Twa Bonnie Maidens, a jacobite song

Leggi in italiano

“Twa Bonnie Maidens” is a jacobite song published by James Hogg in “Jacobite Relics”, Volume II (1819). It refers to the occasion when Bonnie Prince Charlie sailed with Flora MacDonald from the Outer Hebrides to Skye, dressed as Flora’s maid. The event described here took place during Bonnie Prince Charlie’s months in hiding after his defeat at the Battle of Culloden (April 16, 1746). By late July, the Hannoverians thought they had Charlie pinned down in the outer Hebrides.

IL PRINCIPE E LA BALLERINA

The prince had managed to get to the Island of Banbecula of the Outer Hebrides, but the surveillance was very tight and had no way to escape. And here comes Flora MacDonald.
In the anecdotal version of the story, Flora devised a trick to take away Charlie from the island : on the pretext of visiting her mother (who lived in Armadale after remarried), she obtained the safe-conduct for herself and her two servants; under the name and clothes of the Irish maid Betty Burke, however, it was hidden the Bonny Prince!: Il Principe e la Ballerina

Flora MacDonald's Introduction to Bonnie Prince Charlie di Alexander Johnston (1815-1891)
“Flora MacDonald’s Introduction to Bonnie Prince Charlie” di Alexander Johnston (1815-1891)

TWA BONNIE MAIDENS

Hogg took the Gaelic words down from a Mrs. Betty Cameron from Lochaber.
Was copied verbatim from the mouth of Mrs Betty Cameron from Lochaber ; a well-known character over a great part of the Lowlands, especially for her great store of Jacobite songs, and her attachment to Prince Charles, and the chiefs that suffered for him, of whom she never spoke without bursting out a-crying. She said it was from the Gaelic ; but if it is, I think it is likely to have been translated by herself. There is scarcely any song or air that I love better.”
Quadriga Consort from “Ships Ahoy ! – Songs of Wind, Water & Tide” 2011
Marais & Miranda from A European Folk Song Festival 2012 (I, III)
Archie Fisher from “The Man with a Rhyme” 1976


I
There were twa bonnie maidens,
and three bonnie maidens,
Cam’ ower the Minc (1),
and cam’ ower the main,
Wi’ the wind for their way
and the corrie (2) for their hame,
And they’re dearly welcome
tae Skye again.
Chorus
Come alang, come alang,
wi’ your boatie and your song,

Tae my hey! bonnie maidens,
my twa bonnie maids!

The nicht, it is dark,
and the redcoat is gane,

And you’re dearly welcome
tae Skye again.

II
There is Flora (3), my honey,
sae neat and sae bonnie,
And ane that is tall,
and handsome withall.
Put the ane for my Queen
and the ither for my King (4)
And they’re dearly welcome
tae Skye again.
III (5)
There’s a wind on the tree,
and a ship on the sea,
Tae my hey! bonnie maidens,
my twa bonnie maids!
By the sea mullet’s nest (6)
I will watch o’er the main,
And you’re dearly welcome
tae Skye again.
English translation Cattia Salto
I
There were two pretty maidens,
and three pretty maidens,
Came over the Minch ,
and came over the main,
With the wind for their way
and the mountains for their hame,
And they’re dearly welcome
to Skye again.
Chorus
Come along, come along,
wi’ your boat and your song,
To my hey! pretty maidens,
my two pretty girls!
The night, it is dark,
and the redcoat is gone,
And you’re dearly welcome
to Skye again.
II
There is Flora, my honey,
so neat and so pretty,
And one that is tall,
and handsome withall.
Put the one for my Queen
and the other for my King
And they’re dearly welcome
to Skye again.
III
There’s a wind on the tree,
and a ship on the sea,
To my hey! pretty maidens,
my two pretty girls!
By the sea mullet’s nest
I will watch over the main,
And you’re dearly welcome
to Skye again.

NOTES
1) Minch=channel between the Outer and Inner Hebrides
2) corry=a hollow space or excavation in a hillside
3) Flora MacDonald
4) Bonnie Prince Charlie
5) the stanza is a synthesis between the III and the IV of the version reported by Hogg
6) The Nest Point is another striking view on the western tip of the Isle of Skye (on the opposite side of Portree), an excellent spot to watch the Minch the stretch of sea that separates the Highlands of the north west and the north of Skye from the Harris Islands and Lewis, told by the ancient Norse “Fjord of Scotland”
At the time of the Jacobite uprising there was still no Lighthouse designed and built by Alan Stevenson in the early 1900s.

TUNE: Planxty George Brabazon or Prince Charlie’s Welcome To The Isle Of Skye?

The Irish harpist Turlough O’Carolan (the last of the great itinerant irish harper-composers) wrote some arias in homage to his guests and patrons, whom he called “planxty”, whose text in Irish Gaelic (not received) praised the nobleman on duty or commemorated an event; the melodies are free and lively with different measures (not necessarily in triplets). With the title of George Brabazon two distinct melodies attributed to Carolan are known.
“George Brabazon” was retitled in Scotland “Prince Charlie’s Welcome to the Island of Skye” in honor of the Pretender as the vehicle for the song “Twa Bonnie Maidens.” It also appears in the Gow’s Complete Repository, Part Second (1802) under the title “Isle of Sky” (sic), set as a Scots Measure and with some melodic differences in the second part. This is significant, for it predates the earliest Irish source (O’Neill) by a century.
Source “The Fiddler’s Companion” (cf. Liens).
J.J. Sheridan
Siobhan Mcdonnell

The Chieftains  in Water From the Well 2000

“Over the Sea to Skye”

Link
http://chrsouchon.free.fr/twabonny.htm
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=25774
http://www.rampantscotland.com/songs/blsongs_maidens.htm
https://www.thebards.net/music/lyrics/Twa_Bonnie_Maidens.shtml
https://www.visitouterhebrides.co.uk/see-and-do/location-a-coilleag-a-phrionnsa-bonnie-prince-charlie-trail-p538071

https://thesession.org/tunes/1609
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=46578
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=19657
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=6422
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=9152

Twa Bonnie Maidens

Read the post in English  

“Twa Bonnie Maidens” (in italiano “Due graziose fanciulle”) è una canzone giacobita pubblicata da James Hogg in “Jacobite Relics”, Volume II (1819) che celebra l’arrivo nell’isola di Skye di una barchetta con due belle fanciulle, senonchè l’ancella di Flora Macdonald è il nostro Bel Carletto travestito, nella sua fuga dalla Scozia, dopo la disfatta della rivolta giacobita nella rovinosa battaglia di Culloden (1746).

IL PRINCIPE E LA BALLERINA

Il principe era riuscito ad arrivare nell’isola di Banbecula delle Ebridi Esterne, ma la sorveglianza era strettissima e non aveva modo di fuggire. Ed ecco che entra in scena la fanciulla, Flora MacDonald.
Nella versione anedottica della storia, Flora escogitò un trucco per portare via dall’isola Charlie: con il pretesto di andare a trovare la madre (che viveva ad Armadale dopo essersi risposata), ottenne per sè e per i due suoi domestici il salvacondotto; sotto il nome e gli abiti della cameriera irlandese Betty Burke però si celava il Bonny Prince!: Il Principe e la Ballerina

Flora MacDonald's Introduction to Bonnie Prince Charlie di Alexander Johnston (1815-1891)
“Flora MacDonald’s Introduction to Bonnie Prince Charlie” di Alexander Johnston (1815-1891)

TWA BONNIE MAIDENS

Hogg trascrisse il testo dalla testimonianza della signora Betty Cameron di Lochaber, la quale affermava che originariamente la canzone fosse in gaelico scozzese. Così scrive Hogg
È stato copiato letteralmente dalla bocca della signora Betty Cameron di Lochaber; un personaggio ben noto in gran parte delle Lowlands, specialmente per la sua grande quantità di canzoni giacobite, e il suo attaccamento al principe Carlo, e ai capi che soffrirono per lui, dei quali non parlò mai senza scoppiare a piangere. Disse che la canzone era dal gaelico; ma se lo è, penso che probabilmente l’ha tradotta lei stessa. Non c’è quasi nessuna canzone o aria che amo di più”
Quadriga Consort in “Ships Ahoy ! – Songs of Wind, Water & Tide” 2011
Marais & Miranda in A European Folk Song Festival 2012 (strofe I, III)
Archie Fisher in “The Man with a Rhyme” 1976


I
There were twa bonnie maidens,
and three bonnie maidens,
Cam’ ower the Minc (1),
and cam’ ower the main,
Wi’ the wind for their way
and the corrie (2) for their hame,
And they’re dearly welcome
tae Skye again.
Chorus
Come alang, come alang,
wi’ your boatie and your song,

Tae my hey! bonnie maidens,
my twa bonnie maids!

The nicht, it is dark,
and the redcoat is gane,

And you’re dearly welcome
tae Skye again.

II
There is Flora (3), my honey,
sae neat and sae bonnie,
And ane that is tall,
and handsome withall.
Put the ane for my Queen
and the ither for my King (4)
And they’re dearly welcome
tae Skye again.
III (5)
There’s a wind on the tree,
and a ship on the sea,
Tae my hey! bonnie maidens,
my twa bonnie maids!
By the sea mullet’s nest (6)
I will watch o’er the main,
And you’re dearly welcome
tae Skye again.
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
C’erano due graziose fanciulle
e tre fanciulle belle
che attraversarono il Minch
oltre il mare
sospinte dal vento a favore
e accolte dalle nostre montagne
sono sinceramente le benvenute
a Skye
Coro
Venite, venite
con la vostra barchetta e la vostra canzone, belle fanciulle,
mie due fanciulle belle!
La notte è buia
e le giubbe rosse sono partite,
voi siete sinceramente le benvenute
a Skye.
II
C’è Flora, la mia diletta;
così forte e bella
e uno che è alto
e anche bello.
Metti l’una come Regina
e l’altro come Re
sono sinceramente le benvenute
a Skye
III
C’è il vento all’albero
e una barca nel mare
belle fanciulle,
mie due fanciulle belle!
Dal nido di triglie
sorveglierò il mare
voi siete sinceramente le benvenute
a Skye.

NOTE
1) Minch=canale tra le Ebridi esterne e le Ebridi interne
2) corry=una nicchia o uno scavo nella collina
3) 3) Flora MacDonald
4) Bonnie Prince Charlie
5) la strofa è una sintesi  tra la III e la IV della versione riportata da Hogg
6) i due sbarcarono nel villaggio di Portree. Il Nest Point è invece un altro suggestivo panorama  sulla punta occidentale dell’isola di Skye (sul lato opposto di Portree), ottimo punto per guardare il Minch il tratto di mare che separa le Highlands do nord ovest e il nord di Skye dalle isole Harris e Lewis, detto dagli antichi Norreni “Fiordo della Scozia”
Ai tempi della rivolta giacobita non esisteva ancora il Faro progettato e costruito da Alan Stevenson nei primi anni del 900.

LA MELODIA: Planxty George Brabazon o Prince Charlie’s Welcome To The Isle Of Skye?

L’arpista irlandese Turlough O’Carolan (ricordato come l’ultimo dei bardi-arpisti itineranti) scrisse alcune arie in omaggio ai suoi ospiti e mecenati, che chiamava “planxty”, il cui testo in gaelico irlandese (non pervenuto) elogiava il nobile di turno o ne commemorava un evento; le melodie sono libere e vivaci con tempi diversi (non necessariamente in terzine). Con il titolo di George Brabazon si conoscono due distinte melodie attribuite a Carolan.
“George Brabazon”è stato rititolato in Scozia “Prince Charlie’s Welcome to the Island of Skye” in onore del Pretendente come veicolo per la canzone “Twa Bonnie Maidens”. Appare anche nel Complete Repository di Gow, Parte Seconda (1802) con il titolo “Isle di Sky “(sic), suonato come una Scots Measure e con alcune differenze melodiche nella seconda parte. Questo è significativo, perché precede la prima fonte irlandese (O’Neill) di un secolo.
Fonte “The Fiddler’s Companion” (cf. Liens).

J.J. Sheridan
Siobhan Mcdonnell

The Chieftains  in Water From the Well 2000

“Over the Sea to Skye”

FONTI
http://chrsouchon.free.fr/twabonny.htm
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=25774
http://www.rampantscotland.com/songs/blsongs_maidens.htm
https://www.thebards.net/music/lyrics/Twa_Bonnie_Maidens.shtml
https://www.visitouterhebrides.co.uk/see-and-do/location-a-coilleag-a-phrionnsa-bonnie-prince-charlie-trail-p538071

https://thesession.org/tunes/1609
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=46578
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=19657
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=6422
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=9152