The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #167259   Message #4101861
Posted By: Jack Campin
11-Apr-21 - 11:15 AM
Thread Name: Lady Nairne biography
Subject: RE: Lady Nairne biography
She didn't write The Laird of Cockpen, she bowdlerized it. The version Herd published as "When she cam ben she bobbit" is far better, with its unique ending:

- And are you wi bairn, my chicken?
   Are you wi bairn, my chicken?
- Oh if I am not, I hope to be,
   Ere that the green leaves be shaken.

but that wouldn't fly in Nairne's time. The tune is known by Herd's title from the early 18th century.

I live in walking distance from Cockpen and the ruins of his house and family church are still sort of standing. I'd like to record the tune there sometime.

"Caller Herrin" is a masterpiece and her decision to give Nathaniel Gow the royalties from it (when he had become too ill to work) must have made a difference.