The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #11439   Message #85329
Posted By: Susanne (skw)
09-Jun-99 - 07:49 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Queen Amang the Heather
Subject: RE: Queen Amangst the Heather
The words I have (not yet written down) are different. But I found a couple of notes on the song:

Queen Amang the Heather (or Lass Amang the Heather)

[1965:] This splendid version of a song equally well-known amongst the Scots farming community and the travelling folk was learnt by Belle [Stewart] when she was still a wee bairn - among the singers to have contributed to her version are old Henry MacGregor of Perth, her cousin Jimmy Whyte and her brother Donald MacGregor. Versions of it used to be as thick as blaeberries in Strathmore and the Braes of Angus. It seems to be related to Ower the Muir Amang the Heather, of which Burns wrote: 'This song is the composition of Jean Glover. ... I took the song down from her singing as she was strolling through the country with a sleight-of-hand blackguard.'. Subsequent collecting makes it almost certain that Jean Glover 's version was itself a re-shaping of an older Ettrick song. James Hogg, the Ettrick shepherd produced a version which was in turn modified. Musical and textual evidence however, suggests that [...] a classic ballad lies behind the lyric lovesong. In this case, the progenitor is Glasgow Peggie (Child 228), the tunes for which are clearly related to Queen Amang the Heather, and whose story presents a parallel situation - the Highlander who takes the heiress he has carried off and beds her down 'amang the heather' before revealing that he is himself a Chieftain. (Hamish Henderson, notes 'The Stewarts of Blair')

[1995:] Sheila [Stewart] calls the song, which she got from her mother, Queen Amang the Heather, but we have used the title in the 'Greig-Duncan Collection', Volume 5. There are a bewildering variety of pieces in Scottish folk song on the courtship of the lowly by the high born suitor, notably the ballad version, The Laird o' Drum. The message is clearly egalitarian, and this has a distinct attraction for traveller singers often themselves suffering social discrimination. The motif is well expressed in the last verse of the ballad. (Peter Hall, notes 'Folk Songs of North-East Scotland')