BURNING OF AUCHINDOON

Child Ballad #183
Musica: Ewan Mac Coll

La ballata è nota anche come Auchindoun o The Burning of Auchindoon, Willie Macintosh, ma anche come Ferrickside (the Tannahill Weavers)

macintoshWilliam McIntosh e gli uomini del suo clan per vendicare l’uccisione del Conte Moray si misero a razziare le terre di Huntly, finchè vennero sorpresi e sconfitti presso un colle chiamato Staplegate. Questo specifico episodio è narrato nella versione A della ballata di Child, ultima strofa.
La ballata confonde Willie McIntosh (del Clan Chattan) con un omonimo capoclan anteriore, che circa quarant’anni prima (1550) aveva assaltato il castello di Auchindown e lo aveva dato alle fiamme.

James Stewart, son of Sir James Stewart of Doune, became the Earl of Murray when he married the daughter of the Regent Murray. […] He was rumoured to have been one of Bothwell’s party in the assault on the King’s palace at Holyrood in December 1591. When the King gave orders for his apprehension, he took flight, pursued by a party of the King’s supporters, led by Huntly, who (taking advantage of the situation) killed him. [Cf. The Bonnie Earl of Murray, Child 181] Following the killing […] in February, 1592, the MacIntoshes of Clan Chattan, intent on revenge, pillaged a castle and killed four men on an estate belonging to the Earl of Huntly, whom they held responsible for Murray’s death. Huntly retaliated by laying waste the lands of Clan Chattan. Returning home from this engagement, he surprised the MacIntoshes spoiling his land at Cabrach and in the ensuing fight killed sixty of them. (Peggy Seeger, notes ‘Blood and Roses’ vol. 4)

Un’altra storia dietro alla ballata è raccontata in “Tales of the Scottish Clans” (Chambers 1989)
William, the sixth chief of Clan Mackintosh became involved in the renewal of an old family feud with the Marquis of Huntly, and burned down his castle of Auchindown. Mackintosh was taken prisoner by Huntly and condemned to death – by a Court that Huntly himself had selected. The injustice of this led the Provost of Aberdeen to threaten to report it to Parliament, and the sentence was not carried out.
But Huntly sent Mackintosh for safe-keeping to Lady Huntly at Strathbogie Castle, where he appealed to her for justice. According to Sir Walter Scott, she told him “Mackintosh, you have offended Huntly so deeply that he has sworn that he will never pardon you until he has brought your neck to the block.”
“This interview took place in the kitchen of Strathbogie and William loosened his collar, and laid his head on the wooden block on which cattle and sheep were broken up, saying, as he did so, ‘Even to that humiliation will I stoop, to secure the safety of my father’s house!’” Taking advantage of this situation, Lady Huntly signed to the cook who was standing nearby with a meat chopper in his hand, and he struck off the young man’s head. (tratto da qui)

Il terzo conte di Moray sposò una delle figlie di Huntly e pose fine alla faida.

La  versione A della ballata così come collezionata dal professor Child è presa da The Thistle of Scotland di Alexander Laing (1823) e da A Book of Scottish Ballads di Alexander Whitelaw, (1845);

VERSIONE CHILD 183 A
I
Turn, Willie McIntosh,
Turn, I bid you;
Gin ye burn Auchindown
Huntly will heed you.
II
Head me or hang me,
That canna fley me;
I’ll burn Auchindown
Ere the life lea me.
III
Coming down Deeside (1),
In a clear morning,
Auchindown was in flame
Ere the cock-crawing.
IV
But coming o’er Cairngorm (1)
And looking down, man,
I saw Willie McIntosh
Burn Auchindown, man.
V
Bonny Willie McIntosh,
Whare left ye your men?
I left them in the Stapler
But they’ll never come hame.
VI
Bonny Willie McIntosh,
Whare now is your men?
I left them in the Stapler
Sleeping in their sheen(2).
TRADUZIONE di RICCARDO VENTURI
I
“Voltati, Willie   McIntosh,
Voltati, per favore;
Ché, se bruci Auchindown
Huntly ti taglia la testa.”
II
“Me la tagli o m’impicchi,
Non me ne frega niente;
Io brucerò Auchindown
Prima di morire.”
III
Scese giù dal Deeside
Una mattina chiara;
Auchindown era in fiamme.
Prima del canto del gallo
IV
Venendo giù dal Cairngorm
Ho guardato giù, gente;
Ho visto Willie McIntosh
Che dava fuoco a Auchindown.
V
“Bel Willie McIntosh,
Dove hai lasciato i tuoi?”
“Li ho lasciati a Staplegate,
Ma a casa non torneranno.”
VI
“Bel Willie McIntosh,
Dove son ora i tuoi?”
“Li ho lasciati a Staplegate
A dormire con le scarpe.”

NOTE
1) fiumi nei pressi del castello
2) un eufemismo per dire che sono stati uccisi

E tuttavia la versione diventata standard è la Child 183B tratta  da Scottish Historical and Romantic Ballads di John Finlay’s Vol II (1808) “as recollected by a lady and communicated by Sir Walter Scott“. La musica è stata arrangiata (o composta) da Ewan MacColl nel 1953 sebbene egli sostenga di averla imparata dal padre: ASCOLTA dalla raccolta School of Scottish Studies di Tobar an Dualchais

ASCOLTA Ed&Will live 2013 (di A walk around britain)

ASCOLTA Iron Horse in Folk ‘n’ Hell 1997

ASCOLTA Michael Richard Plowman in A Lonely Place To Die 2011 con la giovane voce di Sophie Ramsay (per conoscere questa cantautrice del Perthshire continua)

VERSIONE CHILD 183 B
I
As I came in by Fiddich(1) side
on a May morning,
I spied Willie Macintosh
an hour before the dawning.
II
“Turn again, turn again,
turn again I bid ye.
If ye burn Auchindoon,
Huntly he will head ye.
III
“Head me or hang me
that will never fear(2) me.
I will burn Auchindoon
ere the life leaves me.”
IV
As I came in by Fiddich side  (3)
on a May morning,
Auchindoon was in a blaze
an hour before the dawning.
V
Crawing(4), crawing,
for all your crowse(5) crawing,
You’ve burnt your crop(6)
and tint(7) your wings
An hour before the dawning.
TRADUZIONE  di Cattia Salto
(tratta da Riccardo Venturi)
I
Mentre venivo dalla parte del Fiddich (1), una mattina di Maggio
ho visto Willy Macintosh
un’ora prima dell’alba
II
“Voltati, voltati,
Voltati, per favore;
Ché, se bruci Auchindown
Huntly ti taglierà la testa.”
III
“Me la tagli o m’impicchi,
Non me ne frega niente;
Io brucerò Auchindown
Prima di morire.”
IV
Mentre venivo dalla parte del Fiddich,
una mattina di Maggio
Auchindoon era in fiamme
un’ora prima dell’alba
V
Canta, gallo canta
con tutto il tuo canto arrogante
Hai bruciato il tuo gozzo (6)
e hai perso le ali
un’ora prima dell’alba

NOTE
1) fiume nei pressi del castello
2) Fear: frighten
3) alcuni dicono “Auchindoon”
4) Crawin: crowing like a cock, boasting
5) Crouse: arrogant, bold
6) Crop: il termine ha un doppio significato sia di raccolto che di gozzo, molti interpreti lo cantano come crops al plurale intendendo i raccolti bruciati
7) Tint: lost

ASCOLTA Cécile Corbel Songbook vol.1, 2006 in un arrangiamento decisamente pop in cui aggiunge un ritornello non-sense
Oh decko decko dandy
Halamachadoo hoo-ra-bhi
Oh hoo-rabha-hi-na, hoo-rabha hin
Halamachadoo hoo-ra-bhi
Oh decko decko dandy”

 

FONTI
http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/eng/child/ch183.htm
http://www.electricscotland.com/webclans/m/mackint2.html
http://mysongbook.de/msb/songs/w/williema.html
http://mainlynorfolk.info/june.tabor/songs/burningofauchindoon.html
http://sangstories.webs.com/auchindoon.htm
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=47963
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=64202
http://sniff.numachi.com/~rickheit/dtrad/pages/tiBURNAUCH;ttBURNAUCH.html
https://thesession.org/tunes/11217

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