The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #10357   Message #156655
Posted By: Bruce O.
01-Jan-00 - 03:00 PM
Thread Name: Wild mountain thyme
Subject: Lyr/Tune Add: THE BRAES O' BOWHETHER
[Repost from rec.music.folk from Bogus Address [Jack Campin]

Craig Cockburn has dealt with "Auld Lang Syne". "The Wild Mountain Thyme" was claimed as original by Francis McPeake; in fact he did no more than slightly adapt "The Braes of Balquhidder", a song by Robert Tannahill from the first decade of the 19th century using a tune called "The Three Carles o' Buchanan". That song was repeatedly anthologized throughout the next 150 years. *But*, what nobody seems to have noticed is that Tannahill's song is an adaptation of one in John Hamilton's "24 Scots Songs" published by Watlen in Edinburgh in 1796.

Hamilton doesn't say outright that he wrote it himself, either; his more than usually muddled notation suggests he didn't and was transcribing someone else's work. So my guess is that it started out as a Scots folk song of the late 18th century by a now-unknown composer from somewhere in Stirlingshire not so very far from where Craig hails from.

Here's a warts-and-all transcription of Hamilton's version:

X:1
T:The Braes o' Bowhether
S:John Hamilton, 24 Scots Songs, 1796
N:H is not standard ABC yet; it means a fermata
N:sic - bars 6 and 8 are too long (2nd to last notes length 2 instead?)
Z:Jack Campin
M:C
L:1/8
K:F
"Slow"
A/ c/|d2 F> G A A> z c| d2 F> G A c/|\
d2 F> G (AG) A> c|(d>e) f> d (c/A/ A2)
||
c |d> e f d c> A Ha> g| f d c> A (A/G/) G3

c/|\
d> e f d c> A Ha> g| f> e (d/e/) (f/d/) (c/A/) A3
c/|
d> e f d c> A Ha> g| f> d (d/c/) (B/A/) (A/G/) G2 A/
G/|\
F> D C> D (F>G) A> c|(d>e) (g/f/) (e/d/) (c/A/ A2)
|]

Now the day's growin' lang lass,
an' sweet shines the weather,
an' we'll owre a' the hills,
to the Braes o' Bowhether.
Amang the Glens an' Rashy dens,
I'll prize thee without measure,
Within my arms, wi' a' thy charms,
I'll clasp my lovely treasure,
In sweetest Love, our time will move,
wi' mair than earthly pleasure;
By the little limpid streams,
On the Braes o' Bowhether.

An' I'll ay loe thee dearly,
Ilk day wes' forgather,
Syne we'll row on the fog,
By the Braes o' Bowhether;
To Pipe or Flute, when time will suit,
We'll dance like ony feather,
An', skip the knowes where Claver grows,
Or stray amang the Heather;
Ay free frae strife in sic a life,
There, weary shall we never,
By the limpid little streams,
On the Braes o' Bowhether.