune Req: Name this tune.... Please! (9)


Peg 08 Feb 00 - 04:08 PM
Lesley N. 08 Feb 00 - 04:28 PM
John in Brisbane 08 Feb 00 - 05:15 PM
Lesley N. 08 Feb 00 - 05:23 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 08 Feb 00 - 05:28 PM
Lesley N. 08 Feb 00 - 06:17 PM
Lesley N. 08 Feb 00 - 06:28 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 08 Feb 00 - 10:12 PM
KingBrilliant 09 Feb 00 - 03:33 AM
Peg 09 Feb 00 - 11:23 AM
RobbieWilson 08 Jul 05 - 12:00 PM
RobbieWilson 08 Jul 05 - 12:09 PM
Le Scaramouche 08 Jul 05 - 12:27 PM
GUEST,MMario 08 Jul 05 - 12:40 PM
Malcolm Douglas 08 Jul 05 - 12:54 PM
Le Scaramouche 08 Jul 05 - 01:50 PM
Little Robyn 08 Jul 05 - 04:49 PM
Jim McLean 08 Jul 05 - 04:55 PM
Rumncoke 08 Jul 05 - 06:52 PM
Malcolm Douglas 08 Jul 05 - 07:52 PM
Little Robyn 08 Jul 05 - 09:42 PM
Malcolm Douglas 08 Jul 05 - 10:08 PM
Daniel Kelly 26 Apr 20 - 09:12 AM
Gallus Moll 26 Apr 20 - 11:37 AM
GUEST,Starship 26 Apr 20 - 12:05 PM
GUEST,akenaton 26 Apr 20 - 12:41 PM
Steve Gardham 26 Apr 20 - 03:00 PM
Gallus Moll 26 Apr 20 - 06:21 PM
Daniel Kelly 27 Apr 20 - 12:05 AM
Steve Gardham 27 Apr 20 - 05:45 AM
Gallus Moll 28 Apr 20 - 04:14 PM
Steve Gardham 28 Apr 20 - 05:21 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:



Subject: Highland Lament
From: Peg
Date: 08 Feb 00 - 04:08 PM

Anyone have these? First verse starts "Now I am come to the low countrie"

thanks!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: THE HIGHLAND WIDOW'S LAMENT
From: Lesley N.
Date: 08 Feb 00 - 04:28 PM

The Highland Widow's Lament from a manuscript "A Choice Collection of Several Scots Miscellanie poems and songs", circa 1715. Notes on it by Burns indicate it refers to the massacre at Glencoe. I have it at Highland Widow's Lament (http://www.contemplator.com/folk2/widow.html).

Oh, I am come to the low countrie,
Och on, och on, och rie!
Without a penny in my purse,
To buy a meal to me.

It was na sae in the Highland hills,
Och on, och on, och rie!
Nae woman in the country wide
Sae happy was as me.

For then I had a score o' kye,
Och on, och on, och rie!
Feeding on yon hills so high,
And giving milk to me.

And there I had threescore o' yowes,
Och on, och on, och rie!
Skipping on yon bonnie knowes,
And casting woo' to me.

I was the happiest of a' the clan,
Sair, sair may I repine;
For Donald was the brawest man,
And Donald he was mine.

Till Charlie Stuart cam' at last,
Sae far to set us free;
My Donald's arm was wanted then
For Scotland and for me.

Their waefu' fate what need I tell?
Right to the wrang did yield:
My Donald and his country fell
Upon Colloden-field.

Och on, O Donald O!
Och on, och on, och rie!
Nae woman in the warld wide
Sae wretched now as me.

^^


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Highland Lament
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 08 Feb 00 - 05:15 PM

Lesley, you're an absolute treasure! Why don't you fire up your personal jet and come and visit us sometime? Enroute you could get a Scottish fix of malt whisky and haggis in the Highlands. Regards, John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Highland Lament
From: Lesley N.
Date: 08 Feb 00 - 05:23 PM



I promise John, when I get my personal jet, yours will be the first place I visit!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Highland Lament
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 08 Feb 00 - 05:28 PM

It's from my website, Scarce Songs 1, and I have two tunes for it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Highland Lament
From: Lesley N.
Date: 08 Feb 00 - 06:17 PM

I assumed John meant because I answered so quickly! I got the song out of an old Boosey and Hawkes songbook, but the information is definately from you Bruce!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Highland Lament
From: Lesley N.
Date: 08 Feb 00 - 06:28 PM

I recall I got the info from an old thread (http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=4220#22648) Guess I didn't check Scarce Songs that time - though I almost always do - and when I find information I put a link to the page at your site on the music page I create. I appreciate what a valuable resource your site is Bruce and don't want to steal any thunder.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Highland Lament
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 08 Feb 00 - 10:12 PM

Sorry Lesley, I forgot that it was one I contributed to Mudcat before I got a website.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Highland Lament
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 03:33 AM

This is one I remember from a record my parents had (I'm going to have a good rifle through their collection soon, so I should find out who recorded the version I remember). It is a really lovely song. I sing it with a slightly variant tune and with an almost reggae rhythm on guitar. For some reason that seems to work. Unfortunately all the songs I sing have 'slightly variant tunes' - I am told that they always sound 'plausible' (aka 'close but no cigar'). Anyway - its singaround night this saturday, so I'm glad to be reminded of this one. I'll apologise to the Scots geezer first though....

Kris


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Highland Lament
From: Peg
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 11:23 AM

thanks for those lyrics, Lesley! very helpful. I have only ever heard two versions of this osng: one by the Corries which seems to correspond to most if not all of your lyrics; and one version (a snippet, really) which is at the beginning of the film The Wicker Man. In that version, the second verse begins "Oh if I drive a hundred mile" ...I think... peg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Highland Lament
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 12:00 PM

I have this on a cheapo CD ofcalled The Best of Scottish Flok. It says it is performed by Robert Burns, but a friend told me it is The Ian Campbell folk trio, with Ian's sister, whose name I don't know singing. By the way this song does not show up in DT on a search under Highland Widow's Lament.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Highland Lament
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 12:09 PM

.... and this thread does not show under Highland lament, very odd.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Highland Lament
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 12:27 PM

How on earth could it be performed by Robert Burnes?
Also, how could the song be from 1715 when Charlie Stuart is mentioned, unless it's an interpolation.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Highland Lament
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 12:40 PM

Robbie - the song is in the DT as "Border Widow's Lament" rather the "highland"

I get this thread when searching on "highland lament" - don't know why you don't

Scaramouche - why can't the song be from 1715 just because charlie is mentioned. Couldn't that be Charlie II? And the restoration of the Monarchy?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Highland Lament
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 12:54 PM

The information Lesley posted refers, not to the song that she quoted (Scots Musical Museum vol V no 498; presumably from Burns), but to the earlier text on which it was based. See the other thread indicated above for full details.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Highland Lament
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 01:50 PM

Charles II was long since dead. James was Bonnie Prince Charlie's father.
The Border Widow's Lament is a rather different song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Highland Lament
From: Little Robyn
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 04:49 PM

Ian Campbell's sister is Lorna.
I have the song on a Trailer LP called The Fate o' Charlie and it's sung by Barbara Dickson. Lovely! Archie Fisher and John MacKinnon are the other singers on the record which Bill and Helen Leader put out in the early 70s.
Robyn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Highland Lament
From: Jim McLean
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 04:55 PM

The mention of Culloden dates the song after 1746. I recorded Jeannie Steel (the troubadour club secretary and Martin Winsor's other half) singing this song in 1971 on an LP called Martin Winsor and Redd Sullivan, hosts of The Troubadour, with friends.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Highland Lament
From: Rumncoke
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 06:52 PM

This is number ten in my book of words - but I have been singing half the song for 35 years - oh well - time to learn some new verses.

Thank you!!

Anne


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Highland Lament
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 07:52 PM

Yes, rather obviously later than 1745: first printed in SMM after Burns' death in 1796 (see reference above). Like most Jacobite songs, written at least half a century after the event, in a sort of romantic afterglow. Please do take the trouble to read the other thread I mentioned, which should make it perfectly clear that Lesley quoted the wrong information when this old thread was young. The other thread also makes it clear that Burns, relying on Dr Blacklock, believed that the original song was about the Glencoe massacre (though there seems to be no direct evidence of that).

It's all there if you bother to look.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: BORDER WIDOW'S LAMENT
From: Little Robyn
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 09:42 PM

The Border Widow's Lament is definately a different song but I've seen the two confused before. I've even heard someone try to sing the words of one to the tune of the other! The tune to this one is similar to the Border Ballad, Johnny Armstrong.

BORDER WIDOW'S LAMENT

My love he built me a bonnie bower
And clad it all with lily flower
A brawer bower ye ne'er did see
Than my true love he built for me

There came a man by middle day
He spied his sport and went away
And brought the King that very night
Who broke my bower and slew my knight

He slew my knight to me sae dear
He slew my knight and poin'ed his gear
My servants all for life did flee
And left me in extremity

I sewed his sheet, making my moan
I watched the corpse, myself alone
I watched his body, night and day
No living creature came that way

I took his body on my back
And whiles I gaed and whiles I sat
I digged a grave and laid him in
And happ'd him with the sod sae green

But think not ye my heart was sair
When I laid the mold on his yellow hair
Oh think not ye my heart was woe
When I turned about, away to go

No living man I'll love again
Since that my lovely knight is slain
With a lock of his yellow hair
I'll chain my heart for evermore


From The Scottish Folksinger, Buchan and Hall
(Child #106)
Robyn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Highland Lament
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 10:08 PM

That's the Scotish Minstrel set. See DT file  BORDER WIDOW'S LAMENT.

The DT file was copied from Buchan and Hall, but the title of Smith's book is given wrongly (mind you, Buchan and Hall also "corrected" it to "Scottish", though thankfully without confusing "minstrel" and "minstrelsy" as the DT entry does).

Does anybody have anything to say that hasn't already been said, or is this old thread, dragged back from oblivion after more than 5 years in blessed peace, to be the scene of a remorseless repetition of every past misunderstanding?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Highland Widow's Lament
From: Daniel Kelly
Date: 26 Apr 20 - 09:12 AM

A comment on this threat some 20 years after it started.

In this 1871 book of Burn's verse, the notes suggest that Burns wrote
this piece entirely himself and only borrowed the refrain, 'och on...' from a different song about Glencoe.

Text here.

The notes refer to something called the 'Museum', which I think might
be a reference to the Scottish Musical Museum, the song appears with music in volume 5, published in 1839. Text here.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Highland Widow's Lament
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 26 Apr 20 - 11:37 AM

The Mansfield Manuscript predates both these publications, and is one of the oldest written records of Scots songs and ballads.
The late Ronnie Clark produced a 'fakesimile' based on archives at Broughton House, Kirkcudbright and with assistance from Hornel Library, National Library of Scotlandand various other experts.
'An Old Edinburgh Collection of Songs and Ballads' fakesimile was published in 2015 by The Glasgow Ballad Workshop.
Permission must be received from The Glasgow Ballad Workshop before any of the contents of the Manuscript Fakesimile are copied or transmitted.
The Manuscript was probably begun while Burns was still a child....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Highland Widow's Lament
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 26 Apr 20 - 12:05 PM

It starts from the bottom of p 224 for anyone interested. I don't think it's been referenced yet although I could be wrong. Anyway,


https://books.google.ca/books?id=Uf1LAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA152&lpg=PA152&dq=gallant+murray,+jacobite+song&source=bl&ots=HZ01O1b-Zs&sig=A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Highland Widow's Lament
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 26 Apr 20 - 12:41 PM

Here


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Highland Widow's Lament
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 Apr 20 - 03:00 PM

Elizabeth St Clair wrote her songs down between c1765 and 1780. Burns was born 1759, so yes the ms was begun when Burns was still a child. So it certainly looks like Stenhouse was wrong in ascribing it 'Wholly to Burns for the Museum.' Stenhouse had Burns' manuscript in front of him when he wrote this, but gives no indication why he was so convinced Burns had written it.

Some of the songs in St Clair's manuscript have already been published in other collections such as Chambers. Whilst Moll is correct about reproducing the copy of Ronnie's book, the actual material is in fact public domain.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Highland Widow's Lament
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 26 Apr 20 - 06:21 PM

Burns' words are not exactly the same as those in the Manuscript, but the song is recognisably the same.
The Manuscript seems to me to have been the same type of thing each of us (of my generation at least) did as youngsters getting into folk /traditional music - in the days before the internet!
I would hear a song on the wireless, or someone singing at a party or concert, scribble it down in a jotter....still have my wee book from schooldays in the '60s, and the follow on ones from student days,and then 1970s, 80s. Not the beautiful handwriting of E.St Clair, but the same idea - noting down songs and some poems I liked, wanted to learn - as for the tunes, they had to be picked up by ear, from singing choruses then gradually memorising verse tune....they have stayed with me ever since!!!
I am sure many people down the years have done the same, but probably most have been lost or discarded - we are so fortunate that the St Clair Manuscript has been preserved, and that Ronnie has made it available in a format that is easier for most of us to read!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Highland Widow's Lament
From: Daniel Kelly
Date: 27 Apr 20 - 12:05 AM

That is a helpful link Starship, though being published in 1861, you have to wonder what Charles Mackay was relying on to state that Burns wrote verses 5,6 and 7.

Stenhouse is also referenced in this Burns collection from 1876, vigorously denouncing the 'fake' verses.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Highland Widow's Lament
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 27 Apr 20 - 05:45 AM

'we are so fortunate that the St Clair Manuscript has been preserved, and that Ronnie has made it available in a format that is easier for most of us to read!'

Absolutely. I corresponded with Ronnie for a while and we even threatened to meet up at Whitby Festival but our timings never coincided. I didn't know that he had passed on. A great loss to ballad research! I am following the work of Valentina Bold, Mary Ellen Brown and Emily Lyle with high hopes of seeing more of the same. There must be a lot of material in Hornel, Ewart, Abbotsford, Aberdeen and other places that has not seen the light of day yet.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Highland Widow's Lament
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 28 Apr 20 - 04:14 PM

The Glasgow Ballad Workshop was founded by Ronnie Clarke, Gordeanna McCulloch and Anne Neilson, and how fortunate we were to have had these three remarkably talented and knowlegable people to guide us through the intricacies of ballad performance, history, language..... we were devastated to lose all three within an 18 month period. However others rose to to the task under the sure hand of Adam McNaughtan, established us in a new venue (DRAM in Woodlands Road) and have proved themselves worthy of the responsibility. During lockdown some of us are bravely exposing ourselves (musically) on the internet. Others are continuing with ballad writing, following in from a task set by Anne.abd I expect once we all gather again, whenever, we will all have hugely increased our repertoires?!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Highland Widow's Lament
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 28 Apr 20 - 05:21 PM

I corresponded with Adam when he was working on The Poet's Box. The great thing about the Poet's Box is that everything had a date. I do wish all the ballad sheets were dated.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 17 January 10:57 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.