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)
William 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); Child 183B è presa 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 Ewan MacColl 1956
ASCOLTA Iron Horse in Folk ‘n’ Hell 1997
ASCOLTA Cécile Corbel Songbook vol.1, 2006 in un arrangiamento decisamente pop
ASCOLTA Harmony Glen in “Where the Wind Blows” 2012
Si aggiunge una strofa iniziale e il ritornello non-sense
“When will my love come to me
Over land and over sea
Will he be the one for me
Oh decko decko dandy
Oh hoo-rabha-hi-na, hoo-rabha hin
Oh decko decko dandy”
VERSIONE CHILD 183 B
VERSIONE CHILD 183 A
TRADUZIONE ITALIANO RICCARDO VENTURI
1) fiumi nei pressi del castello
2) Fear: frighten
3) Crawin: crowing like a cock, boasting
4) Crouse: arrogant, bold
5) 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
6) Tint: lost
7) un eufemismo per dire che sono stati uccisi