Archivi tag: Robert Burns

Corn Rigs are bonnie

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Corn Rigs  (Rigs o’Barley) was written entirely by Robert Burns in 1782 adapting it to an old Scottish dance air entitled “Corn Rigs are bonnie“. It seems to be particularly dear to the poet: it tells of the night of love with a beautiful girl among the sheaves of wheat, a magical full moon night…

The Annie of the song has been identified in Anne Rankie, the youngest daughter of a tenant farmer, John Rankine of Adamhill, of the farm that was a short distance from the Burns in Lochlea. In 1782, in September, the woman married a innkeeper, John Merry of Cumnock, so some doubt that in August she was among the sheaves of barley with the handsome Robert; others, however, point out that after 4 years (and once again in August) the poet, being in the neighborhood, was staying right at the inn of the two!
Burns gave Anne Rankie a lock of his hair and his portrait, which she kept together with the song.
Very bravely Burns, however, is silent on the identity of the beautiful Annie.

William Adolphe Bouguereau 1865
William Adolphe Bouguereau 1865

LAMMAS NIGHT

rigsThe analysis of the text unravels the dynamics of the relationship between the two lovers (according to my point of view): the night of Lammas, as usual in the Celtic tradition, is the night of August 1, a day of celebration for the farmers of the Scotland, day of rest and party before the beginning of the harvest.
Among the young it was customary to spend the night in the fields of wheat (or barley) but our Robert at first keeps away from such custom, the beautiful Annie is promised to another …
However, the youthful ardor finally wins and even the girl (without even being asked too much, reveals the bard) consents: the two meet in the fields of barley, at dusk, on a warm summer evening with the moon full to illuminate the night, and what a “happy night”!
The final verse takes up a concept dear to the poet: the best time is spent to love! And on that magical night it seems that the young Robert did it three times!

Ossian from Seal Song 1981 with the traditional Corn Rigs Are Bonnie melody, the video is very well done with the scrolling text, movies and vintage photos as well as “portraits” of the bard, all well structured in the evocation for images of the text

Paul Giovanni from The Wicker Man but with another melody

I
It was upon a Lammas(1) night,
When the corn rigs(2) were bonnie,
Beneath the moon’s unclouded light,
I held awa’ to Annie;
The time flew by wi’ tentless heed,
‘Til ‘tween the late and early,
Wi’ small persuasion she agreed
To see me thro’ the barley.
chorus
Corn Rigs and barley rigs,
Corn rigs are bonny:
I’ll ne’eer forget that happy night,
Amang the rigs wi’ Annie.
II
The sky was blue (3), the wind was still,
The moon was shining clearly;
I set her down wi’ right good will,
Amang the rigs o’ barley:
I ken’t(4) her heart, was a’ my ain(5);
I loved her most sincerely;
I kissed her o’er and o’er again,
Amang the rigs o’ barley.
III
I locked her in my fond embrace;
Her heart was beatin’ rarely:
My blessing on that happy place,
Amang the rigs o’ barley!
But by the moon and stars so bright,
That shone that hour so clearly!
She aye shall bless that happy night
Amang the rigs of barley.
IV
I hae been blythe(6) wi’ comrades dear;
I hae been merry drinking;
I hae been joyful gath’rin’ gear(7);
I hae been happy thinking:
But a’ the pleasures e’er I saw,
Tho’ three times doubled fairly,
That happy night was worth them a’,
Amang the rigs wi’ Annie.

NOTES
1) Lammas is the harvest festival that is celebrated on the first of August, whose origins date back to the Celtic festival of Lugnasad, a festival that marks the beginning of the first harvest (wheat and barley). In the Scottish country tradition it is like our day in San Martino, when the land is rented and the contracts are renewed.(see more)
2) The term Rigs describes an old cultivation technique that involves working the land in long and narrow strips of raised land (the traditional drainage system of the past): the fields were divided into earthen banks raised, so that the excess water drained further down the deep side furrows.
3) the indicated hour is that of twilight
4) knew
5) own
6) joyous
7) earning money

MELODY

Alasdair Fraser · Paul Machlis · Barry Phillips · Martin Hayes

SCOTTISH COUNTRY DANCE

This song is best known with the title of Corn Rigs or Corn Rigs Are Bonnie and it is also a scottish country dance (see more) taken from the old traditions. During the harvest it was customary to dance among the sheaves of wheat, as shown in this vintage movie by the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.
VIDEO

LINK
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/lugnasad.html
https://giulsass.wordpress.com/istruzione/esperienza-antica/gest_terra_p_s/

I’ll meet thee on the lea-rig by Robert Burns

ritratto di Robert Burns
Robert Burns – by Alexander Nasmyth 1787

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The lea-rig (The Meadow-ridge) is a traditional Scottish song rewritten by Robert Burns in 1792 under the title “I’ll Meet Thee On The Lea Rig“.
The term Rigs describes an old cultivation technique that involves working the land in long and narrow strips of raised land (the traditional drainage system of the past): the fields were divided into earthen banks raised, so that the excess water drained further down the deep side furrows. These bumps could reach up to the knee and hand sowing was greatly facilitated: the grass grew in the lea rigs.

THE TUNE

We find the beautiful melody in many eighteenth-century manuscripts, known by various names such as An Oidhche A Bha Bhainis Ann, The Caledonian Laddy, I’ll Meet Thee On The Lea-rig, The Lea Rigg, The Lea Rigges, My Ain Kind Dearie, My Ain Kind Deary O

Tony McManusAlasdair Fraser & Jody Stecher in Driven Bow 1988

John Carnie

Julian Lloyd Webber

THE LYRICS

rigsA “romantic” meeting in the summer camps declined in many text versions with a single melody (albeit with many different arrangements) that has known, like so many other Scottish eighteenth-century songs, a notable fame among the musicians of German romanticism and in good living rooms over England, France and Germany.

The oldest text can be found in the manuscript of Thomas D’Urfey, “Wit and Mirth, or Pills to Purge Melancholy” 1698, by anonymous author who starts like this:
I’ll lay(rowe) thee o’er the lea rig,
My ain kind dearie O.
Although the night were ne’er sae wat,
And I were ne’er sae weary, O,
I’ll rowe thee o’er the lea-rig,
My ain kind dearie, O;

With the title “My Ain Kind Dearie O” it is published later in the Scots Musical Museum vol I (1787) (see here) on Robert Burns’ dispatch to James Johnson with the note that it was the version originally written by the edinburgh poet Robert Fergusson ( 1750-74).
‘Will ye gang o’er the leerigg, my ain kind deary-o! And cuddle there sae kindly wi’ me, my kind deary-o!
220px-Alexander_Runciman_-_Robert_Fergusson,_1750_-_1774__Poet_-_Google_Art_ProjectRobert Fergusson died only 24 years old in the grip of madness while he was hospitalized in the Edinburgh Asylum because subject to a strong existential depression (and yet there are those who insinuate it was syphilis); he had just enough time to write about eighty poems (published between 1771 and 1773) and was the first poet to use the Scottish dialect as a poetic language; he lived for the most part a bohemian life, sharing the intellectual ferment of Edinburgh in the period known as the Scottish Enlightenment, always in contact with musicians, actors and editors; in 1772 it joined the “Edinburgh Cape Club”, not a Masonic lodge but a club for men only for convivial purposes (in which tables were laid out with tasty dishes and above all large drinks); for Robert Burns he was ‘my elder brother in Misfortune, By far my elder brother in the muse’.

Burn rewrote the poem in October 1792 for the publisher George Thomson, to be published in the “Selected Collection of Original Scottish Air” (in what will be the most commonly known version of The Lea Rig) published with the musical arrangement of Joseph Haydn (who also arranged the traditional My Ain Kind Deary version); and he also wrote a more bawdy version published in “The Merry Muses of Caledonia” (1799) under the title My Ain Kind Deary (page 98) (text here)
I’ll lay thee o’er the lea rig, Lovely Mary, deary O

Andy M. Stewart 1991, live

Roddy Woomble

Paul McKenna Band

and in the classic version on arrangement by Joseph Haydn
ASCOLTA Jamie MacDougall & Haydn Eisenstadt Trio JHW. XXXII/5 no. 372, Hob. XXXIa no. 31ter

Robert Burns
I
When o’er the hill the eastern star(1)
Tells bughtin time(2) is near, my jo,
And owsen frae the furrow’d field
Return sae dowf and weary, O,
Down by the burn, where scented birks(3)
Wi’ dew are hangin clear, my jo,
I’ll meet thee on the lea-rig,
My ain kind dearie, O.
II
At midnight hour in mirkest glen
I’d rove, and ne’er be eerie(4), O,
If thro’ that glen I gaed to thee,
My ain kind dearie, O!
Altho’ the night were ne’er sae wild(5),
And I were ne’er sae weary, O,
I’ll(6) meet thee on the lea-rig,
My ain kind dearie, O.
III
The hunter lo’es the morning sun
To rouse the mountain deer, my jo;
At noon the fisher takes the glen
Adown the burn to steer, my jo:
Gie me the hour o’ gloamin grey –
It maks my heart sae cheery, O,
To meet thee on the lea-rig,
My ain kind dearie, O.
english translation
I
When over the hill the eastern star
Tells the time of milking the ewes is near, my dear,
And oxes from the furrowed field
Return so lethargic and weary O:
Down by the burn where scented birch trees
With dew are hanging clear, my dear, I’ll meet thee on the grassy ridge, My own kind dear, O!
II
At midnight hour, in darkest glen,
I’d rove and never be frightened O, If thro’ that glen I go to thee,
My own kind dear, O:
Altho’ the night were  never so wild,
And I were never so weary O,
I’ll meet thee on the grassy ridge, My own kind dear, O!
III
The hunter loves the morning sun,
To rouse the mountain deer, my dear,
At noon the fisher takes the glen,
down the burn to steer, my dear;
Give me the hour o’ gloamin grey,
It maks my heart so cheary O
on the grassy ridge, My own kind dear, O!

NOTES
1) the morning star
2) milking time is early in the morning
3) or “birken buds”
4) or irie
5) in the copy sent to Thomson Robert Burns wrote “wet” then corrected with wild: a summer night with severe air with lightning in the distance
6) or “I’d”

Compare with the version attributed to the poet Robert Fergusson

SMM 1787
I
‘Will ye gang o’er the leerigg(1),
my ain kind deary-o!
And cuddle there sae kindly
wi’ me, my kind deary-o!
At thornie dike(2), and birken tree,
we’ll daff(3), and ne’er be weary-o;
They’ll scug(4) ill een(5) frae you and me,
mine ain kind deary o!’
II
Nae herds, wi’ kent(6) or colly(7) there,
shall ever come to fear ye, O!
But lav’rocks(8), whistling in the air,
shall woo, like me, their deary, O!
While others herd their lambs and ewes,
and toil for warld’s gear(9), my jo(10),
Upon the lee my pleasure grows,
wi’ you, my kind deary, O!
english translation
I
Will you go the over the lea rigg,
My own kind dear, O
And cuddle there so kindly
with me, my kind deary-o!
At thorn dry-stone wall and birche tree,
we will make merry, and never be weary-o;
They’ll screen unfriendly eyes from you and me,
My own kind dear, O!
II
No herds, with sheep-dogs there,
shall ever come to fear ye, O!
But larks whistling in the air,
shall woo, like me, their deary, O!
While others herd their lambs and ewes,
and toil for world’s riches, my sweetheart,
Upon the lee my pleasure grows,
with you, my kind deary, O!

NOTES
1) lea rigg = grassy ridge
2) thornie-dike= a thorn-fenced dike along the stream below the ridge
3) Daff = Make merry
4) ‘Scug’ is to shelter or take refuge. It can also refer to crouching or stooping to avoid being seen.
5) Een = evil eyes
6) Kent = sheperd’s crook
7) Colly = Schottisch sheep-dog
8) Lav’rocks =larks
9) Gear = riches, goods of any kind
10) Jo = sweetheart, my dear

Scottish country dance: “My own kind deary”

The Scottish Country dance entitled “My own kind deary” with music and dance instructions appears in John Walsh’s Caledonian Country Dances (vol I 1735)


for dance explanation see

LINK
http://www.tunearch.org/wiki/Annotation:Lea_Rig_(The) http://www.tunearch.org/wiki/Lea_Rig_(The) http://www.cobbler.plus.com/wbc/poems/translations/497.htm http://www.burnsscotland.com/items/v/volume-i,-song-049,-page-50-my-ain-kind-deary-o.aspx http://www.electricscotland.com/burns/songs/14MyAinKindDearieO.jpg http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/robertburns/works/my_ain_kind_dearie/ http://www.forgottenbooks.com/readbook_text/ The_Poetical_Works_of_Robert_Fergusson_With_Biographical_1000304352/187 https://thesession.org/tunes/13977 http://www.recmusic.org/lieder/get_text.html?TextId=3380 http://www.recmusic.org/lieder/get_text.html?TextId=90757
http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/w/103940/Franz-Joseph-Haydn-The-lea-rig

John Barleycorn must die!

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John Barleycorn (in Italian Giovanni Chicco d’Orzo) is a traditional song spread in England and Scotland, focused on this popular character, embodiment of the spirit of beer and whiskey. (see)
There are several text versions collected at different times; the oldest known is from 1460.
As often happens with the most popular ballads we talk about family in reference to a set of texts and melodies connected to each other or related.

The plot traced by Pete Wood is well documented and we refer you to his John Barleycorn revisited for the deepening: the first ballad that identifies a man as the spirit of barley is Allan-a-Maut (Allan del Malto) and it comes from Scotland .
The first ballad that bears the name John Barleycorn is instead of 1624, printed in London “A Pleasant new Ballad.To be sung evening and morn, of the bloody murder of Sir John Barleycorn” shortened in The Pleasant Ballad: as Pete Wood points out, all the elements that characterize the current version of the ballad are already present, the oath of the knights to kill John, the rain that quenches him, and the sun that warms him to give him energy, the miller who grinds him between two stones.

Originale screenprint by Paul Bommer (da qui)

THE DEATH-REBIRTH OF KING BARLEY

spirito-granoIt is narrated the death of the King of Barley according to myths and beliefs that date back to the beginning of the peasant culture, customs that were followed in England in these forms until the early decades of the ‘900.
According to James George Frazier in “The Golden Bough“, anciently “John” was chosen among the youth of the tribe and treated like a king for a year; at the appointed time, however, he was killed, following a macabre ritual: his body was dragged across the fields so that the blood soaked the earth and fed the barley.

More recently in the Celtic peasant tradition the spirit of the wheat entered the reaper who cut the last sheaf (who symbolically killed the god) and he had to be sacrificed just as described in the song (or at least figuratively and symbolically). see more

However, the spirit of the Wheat-Barley never dies because it is reborn the following year with the new crop, its strength and its ardor are contained in the whiskey that is obtained from the distillation of barley malt!

JOHN BARLEYCORN

“The Pleasant ballad” was set to the tune “Shall I Lie Beyond Thee?” on the broadside.63  This tune is quoted by a number of sources by a variety of very similar titles, including “Lie Lulling Beyond Thee” .  It is this writer’s belief from a variety of considerations, including Simpson 64 that these are one and the same tune.  There has been some confusion regarding the use of the tune “Stingo” for various members of the family.  Several publications say that John Barleycorn should be sung to this tune, (including Dixon), and some people have assumed this was the tune for “The Pleasant Ballad.”  These impressions seem to have originated from Chappell 65, who meant that “Stingo” was the tune for another member of the family “The Little Barleycorne”, a view which accords with his own comments on the version in the Roxburghe Ballads 66, with Simpson, and Baring-Gould who says ‘[Stingo] is not the air used in the broadsides nor in the west of England’ 67.  Two further tunes, “The Friar & the Nun” and “Twas when the seas were roaring”, are mentioned by Simpson.  Mas Mault has been suggested to be set to the tune “Triumph and Joy”, the original title of “Greensleeves”. 68 (Pete Wood)

In fact, as many as 45 different melodies have been used for centuries for this ballad, and Pete Wood analyzes the four most common melodies.

 MELODY 1

The 1906 version of John Stafford published by Sharp in English Folk Songs is probably the melody that comes closest to the time of James I
The Young Tradition

MELODY DIVES AND LAZARUS

The Shepherd Haden version became “standard” for being included in The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs.T

Traffic (Learned by Mike Waterson)

Traffic lyrics
I
There was three men come out of the West
Their fortunes for to try
And these three men made a solemn vow
John Barleycorn(1) must die.
II
They ploughed, they sowed, they harrowed him in
Throwing clods all on his head
And these three men made a solemn vow
John barleycorn was Dead.
III
They’ve left him in the ground for a very long time
Till the rains from heaven did fall
Then little Sir John’s sprung up his head
And so amazed them all
IV
They’ve left him in the ground till the Midsummer
Till he’s grown both pale and wan
Then little Sir John’s grown a long, long beard
And so become a man.
V
They hire’d men with their scythes so sharp
To cut him off at the knee.
They’ve bound him and tied him around the waist
Serving him most barb’rously
VI
They hire’d men with their sharp pitch-forks
To prick him to the heart
But the drover he served him worse than that
For he’s bound him to the cart.
VII
They’ve rolled him around and around the field
Till they came unto a barn
And there they made a solemn mow
Of Little Sir John Barleycorn
VIII
They’ve hire’d men with their crab-tree sticks
To strip him skin from bone
But the miller, he served him worse than that,
For he’s ground him between two stones.
IX
Here’s Little sir John in the nut-brown bowl(2)
And brandy in the glass
But Little Sir John in the nut-brown bowl’s
Proved the stronger man at last
X
For the hunts man he can’t hunt the fox
Nor so loudly blow his horn
And the tinker, he can’t mend Kettles or pots
Without a little of Sir John Barleycorn.
NOTES
1)  the spirit of beer and whiskey
2) The cask of walnut or oak used today to age the whiskey

Jetro Tull live


Damh The Bard from The Hills They Are Hollow

JOHN BARLEYCORN, MELODY 3

The version of Robert Pope taken by Vaughan Williams in his Folk Song Suite
version for choir and orchestra

JOHN BARLEYCORN, MELODY 4

from Shropshire
Fred Jordan live

Jean-François Millet - Buckwheat Harvest Summer 1868
Jean-François Millet – Buckwheat Harvest Summer 1868

JOHN BARLEYCORN BY ROBERT BURNS

The version published by Robert Burns in 1782, reworks the ancient folk song and becomes the basis of subsequent versions

The first 3 stanzas are similar to the standard version, apart from the three kings coming from the east to make the solemn oath to kill John Barleycorn, in fact in the English version the three men arrive from the West: to me personally the hypothesis that Burnes he wanted to point out the 3 Magi Kings … it does not seem pertinent to the deep pagan substratum of history: Christianity (or the cult of the God of Light) doesnt want to kill the King of the Wheat, unless you identify the king of the Grain with the Christ (a “blasphemous” comparison that was immediately removed from subsequent versions).

History is the detailed transformation of the grain spirit, grown strong and healthy during the summer, reaped and threshed as soon as autumn arrives, and turned into alcohol; and the much more detailed description (always compared to the standard version) of the pleasures that it provides to men, so that they can draw from the drink, intoxication and inspiration. Burns was notoriously a great connoisseur of whiskey and the last verse is right in his style!

The indicated melody is Lull [e] Me Beyond Thee; other melodies that fit the lyrics are “Stingo” (John Playford, 1650) and “Up in the Morning Early”
The version of the Tickawinda takes up part of the text by singing the stanzas I, II, III, V, VII, XV

Robert Burns
I
There was three kings into the east,
Three kings both great and high,
And they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn should die.
II
They took a  plough and plough’d him down,
Put clods upon his head,
And they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn was dead
III
But the cheerful Spring came kindly on,
And show’rs began to fall;
John Barleycorn got up again,
And sore surpris’d them all
IV
The sultry suns  of Summer came,
And he grew  thick and strong,
His head weel   arm’d wi’ pointed spears,
That no one  should him wrong.
V
The sober Autumn enter’d mild,
When he grew wan and pale;
His bending joints and drooping head
Show’d he began to fail.
VI
His coulour sicken’d more and more,
He faded into age;
And then his enemies began
To show their deadly rage.
VII
They’ve taen a weapon, long and sharp,
And cut him by the knee;
Then ty’d him fast upon a cart,
Like a rogue for forgerie(1).
VIII
They laid him down upon his back,
And cudgell’d him full sore;
They hung him up before the storm,
And turn’d him o’er and o’er.
IX
They filled up a darksome pit
With water to the brim,
They heaved in John Barleycorn,
There let him sink or swim
X
They laid him out upon the floor,
To work him farther woe,
And still, as signs of life appear’d,
They toss’d him to and fro.
XI
They wasted, o’er a scorching flame,
The marrow of his bones;
But a Miller us’d him worst of all,
For he crush’d him between two stones.
XII
And they hae taen his very heart’s blood,
And drank it round and round;
And still the more and more they drank,
Their joy did more abound.
XIII
John Barleycorn was a hero bold,
Of noble enterprise,
For if you do but taste his blood,
‘Twill make your courage rise.
XIV
‘Twill make a man forget his woe;
‘Twill heighten all his joy:
‘Twill make the widow’s heart to sing,
Tho’ the tear were in her eye.
XV
Then let us toast John Barleycorn,
Each man a glass in hand;
And may his great posterity
Ne’er fail in old Scotland!
NOTES
1) the condemned to death were transported to the place of the gallows on a cart for the public mockery

Steeleye Span from Below the Salt 1972


I (Spoken)
There were three men
Came from the west
Their fortunes for to tell,
And the life of John Barleycorn as well.
II
They laid him in three furrows deep,
Laid clods upon his head,
Then these three man made a solemn vow
John Barleycorn was dead.
III
The let him die for a very long time
Till the rain from heaven did fall,
Then little Sir John sprang up his head
And he did amaze them all.
IV
They let him stand till the midsummer day,
Till he looked both pale and wan.
The little Sir John he grew a long beard
And so became a man.
CHORUS:
Fa la la la, it’s a lovely day
Fa la la la lay o
Fa la la la, it’s a lovely day
Sing fa la la la lay
V
They have hired men with the scythes so sharp,
To cut him off at the knee,
The rolled him and they tied him around the waist,
They served him barbarously.
VI
They have hired men with the crab-tree sticks,
To cut him skin from bone,
And the miller has served him worse than that,
For he’s ground him between two stones.
VII
They’ve wheeled him here,
they’ve wheeled him there,
They’ve wheeled him to a barn,
And thy have served him worse than that,
They’ve bunged him in a vat.
VIII
They have worked their will on John Barleycorn
But he lived to tell the tale,
For they pour him out of an old brown jug
And they call him home brewed ale(1).
NOTES
1) The oldest drink in the world obtained from the fermentation of various cereals. The beer originally was classified out as “beer” (with hops) and “ale” (without hops) . Its processing processes start with a spontaneous fermentation of the starch (ie the sugar) that is the main component in cereals, when they come into contact with water, due to wild yeasts contained in the air. And just as in bread, female food, EARTH, WATER, AIR and FIRE combine magically to give life to a divine food that strengthens and inebriates.
The English term of homebrewing or the art of home-made beer translates into Italian with an abstruse word: domozimurgia and domozimurgo is the producer of homemade beer in which domo, is the Latin root for “home”; zimurgo is the one who practices “zimurgy”, or the science of fermentation processes. The domozimurgo is therefore the one who, within his own home, studies, applies and experiments the alchemy of fermentation. Making beer for your own consumption (including that of the inevitable friends and relatives) is absolutely legal as well as fun and relatively simple although you never stop learning through the exchange of experiences and experimentati
on
see more

And finally the COLLAGE of the versions of Tickawinda, Avalon Rising, John Renbourn, Lanterna Lucis Viriditatis, Xenis Emputae, Travelling Band, Louis Killen, Traffic

LINK
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/barleycorn.htm
http://www.musicaememoria.com/JohnBarleycorn2.htm
http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/j_barley.htm
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=14888
http://www.omniscrit.com/2013/01/who-was-john-barleycorn-folk-song-and.html

Oh, are ye sleepin’ Maggie?

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From the tradition of “night visiting songs” the text is attributed to the Scottish poet Robert Tannahill and in fact various findings place the story in the woods of Paisley. ( in ‘The Poems and Songs of Robert Tannahill’ – 1874  assigned as a “Sleeping Maggie” melody.)
The heroine of this song was Margaret Pollock, a cousin of the Author by the mother’s side. She was the eldest daughter of Matthew Pollock (3rd) of Boghall, by his second marriage (mentioned in the Memoir of the Tannahills); and it is very probable the Poet beheld such an evening as he had described, in walking from Paisley over the high road to his uncle’s farm steading in Beith Parish. Margaret Pollock afterwards lived in family with William Lochhead, Ryveraes, and she and Mrs. Lochhead frequently sang that song together. Miss Pollock died unmarried (from here)

NIGHT VISITING IN DARK STYLE

The scene described is not really autobiographical (pheraps more in keeping with Robert Burns‘s temperament): the protagonist arrives at Maggy’s house in a dark and stormy night (the picture is rather gothic: an icy winter wind raging in the woods , a night of new moon without stars, the disturbing moaning of the owl, the iron gate that slams against the hinges) and he hopes that in the meantime the lover has not fallen asleep, letting come him in secret! And then no more worries or fears in the arms of Maggy every gloomy thought is dissolved!

http://www.jinua.com/movie/Sleepy-Hollow/
http://www.jinua.com/movie/Sleepy-Hollow/

I must mention the version collected by Hamish Henderson from the voice of Jeannie Robertson (see fragment of 1960) which shows a different melody from that later made famous by Tannahill Weavers.

The song was made known to the general public by the Tannahill Weavers, the good “weavers” of Robert Tannahill, also by Paisley,
At the moment you can find several live versions on you tube, but the best performances of the group are two: one in Mermaid’s Song 1992 (listen from Spotify) a faster version integrated with the reel “The Noose In The Ghillies” (with Roy Gullane , Phil Smillie, Iain MacInnes, Kenny Forsyth) and the first in Are Ye Sleeping Maggie 1976 with Roy Gullane, Phil Smillie, Hudson Swan, and Dougie MacLean (fiddle). In this first version the melody is slower and full of atmosphere (with hunder, wind and the rain effect)

Tannahill Weavers from Are Ye Sleeping Maggie 1976

Dougie Maclean (who collaborated with Tannahill Weavers from 1974 and until 1977 and then toured with them in 1980) in Real Estate -1988 and also in Tribute 1995


I
Mirk and rainy is the nicht,
there’s no’ a starn in a’ the carry(1)
Lichtnin’s gleam athwart the lift,
and (cauld) winds dive wi’ winter’s fury.
CHORUS
Oh, are ye sleepin’ Maggie
Oh, are ye sleepin’ Maggie
let me in, for loud the linn
is roarin'(2) o’er the Warlock Craigie(3).
II
Fearfu’ soughs the boortree(4) bank
The rifted wood roars wild an’ dreary.
Loud the iron yett(5) does clank,
An’ cry o’ howlets mak’s me eerie.
III
Aboon my breath I daurna’ speak
For fear I rouse your waukrif’ daddie;
Cauld’s the blast upon my cheek,
O rise, rise my bonnie ladie.
IV
She op’d the door, she let him in
I cuist aside my dreepin’ plaidie(6).
‘Blaw your warst, ye rain and win’
Since, Maggie, now I’m in aside ye.
V
Now, since ye’re waukin’, Maggie,
Now, since ye’re waukin’, Maggie,
What care I for howlet’s cry,
For boortree bank or warlock craigie?
English translation
I
Dark and rainy is the night
there’s no star in all the carry
lightning flashes gleam across the sky
and cold winds drive with winters fury.
CHORUS
Oh, are you sleeping Maggie
Oh, are you sleeping Maggie
let me in, for the loud the waterfall
is roaring over the warlock crag.
II
Fearful sighs on the elder tree bank
The rifted wood roars wild and dreary
Loud the iron gate does clank,
And cry of owls makes me fearful.
III
Above my breath I dare not speak
For fear I rouse your wakeful father
Cold is the blast upon my cheek
O rise, rise my pretty lady.
IV
She opened the door, she let him in
I cast aside my dripping cloak
“Blow your worst, you rain and wind
Since, Maggie, now I’m beside you.”
V
Now, since you’re woken, Maggie
Now, since you’re woken, Maggie
What care I for owl’s cry,
For elder tree bank or warlock crag?

NOTES
1) carry is for sky, “the direction in which clouds are carried by the wind”
2) howling
3) warlock crag is the name of a waterfall at Lochwinnoch that forms a large pool or a small pond
4) elder tree in which the fairies prefer to dwell
5) yett is gett according to the ancient custom of writing the two vowels interchangeably
6) plaidie  see more

Great horned owl and chicks. Image size 5.6 by 7.9 inches @ 300 dpi. Photo credit: © Scott Copeland

SLEEPY & DROWSY MAGGY REELS

“Sleepy Maggie” is a reel in two-part and is often paired with the “Drowsy Maggie” reel, sometimes the two melodies are, mistakenly, confused. In the version of Francis O’Neill and James O’Neill (in O’Neill’s Music of Ireland) it is in 3 parts.

Sleepy Maggie as reported by Fidder’s Companion is a traditional Scottish melody whose oldest transcribed source is in Duke of Perth Manuscript or Drummond Castle Manuscript (1734)

Sleepy Maggie is also known in Ireland under different names “Lough Isle Castle,” “Seán sa Cheo” or “Tullaghan Lassies” and is the model for “Jenny’s Chickens”.

Samuel Melton Fisher, Asleep, (1902)
Samuel Melton Fisher, Asleep, (1902)

“Drowsy Maggie” is instead a traditional Irish tune in 2, 3 or 4 parts, but much more popular at least at the recording level (it will be for its appearance in the movie “Titanic”!)

Gaelic Storm  (Titanic Set) – of course there is also the Scottish version: usually slow part and then it gets faster and faster so the title between in deception because there is nothing “sleepy” in the melody that comes to a final paroxysm .

SLEEPY MAGGIE

Sleepy Maggie Alasdair Fraser on fiddle
Sleepy Maggie
Gabriele Possenti  on a Mcilroy AS 65c (C)
Tullaghan Lassies Fidil Irish Fiddle trio
Jenny’s Chickens Shanon Corr on fiddle

DROWSY MAGGIE
John Simie Doherty Donegal fiddle master
Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann live

The Chieftains  

Driftwood (Joe Nunn on fiddle)
Jake Wise live

Rock versions
Dancing Willow an Irish folk band from Münster (Germany)
DNA Strings from Cape Town ( South Africa)
Lack of limits faster more and more

LINKS
http://archive.org/details/poemssongsofrobe00tannrich
http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/fullrecord/64522/1;
jsessionid=B312B09442ED31BB18C4FDA5E2E2BB59

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=59687
http://members.aol.com/tannahillweavers/
http://www.lochwinnoch.info/tales/warlock-craigie.php
http://thesession.org/tunes/787
http://thesession.org/tunes/27
http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/SLA_SLE.htm#SLEEPY_MAGGY/MAGGIE

There grows a bonie brier-bush

Leggi in italiano

“There grows a bonie brier-bush” is a traditional Scottish song modified by Robert Burns for editorial purpose and published in 1796 in the “Scots Musical Museum”; the double meaning concerned both the allusion to the relationship between a Jacobite rebel “Highland laddie” and a “Lowland lassie” follower of King George that the erotic context of the relationship (as we find it in the variant”The Cuckoo’s nest“)

Jean Redpath in Songs of Robert Burns, Vol. 3 & 4 1996
Junkman’s Choir in The Burns Sessions – Footage of recordings from inside Robert Burns’ Cottage, Alloway, Scotland (January 2018)

I
There grows a bonnie
brier-bush (1) in our kail-yard (2),
There grows a bonnie
brier-bush in our kail-yard;
And below the bonnie brier-bush
there’s a lassie and a lad,
And they’re busy, busy
courting in our kail-yard.
II
We’ll court nae mair below
the buss in our kail-yard,
We’ll court nae mair below
the buss in our kail-yard;
We’ll awa to Athole’s green (3),
and there we’ll no be seen,
Whare the trees and the branches
will be our safe-guard.
III
‘ Will ye go to the dancin
in Carlyle’s ha’ (4)?
Will ye go to the dancin
in Carlyle’s ha’ ?
Where Sandy (5) and Nancy
I’m sure will ding (6) them a’?’
‘ I winna gang to the dance
in Carlyle ha.’
IV
What will I do for a lad
when Sandy gangs awa?
What will I do for a lad
when Sandy gangs awa ?
I will awa to Edinburgh,
and win a penny fee (7),
And see an onie bonnie lad
will fancy me.
V
He’s comin frae the North
that’s to fancy me,
He’s comin frae the North
that’s to fancy me ;
A feather in his bonnet
and a ribbon at his knee (8),
He ‘s a bonnie, bonnie laddie,
and yon be he !

NOTES
Enghish translation *
1) in the ballads the rose is not only “a rose” but it is the symbol of love, symbolizes here the loss of virginity, the thorns are also a memento to the dangers of a sexuality outside of marriage
2) kail-yard is the garden in front of the door of the cottage, it has become synonymous with a group of storytellers of the end of the 19th century who often described Scottish rural life, often using dialectal forms.
3) Athole: Atholl is located in the heart of the Scottish Highlands and derives its name from the Gaelic “ath Fodla” or New Ireland following the invasions in the island of the Irish tribes in the seventh century, Athole is the old name for the area of Perthshire

4) “Carlisle Castle is situated in Carlisle, in the English county of Cumbria, near the ruins of Hadrian’s Wall. Given the proximity of Carlisle to the border between England and Scotland, it has been the centre of many wars and invasions. The most important battles for the city of Carlisle and its castle were during the Jacobite rising of 1745 against George II of Great Britain” (da Wiki)
5) Sandy is short for Alexander
6) to ding= overcome; wear out, weary; to beat, excel, get the better of.
7) panny fee= wages
8) in the eighteenth century there were no stretch fabrics so as to support the socks to the calves of the man (and the thighs of women) were used garters or ribbons turned several times around the leg and knotted (among which we must hide a small dagger) , even those who wore pants (adhering a bit like a tights) used to tie ribbons under the knee

LINK
http://chrsouchon.free.fr/kailyard.htm
http://sangstories.webs.com/cuckoosnest.htm
http://www.cobbler.plus.com/wbc/poems/translations/533.htm
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=86781
http://digital.nls.uk/special-collections-of-printed-music/archive/90262457
https://digital.nls.uk/broadsides/broadside.cfm/id/14959

There grows a bonie brier-bush

Read the post in English  

“There grows a bonie brier-bush” è una canzone tradizionale scozzese modificata da Robert Burns per esigenze editoriali e pubblicata nel 1796 nello “Scots Musical Museum“; il doppio senso riguardava sia l’allusione alla relazione tra un ribelle giacobita “Highland laddie”  e una “Lowland lassie” seguace di re Giorgio che il contesto erotico della relazione (così come lo ritroviamo nella variante “The Cuckoo’s nest“)

Jean Redpath in Songs of Robert Burns, Vol. 3 & 4 1996
Junkman’s Choir in The Burns Sessions – Footage of recordings from inside Robert Burns’ Cottage, Alloway, Scotland (January 2018)


I
There grows a bonnie
brier-bush (1) in our kail-yard (2),
There grows a bonnie
brier-bush in our kail-yard;
And below the bonnie brier-bush
there’s a lassie and a lad,
And they’re busy, busy
courting in our kail-yard.
II
We’ll court nae mair below
the buss in our kail-yard,
We’ll court nae mair below
the buss in our kail-yard;
We’ll awa to Athole’s green (3),
and there we’ll no be seen,
Whare the trees and the branches
will be our safe-guard.
III
‘ Will ye go to the dancin
in Carlyle’s ha’ (4)?
Will ye go to the dancin
in Carlyle’s ha’ ?
Where Sandy (5) and Nancy (6)
I’m sure will ding (7) them a’?’
‘ I winna gang to the dance
in Carlyle ha.’
IV
What will I do for a lad
when Sandy gangs awa?
What will I do for a lad
when Sandy gangs awa ?
I will awa to Edinburgh,
and win a penny fee (8),
And see an onie bonnie lad
will fancy me.
V
He’s comin frae the North
that’s to fancy me,
He’s comin frae the North
that’s to fancy me ;
A feather in his bonnet
and a ribbon at his knee (9),
He ‘s a bonnie, bonnie laddie,
and yon be he !
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Nel nostro orto in cortile
cresce una bella rosa selvatica,
nel nostro orto in cortile
cresce una bella rosa selvatica
e sotto al bel rovo
ci sono una ragazza e un ragazzo
molti affaccendati
ad amoreggiare nel nostro orto
II
Non amoreggeremo più sotto
al cespuglio di rose nel nostro orto
non amoreggeremo più sotto
al cespuglio di rose nel nostro orto
partiremo per le praterie di Atholl,
e là non saremo più spiati
dove gli alberi e i rami
ci faranno da riparo
III
“Andrai al ballo
nel salone di Carlyle?
Andrai al ballo
Nel salone di Carlyle?
Dove Sandro e Agnese
di certo li batteranno tutti”
“Non andrò al ballo
nel salone di Carlyle”
IV
Come troverò un ragazzo
se Sandro se ne andrà?
Come troverò un ragazzo
se Sandro se ne andrà?
Andrò a Edimburgo
a guadagnarmi un salario
e vedere se un bel ragazzo
mi vorrà bene
V
Viene dal Nord
colui che mi sposerà
Viene dal Nord
colui che mi sposerà
Una piuma sul berretto
e un nastro alle ginocchia
E’ un bel, bel ragazzo
e da làggiù lui viene!

NOTE
1) nelle ballate la rosa non è solo “una rosa” ma è il simbolo della passione amorosa, simboleggia qui la perdita della verginità, le spine sono anche un memento ai pericoli di una sessualità fuori dal matrimonio
2) kail-yard è l’orticello davanti alla porta del cottage, è diventato sinonimo di gruppo di narratori di fine ’800 che descrissero, spesso servendosi di forme dialettali, la vita rurale scozzese.
3) Athole: Atholl si trova nel cuore delle Highlands scozzesi e deriva il nome dal gaelico “ath Fodla” ovvero Nuova Irlanda conseguente alle invasioni nell’isola delle tribù irlandesi nel VII sec, Athole è l’antico nome per l’area del Perthshire
4) “Il Castello di Carlisle  è un castello medievale inglese che si trova nella città di Carlisle, in Cumbria. Il castello ha oltre novecento anni ed è stato scenario di molti importanti episodi militari della storia inglese. Data la sua vicinanza ai confini fra Inghilterra e Scozia, fu per tutto il medioevo luogo di scontri e di invasioni. Le più importanti battaglie vissute però dalla città e dal castello di Carlisle furono durante le rivolte giacobite contro Giorgio I e Giorgio II, rispettivamente nel 1715 e nel 1745.” (da Wiki)
5) Sandy diminutivo di Alessandro
6) Nancy nel Settecento veniva usato come diminutivo di Anne ma anche più anticamente era il diminutivo di Annis (la forma medievale di Agnese)
7) to ding è un verbo scossese usato nel senso di eccellere, avere la meglio, superare, nel contesto vuole indicare la bravura della coppia di danzatori al gran ball di Carlisle
8) panny fee= wages
9) nel Settecento non esistevano i tessuti elasticizzati così per reggere le calze ai polpacci dell’uomo ( e alle cosce delle donne) si usavano delle giarrettiere o dei nastri girati più volte intorno alla gamba e annodati (tra cui alla bisogna si nascondeva un piccolo pugnale), anche chi portava i pantaloni (aderenti un po’ come una calzamaglia) usava annodare dei nastri sotto al ginocchio

FONTI
http://chrsouchon.free.fr/kailyard.htm
http://sangstories.webs.com/cuckoosnest.htm
http://www.cobbler.plus.com/wbc/poems/translations/533.htm
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=86781
http://digital.nls.uk/special-collections-of-printed-music/archive/90262457
https://digital.nls.uk/broadsides/broadside.cfm/id/14959

Wee Willie Gray

Read the post in English
Testo: Robert Burns
Melodia: Wee Totum Fogg.
1795

 

Il Duca di Leeds da bambino ritratto di Hans Hausing, 1726

Robert Burns riporta per lo “Scots Musical Museum” un frammento di una canzoncina popolare (rielabarota da lui basandosi su pochi versi) dal titolo “Wee Willie Gray”. Una canzoncina per bambini in cui il piccolo Willy si veste con la corteccia del salice, i petali delle rose e dei gigli. Il piccolo Willy Gray è forse un folletto o un personaggio un po’ tonto dei racconti popolari,  anche se non si esclude che Robbie abbia voluto alludere ironicamente a qualche persona di sua conoscenza.
Ci immaginiamo il piccolo Willy che indossa il costume delle Highlands, con un tessuto in tartan a base rosso, e il caratteristico berretto, lo Scottish Bonnet che a partire dal 1700 viene abbellito da una coccarda, l’emblema del clan e una piuma.
Il completino è abbinato all’immancabile mantello in tartan (plaid)
In sintonia con il buffo personaggio anche la melodia (che alcuni studiosi ritengono composta da Robert Burns) è una saltellante hornpipe del Border.

Tony Cuffe & Rod Paterson in The Complete Songs of Robert Burns, Vol. 1 (Linn Records)


I
WEE Willie Gray,
an’ his leather wallet (1);
Peel a willie (2) wand,
to be him boots and jacket.
The rose upon the breer
will be him trouse an’ doublet,
The rose upon the breer
will be him trouse an’ doublet.
II
Wee Willie Gray,
and his leather wallet;
Twice a lily-flower
will be him sark and cravat (3);
Feathers of a flee
wad feather up his bonnet (4),
Feathers of a flee
wad feather up his bonnet.
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Piccolo Willy Gray
e la sua scarsella
scorteccia una bacchetta di salice
per farsi gli stivali e la marsina:
la rosa sullo spino
sarà le sue braghe e il farsetto
la rosa sullo spino
sarà le sue braghe e il farsetto.
II
Piccolo Willy Gray
e la sua scarsella
due volte il giglio
sarà la sua camicia e la cravatta
la ali di una mosca
saranno le piume del berretto
la ali di una mosca
saranno le piume del  berretto

NOTE
1) Nel settecento il portafoglio era una scarsella che si portava agganciata alla cintura e conteneva sia le banconote che del cibo. Era considerato uno status symbol, relativamente all’agiatezza di chi lo indossava. Il portafoglio piatto come lo conosciamo oggi nasce piuttosto nell’Ottocento
2) willie= willow. Nelle leggende una bacchetta di salice è la bacchetta magica degli stregoni, oltre all’assonanza con il nome Willy non posso fare a meno di  pensare alla figura della scottish country dance chiamata “streep the willow”



3) La cravatta nel 700 era una sciarpa di mussola (con bordi impreziositi da trine e ricami a seconda dell’occasione) girata una o più volte intorno al collo e annodata sul davanti con un fiocco o un nodo semplice. Per lo più bianca dopo la rivoluzione francese diventa sinonimo di controrivoluzionari.
4) è il blue bonnet la cui foggia  risale al 1500 e che ha dato il soprannome di ‘Bluebonnets’ agli Highlanders

FONTI
https://www.padandquill.com/blog/2017/03/09/wallet-origins-and-history/
http://www.cobbler.plus.com/wbc/poems/translations/615.htm
http://burnsscotland.com/items/v/volume-vi,-song-514,-page-530-wee-willie-gray

Wee Willie Gray

Leggi in italiano
Lyrics: Robert Burns
Tune: Wee Totum Fogg.
1795

The Duke of Leeds as a child, in Highland costume, by Hans Hausing, 1726

Robert Burns reports for the “Scots Musical Museum” a fragment of a popular song (revived by him based on a few traditional verses) entitled “Wee Willie Gray”. A little children song in which little Willy dresses with the bark of the willow, the petals of roses and lilies. The little Willy Gray is perhaps an elf or a jerky character of lore, or pheraps Robbie wanted to allude ironically to some person of his knowledge.

We imagine the little Willy all dresses in the Highland costume, with a red-based tartan fabric, and the distinctive cap, the Scottish Bonnet that since 1700 is embellished with a rosette, the emblem of the clan and a feather. The look is outfitted with a tartan coat (plaid)
In tune with the funny character also the melody (which some scholars believe composed by Robert Burns) is jumping, double hornpipe from the Borders.

Tony Cuffe & Rod Paterson in The Complete Songs of Robert Burns, Vol. 1 (Linn Records)

I
WEE Willie Gray,
an’ his leather wallet (1);
Peel a willie (2) wand,
to be him boots and jacket.
The rose upon the breer
will be him trouse an’ doublet,
The rose upon the breer
will be him trouse an’ doublet.
II
Wee Willie Gray,
and his leather wallet;
Twice a lily-flower
will be him sark and cravat (3);
Feathers of a flee
wad feather up his bonnet (4),
Feathers of a flee
wad feather up his bonnet.

NOTES
for English translation
1) By the 1700s, wallets were still purse attached to the hip and carried everything from old notes to bits of food. It was considered a status symbol, relative to the comfort of the wearer. The flat portfolio as we know it today arises rather in the nineteenth century
2) willie= willow. In the legends a wand of willow is the magic wand, but it recalls the figure of the scottish country dance called “streep the willow”



3) The tie in the 700 was a muslin scarf (with borders embellished with lace and embroidery depending on the occasion) turned one or more times around the neck and knotted at the front with a bow or a simple knot. Mostly white after the French revolution, it became synonymous with counter-revolutionaries.
4) It is the blue bonnet whose style dates back to 1500s and which gave the nickname of ‘Bluebonnets’ to the Highlanders

LINK
https://www.padandquill.com/blog/2017/03/09/wallet-origins-and-history/
http://www.cobbler.plus.com/wbc/poems/translations/615.htm
http://burnsscotland.com/items/v/volume-vi,-song-514,-page-530-wee-willie-gray

Outlander: Baroque Boogie Woogie

Read the post in English

DAL LIBRO LA STRANIERA

Diana Gabaldon

Nel primo libro della saga Outlander scritto da Diana Gabaldon il capitolo 34 è dedicato alla ricerca dello scomparso Jamie e Claire si accompagna al  fedele e inossidabile Roger Murtaugh. Improvvisandosi imbonitori (nel tentativo di attrarre l’attenzione di Jamie affinchè si metta in contatto con loro) i due si esibiscono nelle taverne e nelle fiere con Murtaugh come principale intrattenitore e Claire che lo accompagna nel canto, arrangiandosi anche come chiromante. La canzone che è menzionata nel libro è la ballata del Border “The Dowie Dens of Yarrow“.

OUTLANDER TV: “The Search”

Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) in “The Search.”, travestita da uomo

Nell’episodio 14 “The Search” della serie televisiva Outlander (prima stagione) Murtaugh ( interpretato dall’attore Danny Glover) è invece un ballerino un po’ maldestro e Claire non proprio versata per il canto, ma neanche stonata, spera di vivacizzare l’esibizione di un danzatore appena passabile, canticchiando un boogie woogie molto popolare ai suoi tempi, il 1945; il motivetto piace subito a Murtaugh  (nonostante il divario culturale tra la musica popolare d’epoca barocca e la musica popolare del XX secolo) ma le consiglia di abbinarlo ad un testo più da bawdy song che il pubblico del 1743 saprà meglio apprezzare: “The Reels o’ Bogie”


I
Here’s to all you lads and lasses
That go out this way.
Be sure to tip your coggie
When you take her out to play
Lads and lasses toy a kiss,
The lads never think
What they do is amiss
Chorus
Because there’s Kent and keen
And there’s Aberdeen
And there’s naan as muckle
as the Strath of boogie-woogie
II
For every lad’ll wander
Just to have his lass
An’ when they see her pintle rise,
They’ll raise a glass
And rowe about their wanton een
They dance a reel as the troopers
Go over the lea
Chorus
A-root, a-toot
A rooty-a-doot
A-root, a-toot
A rooty-a-doot
III
He giggled, goggled me
He was a banger
He sought the prize between my thighs
Became a hanger
Chorus
And no there’s naan as muckle
As the wanton tune
Of strath of boogie
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Per tutti voi dame e messeri
che andate per questa via
Ricordatevi di bere un sorso (1)
quando state in compagnia (2)
uomini e donne si scambiano un bacio, ma gli uomini non pensano mai
che quello che fanno è scorretto
Coro
Perché dal Kent al Border(3)
e fino all’Aberdeen
non c’è una valle ampia (4)
come 
la valle del boogie (5) woogie
II
Perché ogni uomo andrà in giro
solo per trovare una donna
e quando lei si concederà (6)
alzeranno il calice
e gettando occhiate (7) lascive
danzeranno un reel (8) mentre  le truppe ricontrollano i pascoli (9)
Chorus
A-root, a-toot
A rooty-a-doot
A-root, a-toot
A rooty-a-doot
III
Ridacchiava, mi faceva gli occhi dolci
era il membro di una banda (10).
e cercando il premio tra le mie cosce
si trasformava in uno spadino (11)
Coro
Non c’è una valle ampia
come la melodia spericolata
della valle del boogie

NOTE
1) doppio senso: coggie (vezzeggiativo) o cog è la scodella, ciotola di legno per bere. Una tipica tazza scozzese cerimoniale con due manici detta quaich (quaigh o quoich), tradizionalmente realizzate in legno, con fasce come quelle di una botte tenute insieme da un cerchio di salice o d’argento; oggi sono in gran parte d’argento. Uno vero scozzese, per salutarvi, vi offrirà l’ultimo sorso di whisky in un quaich, per
simboleggiare la vostra amicizia.
2) il play è chiaramente un “gioco” erotico
3) “Kent and keen” Kent è una contea nella parte sud-est dell’Inghilterra, dove si trovano le bianche scogliere di Dover quindi il punto (per i viaggiatori dal continente) più a sud: in senso lato vuol dire “Dal Sud al Nord” keen non è una contea e nemmeno un  villaggio, forse un vecchio termine per il Border, potrebbere essere usato come assonanza e stare per “dal  Kent dal forte vento” o qualcosa del genere
4) strath è una  valle fluviale che è ampia e poco profonda (al contrario del glen una vallata tipicamente più stretta e profonda).
5) il “Bogie” è un torrente nell’Aberdeenshire, che attraversa la bella valle o strath del Bogie.  Strathbogie però è anche il nome di una cittadina nella contea dell’Aberdeenshire detta Milton of Strathbogie
6) ancora un doppio senso pintle è il piolo di un cardine, o un bullone
7) een  sta per “even”= Evening letteralmente “rotolandosi senza inibizioni nella notte; oppure een è il prurale di “eye” “to roll one’s eyes” roteare gli occhi , la frase diventa “roteando gli occhi maliziosi, lascivi”
8) to dance a reel è ancora un doppio senso il reel è una tipica melodia da danza in cui i ballerini eseguono giravolte e descrivono intrecci.
9) le giubbe rosse vanno a pattugliare le highlands in cerca di ribelli o facinorosi. Il riferimento è calzante con la situazione della narrazione
10) nello slang americano sta per  gangbanger =  membro di una banda di tipacci
ma nel 1700 è uno che canta a voce alta (banda musicale)
11) doppio senso

Murtaugh  con movenze un po’ orsine balla sulle spade incrociate a tempo di Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy Of Company B

LA REALTA’ STORICA

“The Reels o’ Bogie” è una canzoncina ricca di doppi sensi del 1700 dalle molte versioni (se ne contano 5) tra le quali una attribuita al Duca Alexander Gordon su musica arrangiata da J. Haydn ancora cantata nei salotti lirici.

Hob. XXXIa no. 55, JHW. XXXII/1 no. 55 in “Haydn: Scottish and Welsh Songs”, Vol. 1, 2009 (ascolta su Spotify).


I
There’s cauld kail in Aberdeen,
And castocks in Stra’bogie,
Gin I hae but a bonny lass,
Ye’re welcome to your cogie.
And ye may sit up a’ the night,
And drink till it be braid daylight;
Gie me a lass baith clean and tight,
To dance the Reel of Bogie.
II
In cotillons the French excel,
John Bull in countra dances;
The Spaniards dance fandangos well,
Mynheer an all’mand prances;
In foursome reels the Scots delight,
The threesome maist dance wound’rous light;
But twasome ding a’ out o’ sight,
Danc’d to the Reel of Bogie.
III
Now a’ the lads ha’e done their best,
Like true men of Stra’bogie;
We’ll stop a while and tak a rest,
And tipple out a cogie;
Come now, my lads, and tak your glass,
And try ilk other to surpass,
In wishing health to every lass
To dance the Reel of Bogie.
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Abbiamo zuppa fredda ad Aberdeen
e gambi di cavolo a Strathbogie,
e se c’è una bella ragazza
che sia la benvenuta al brindisi!
Ti puoi sedere per tutta la notte
e bere finchè spunterà la luce del giorno: datemi un ragazza fresca e soda, per ballare il Reel del Bogie.
II
Nel Cotillon i Francesi eccellono,
gli Inglesi nella Contraddanza;
gli Spagnoli danzano bene il Fandango, i Tedeschi il ballo alemanno,
gli Scozzesi si dilettano nel reel a quattro (quadriglia), il trio
ballerà in modo mirabile
ma la coppia andrà a nascondersi
per ballare il Reel del Bogie.
III
Ora che tutti i signori hanno fatto del loro meglio, come veri uomini di Strathbogie, ci fermeremo un po’ per riposarci, e bere un sorso.
Venite signori, e prendete il bicchiere e cercate di superare tutti gli altri nel bere alla salute di ogni ragazza che danza il Reel del Bogie

Lo stesso Robert Burns ne riarrangia una con il titolo “There’s cauld kail in Aberdeen” allungando con versi di suo pugno (i primo tre) la versione tradizionale riportata  da David Herd nel suo “Scots Songs” (1776, vol II).

ASCOLTA Jean Redpath in Songs of Robert Burns Vol 1 & 2, 1996 su Spotify. La versione di Ewan McColl ricalca sostanzialmente quella di Jean.


I
Cauld kail (1)  in Aberdeen
And castocks (2)  in Strabogie
But yet I fear they’ll cook o’er soon,
And never warm the coggie (3).
II
My coggie, Sirs, my coggie, Sirs,
I cannot want my coggie;
I wadna gie my three-gir’d cap (4)
For e’er a quine (5) on Bogie.
III
There’s Johnie Smith has got a wife
That scrimps him o’ his coggie,
If she were mine, upon my life
I wad douk her in a Bogie.
IV
My coggie, Sirs, my coggie, Sirs,
I cannot want my coggie;
I wadna gie my three-girr’d cap
For e’er a quine on Bogie
V
There’s cauld kail in Aberdeen,
And castocks in Strabogie;
When ilka lad maun hae his lass,
Then fye, gie me my coggie.
VI
The lasses about Bogie gicht (6)
Their limbs, they are sae clean and tight (7),
That if they were but girded right,
They’ll dance the reel of Bogie (8).
VII
Wow, Aberdeen, what did you mean,
Sae young a maid to woo, Sir (9)?
I’m sure it was nae joke to her,
Whate’er it was to you, Sir.
VIII
For lasses  (10) now are nae sae blate
But they ken auld folk’s out o’ date,
And better playfare can they get
Than castocks in Strabogie.
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Zuppa fredda ad Aberdeen
e gambi di cavolo a Strathbogie,
temo che cucineranno velocemente senza riscaldare la scodella.
II
La mia scodella, signori, la mia scodella
non voglio altro che la mia scodella: darei la mia scodella con tre manici, di continuo, a una servetta sul Bogie
III
Johnie Smith ha una moglie
che lesina sulla sua razione (di zuppa),
se fosse la mia, giuro
che la getterei nel Bogie
IV
La mia scodella, signori, la mia scodella
non voglio altro che la mia scodella: darei la mia scodella con tre manici, di continuo, a una servetta sul Bogie
V
Zuppa fredda ad Aberdeen
e gambi di cavolo a Strathbogie,
ogni uomo deve avere la sua amica,
allora sbrigati, dammi la mia scodella.
VI
Le ragazze di Bogingicht
braccia e gambe, sono così fresche e sode (strette)
che non appena le stringi per bene
ballano il reel del Bogie.
VII
Signore di  Aberdeen, cosa vi era preso ad amoreggiare con una così giovane servetta? Di certo non era una facezia per lei, qualunque cosa fosse per voi.
VIII
Perchè le ragazze oggi non sono così timide e sanno come ottenere giocattoli migliori che i vecchi superati  gambi di cavolo nella valle del Bogie (a Strathbogie).

NOTE
1) Kail o kale è una varietà di cavolo cucinato in Inghilterra nella zuppa, forse un tempo aveva il significato di pietanza appetitosa,  ‘castocks’ sono i gambi del cavolo. Ma i doppi sensi si sprecano. La pietanza riscaldata non è poi così gustosa come sembra!
2) Strathbogie potrebbe essere  sia la valle del Bogie ma anche la cittadina Milton of Strathbogie (oggi Huntly) dimora storica del reggimento di Gordon Highlanders, tradizionalmente reclutato in tutto il nord-est della Scozia.
3) coggie è la tazza o scodella, per  sorbire la zuppa o mangiare il porridge. Il senso è “finiranno presto e riscalderanno appena la zuppa” e chi ha orecchie per intendere, intenda
4) Cap (cup) ha lo stesso significato di cog e infatti in alcune versioni è scritto three-girr’d cog (coggie);  three-girred = surrounded with three hoops, three-ringed cup
5) quine è un termine arcaico per donna, ma ha diversi significati può voler dire moglie oppure figlia,  indicare una servetta o ancora essere usato in termini dispregiativi
6) se considerata una parola divisa gicht=saucy; ma scritto anche come Bogingicht; Bog of Gight o Bogengight era l’antica designazione della sede della damiglia ducale di Seton-Gordon, oggi Gordon Castle
7) letteralmente pulite e strette
8) doppio senso
9) si mette in ridicolo un vecchio (forse il Lord di quelle terre) che si ostina a corteggiare le giovani ragazze!
10) sottointeso le ragazze di Bogingicht

E ovviamente c’è anche una scottish country dance con il titolo Cauld Kail in Aberdeen!!

E un reel irlandese dallo stesso titolo!

FONTI
https://carrielt21.wordpress.com/2015/05/14/scotlands-burns-and-outlander-rival-shakespeares-bawdy/
https://carrielt21.wordpress.com/2015/05/16/adapted-bawdy-lyrics-outlander-tv-series-episode-114-the-search/
http://www.outlandercast.com/2016/01/top-ten-musical-moments-of-season-1.html

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Book_of_Scottish_Song/Cauld_Kail_in_Aberdeen_1
http://www.burnsscotland.com/items/v/volume-ii,-song-162,-page-170-cauld-kail-in-aberdeen.aspx
http://www.bartleby.com/333/222.html
http://www.lieder.net/lieder/get_text.html?TextId=92760

http://www.rscds-swws.org/news/200707/vol24-1.htm

https://www.scottish-country-dancing-dictionary.com/dance-crib/cauld-kail.html
https://eatthetable.com/2014/04/30/147/
https://biblio.wiki/wiki/Songs_of_Robert_Burns/There%27s_cauld_kail_in_Aberdeen

https://thesession.org/tunes/3307
http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/scottish/cauldkai.htm
http://tunearch.org/wiki/Annotation:Reel_of_Bogie_(1)_(The)
http://www.tunearch.org/wiki/Annotation:Reel_of_Bogie_(2)

Outlander: Baroque Boogie Woogie

Leggi in italiano

FROM OUTLANDER BOOK

Diana Gabaldon

In the first book of the Outlander saga written by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 34 is dedicated to the search for her missing Jamie and Claire is going along with the faithful and stainless Roger Murtaugh. Acting as barkers (hoping Jamie to get in touch with them) they perform in taverns and fairs with Murtaugh as the main entertainer and Claire as choir, and if necessary, fortune teller. The song that is mentioned in the book is the Border ballad “The Dowie Dens of Yarrow“.

OUTLANDER TV: “The Search”

Murtaugh (Danny Glover) is on the contrary, a rather clumsy dancer and Claire is not really versed for singing, but nor out of tune, so she hopes to liven up the performance of a barely passable dancer, humming a very popular boogie woogie in her day, 1945; Murtagh immediately likes the silly tune (despite the cultural divide between popular baroque music and 20th century folk music) but he suggests to fit a more bawdy song text that the 1743 audience will know better: “The Reels o’ Bogie”

Caitriona Balfe as Claire Fraser in “The Search.” Image credit Sony Pictures Television

Claire: May I make a suggestion? Perhaps you could sing a song to jazz up the dance a bit.
Murtaugh: Jazz?
C: To spice up, enliven.
M: A song?
C: Yes, something toe-tapping like…
♪ He was a famous trumpet man from out Chicago way ♪
♪ He had a boogie style that no one else could play ♪
♪ He was a top man at his craft ♪
♪ But then his number came up and he was gone with the draft ♪
♪ He’s in the army now a-blowin’ reveille ♪
♪ He’s the boogie-woogie bugle boy of company b ♪
M:  It’s a Bonnie tune, but you need a Scottish song. And a new look. That’s jazzed you up a bit, eh?
(http://transcripts.foreverdreaming.org/viewtopic.php?f=198&t=18201)

Claire performance of a traditional bawdy Scots song “The Reels o’ Bogie” to the tune of “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.”


I
Here’s to all you lads and lasses
That go out this way.
Be sure to tip your coggie (1)
When you take her out to play (2)
Lads and lasses toy a kiss,
The lads never think
What they do is amiss
Chorus:
Because there’s Kent and keen (3)
And there’s Aberdeen
And there’s naan as muckle
as the Strath of boogie (4)-woogie
II
For every lad’ll wander
Just to have his lass
An’ when they see her pintle (5) rise,
They’ll raise a glass
And rowe about their wanton een (6)
They dance a reel (7) as the troopers
Go over the lea

[Chorus]
A-root, a-toot
A rooty-a-doot
A-root, a-toot
A rooty-a-doot
III
He giggled, goggled me
He was a banger (8)
He sought the prize
between my thighs
Became a hanger (9)
[Chorus]
And no there’s naan as muckle
As the wanton tune
Of strath of boogie

NOTES
1) a sexual metaphor: coggie – n., diminutive of “cog,” meaning cup, or wooden bowl to drink. 
 A typical ceremonial Scottish cup with two handles called quaich (quaigh or quoich), traditionally made of wood, with bands like those of a barrel held together by a circle of willow or silver; today they are largely silver.
2) erotic play
3) “Kent and keen” Kent is a county in the southeastern part of England, where the white cliffs of Dover are located so the point (for travelers from the mainland) further south; “keen” is not a county and not even a village, maybe an old term for the Border
4) Strathbogie: or Milton of Strathbogie the old name of Huntly, Scotland. A strath is a large valley, typically a river valley that is wide and shallow (as opposed to a glen which is typically narrower and deep. So it’s a sexual metaphor: its wideness and openness, is lasciviousness or moral looseness. The “Bogie,” also known as the Water of Bogie is a stream in Aberdeenshire, which runs through the beautiful strath or valley called Strathbogie
5) pintle – n., “a pin or bolt, especially one on whichsomething turns, as the gudgeon of a hinge.” – Dictionary.com. Metaphor for penis.
6) een= eyes, “to roll one’s eyes” 
7) to dance a reel: dance the miller’s reel / dance the reels of Stumpie , obsolete phrase referring to sexual intercourse; reel: a type of dance, associated with weaving and spinning, emphasizing this kind of pattern and movement
8) american slang = gangbanger , but in 700’s one’s sing very loudly  (musical group)
9) hanger=a man with a long penis 

The swords dance of Murtaugh and Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy Of Company B’s tune

THE HISTORICAL REALITY

We know five different versions dating to the 18th century of “The Reels o ‘Bogie” (aka “Cauld Kale in Aberdeen”) among which one attributed to Duke Alexander Gordon with music arranged by J. Haydn is still sung in the lyrical world
Hob. XXXIa no. 55, JHW. XXXII/1 no. 55 in “Haydn: Scottish and Welsh Songs”, Vol. 1, 2009 (su Spotify)

THE REELS O ‘BOGIE
I
There’s cauld kail in Aberdeen,
And castocks in Stra’bogie,
Gin I hae but a bonny lass,
Ye’re welcome to your cogie.
And ye may sit up a’ the night,
And drink till it be braid daylight;
Gie me a lass baith clean and tight,
To dance the Reel of Bogie.
II
In cotillons the French excel,
John Bull in countra dances;
The Spaniards dance fandangos well,
Mynheer an all’mand prances;
In foursome reels the Scots delight,
The threesome maist dance wound’rous light;
But twasome ding a’ out o’ sight,
Danc’d to the Reel of Bogie.
III
Now a’ the lads ha’e done their best,
Like true men of Stra’bogie;
We’ll stop a while and tak a rest,
And tipple out a cogie;
Come now, my lads, and tak your glass,
And try ilk other to surpass,
In wishing health to every lass
To dance the Reel of Bogie.
English translation Cattia Salto
I
There is cold soup in Aberdeen,
And cabbage stalks in Strathbogie,

if I have but a fair lady
you are welcome to your cup.
And you may sit up all the night,
and drink till it be broad daylight;
Give me a lass both clean and tight,
To dance the Reel of Bogie.
II
In cotillons the French excel,
the English in countrydances;
The Spaniards dance fandangos well,
Dutch an allemand prances;
In foursome reels the Scots delight,
The threesome may dance wounderous light;
But twasome ding all out of sight,
Danced to the Reel of Bogie.
III
Now all the lads have done their best,
Like true men of Strathbogie,
We’ll stop a while and take a rest,
And tipple out a cup;
Come now, my lads, and take your glass,/And try every other to surpass,
In wishing health to every lass
To dance the Reel of Bogie.

One version dates from David Herd’s Scots Songs, 1769 and Robert Burns re-worked his version several times for George Thomson’s Select Collection of Scottish Airs, 1793. He liberally combined Herd’s version with his own.
Jean Redpath in “Songs of Robert Burns” Vol 1 & 2, 1996 (Spotify)


I
Cauld kail (1)  in Aberdeen
And castocks  in Strabogie
But yet I fear they’ll cook o’er soon,
And never warm the coggie.
II
My coggie, Sirs, my coggie, Sirs,
I cannot want my coggie;
I wadna gie my three-gir’d cap (2)
For e’er a quine (3) on Bogie.
III
There’s Johnie Smith has got a wife
That scrimps him o’ his coggie,
If she were mine, upon my life
I wad douk her in a Bogie.
IV
My coggie, Sirs, my coggie, Sirs,
I cannot want my coggie;
I wadna gie my three-girr’d cap
For e’er a quine on Bogie
V
There’s cauld kail in Aberdeen,
And castocks in Strabogie;
When ilka lad maun hae his lass,
Then fye, gie me my coggie.
VI
The lasses about Bogie gicht (4)
Their limbs, they are sae clean and tight,
That if they were but girded right,
They’ll dance the reel of Bogie.
VII
Wow, Aberdeen, what did you mean,
Sae young a maid to woo, Sir (5)?
I’m sure it was nae joke to her,
Whate’er it was to you, Sir.
VIII
For lasses  now are nae sae blate
But they ken auld folk’s out o’ date,
And better playfare can they get
Than castocks in Strabogie.
English translation Cattia Salto
I
There is cold soup in Aberdeen,
And cabbage stalks in Strathbogie,
But yet I fear they’ll cook over soon
And never warm my wooden cup.
II
My cup, Sirs, my cup, Sirs,
I cannot want my cup:
I would not give my three-ringed cup,
For ever a maid on Bogie.
III
There is Johnie Smith has got a wife
That scrimps him of his cup,
If she were mine, upon my life
I would duck her in a bog.
IV
My cup, Sirs, my cup, Sirs,
I cannot want my cup:
I would not give my three-ringed cup,
For ever a young girl on Bogie
V
There is cold soup in Aberdeen,
And cabbage stalks in Strathbogie,
When every lad must have his girl-friend,
Then fye, give me my cup.
VI
The lasses about Bogingicht
Their limbs, they are so clean and tight,
That if they were but girded right,
They’ll dance the reel of Bogie.
VII
Wow, Aberdeen, what did you mean,
So young a maid to woo, Sir?
I’m sure it was no joke to her,
Whatever it was to you, Sir.
VIII
For lasses now are no so timid
But they know old folk’s out of date,
And playthings can they get
Than castocks in Strabogie.

NOTES
1) ‘Kail’ or ‘kale’ is a type of cabbage. It grows on a stalk, has large crinkly leaves and is of the cabbage family. Kail is usually used in broth, and often a vegetable soup containing kail was called kail-broth, or simply ‘kail’. Cold kail would be such a broth that had cooled and lost its savour. Hence the familiar Scottish saying with reference to the restoration of old ideas or practices that had seen their day — ‘cauld kail het again’ (cold kail reheated!).”
2) Cap (cup)= cog also “three-girr’d cog (coggie);  three-girred = surrounded with three hoops, three-ringed cup
3) quine
4)  gicht=saucy; or Bogingicht; Bog of Gight, or Bogengight, was the ancient designation of the seat of the ducal family of Seton-Gordon. It is now termed Gordon Castle
5) he ridicules an old man (perhaps the Lord of those lands) who persists in wooing a young lass!
“From the language, the authorship may be safely assigned to an Aberdonian, we suspect the song refers to the first Earl of Aberdeen, who died 20th April 1720, in the eighty third year of his age.  As the name is specially given, there cannot be much difficulty in identifying the hero with the Sir George Gordon of Haddo, born 3rd October 1637, who was Lord Chancellor of Scotland from 1682 to 1684, and who was created Earl of Aberdeen … 1682, to him and the heirs-male of his body..
Lord Lewis Gordon … in the ’45 … declared for Prince Charles…. When all the Pretender’s hopes were blasted at Culloden … [he] fled to France, where he died in 1754. One of his sisters, a young lady of great beauty, became the third wife of William Earl of Aberdeen, which gave rise to the following lines in the well-known song of ‘Cauld Kail in Aberdeen, and Custocks in Strathbogie [VII an VIII verses]” (source: Fraser’s Magazine (London, 18668 (“Digitized by Google”)), Vol. LXXIII, p. 575).

And here is the scottish country dance “Cauld Kail in Aberdeen”!!

“The Reel of Bogie” is also claimed and played as an Irish folk song.

LINK
https://carrielt21.wordpress.com/2015/05/14/scotlands-burns-and-outlander-rival-shakespeares-bawdy/
https://carrielt21.wordpress.com/2015/05/16/adapted-bawdy-lyrics-outlander-tv-series-episode-114-the-search/
http://www.outlandercast.com/2016/01/top-ten-musical-moments-of-season-1.html

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Book_of_Scottish_Song/Cauld_Kail_in_Aberdeen_1
http://www.burnsscotland.com/items/v/volume-ii,-song-162,-page-170-cauld-kail-in-aberdeen.aspx
http://www.bartleby.com/333/222.html
http://www.lieder.net/lieder/get_text.html?TextId=92760

http://www.rscds-swws.org/news/200707/vol24-1.htm

https://www.scottish-country-dancing-dictionary.com/dance-crib/cauld-kail.html
https://eatthetable.com/2014/04/30/147/
https://biblio.wiki/wiki/Songs_of_Robert_Burns/There%27s_cauld_kail_in_Aberdeen

https://thesession.org/tunes/3307
http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/scottish/cauldkai.htm
http://tunearch.org/wiki/Annotation:Reel_of_Bogie_(1)_(The)
http://www.tunearch.org/wiki/Annotation:Reel_of_Bogie_(2)