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Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders

DigiTrad:
WILL YE GO TO FLANDERS?


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Young Jimmy in Flanders (11)
Lyr Req: Will Ye Go tae Flanders? (16)


06 Apr 99 - 10:38 PM
McMusic 07 Apr 99 - 12:45 AM
Bruce O. 07 Apr 99 - 03:29 AM
Bruce O. 08 Apr 99 - 10:44 PM
Bruce O. 09 Apr 99 - 12:34 PM
Jack Hickman - Kingston, ON 09 Apr 99 - 08:42 PM
Jane 10 Apr 99 - 06:24 PM
Jerry Friedman 11 Apr 99 - 04:07 PM
bfolkemer 19 Jul 11 - 12:25 PM
GUEST 19 Jul 11 - 12:45 PM
GUEST,leeneia 19 Jul 11 - 01:02 PM
Speedwell 19 Jul 11 - 01:18 PM
GUEST,Soph FFS 20 Jul 11 - 09:36 AM
Teribus 20 Jul 11 - 11:37 AM
GUEST,Henryp 20 Jul 11 - 01:23 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Jul 11 - 02:33 PM
GUEST,Henryp 20 Jul 11 - 04:33 PM
Teribus 21 Jul 11 - 06:17 AM
GUEST,Lighter 21 Jul 11 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,henryp 21 Jul 11 - 10:47 AM
Teribus 23 Jul 11 - 06:05 AM
bfolkemer 23 Jul 11 - 11:50 AM
Dave Hanson 23 Jul 11 - 12:17 PM
GUEST,Tich Frier 23 Jul 11 - 03:22 PM
GUEST,Tich 23 Jul 11 - 03:24 PM
GUEST,Auldtimer 23 Jul 11 - 05:55 PM
bfolkemer 23 Jul 11 - 06:09 PM
GUEST,Guest - Lin 23 Jul 11 - 07:38 PM
GUEST,Tich Frier 23 Jul 11 - 08:43 PM
GUEST,Lighter 23 Jul 11 - 09:42 PM
GUEST,Billy Ross 25 Apr 12 - 05:20 AM
GUEST,henryp 25 Apr 12 - 06:25 AM
GUEST 20 Mar 13 - 12:35 PM
GUEST,henryp 20 Mar 13 - 09:41 PM
Jim Dixon 22 Mar 13 - 08:52 AM
GUEST,henryp 03 Nov 15 - 06:38 AM
Steve Gardham 10 Sep 16 - 03:00 PM
GUEST,Ewan McVicar 10 Sep 16 - 04:41 PM
GUEST,Ewan McVicar 10 Sep 16 - 04:41 PM
Reinhard 10 Sep 16 - 04:53 PM
GUEST,GUTCHER 11 Sep 16 - 07:26 AM
Rumncoke 11 Sep 16 - 10:55 PM
GUEST,John Klapproth 26 Sep 17 - 09:17 PM
Lighter 27 Sep 17 - 10:23 AM
Tattie Bogle 27 Sep 17 - 12:16 PM
Lighter 27 Sep 17 - 06:52 PM
GUEST,leeneia 28 Sep 17 - 09:26 AM
Steve Gardham 28 Sep 17 - 02:34 PM
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Subject: Background info on Flanders
From:
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 10:38 PM

I'm helping a group of girl scouts earn their FOLK ARTS & MUSIC badge, and am teaching them "Will Ye Go To Flanders?" I have lots of lyrics, but does antone have any background information on the song--or know where I could look to find some? Thanks ever so much!


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Subject: RE: Background info on Flanders
From: McMusic
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 12:45 AM

Can only offer a guess, as Flanders has traditionally been a pass-through point for contending armies throughout the ages. I have a version of this particular song on an old (1980's?) tape by the group "Scartaglen". Having listened to the words, I would take a stab at guessing it comes from the mid-1700's--possibly the Seven Years' War, but I could well be wrong. There are a lot of songs out there that sound very traditional (meaning from generations past), but are actually quite contemporary. My guess comes from the mention of brandy and sack--I don't know if the British Army has a brandy ration these days (someone feel free to correct me--please), and sack was, I think a sweet food or some sort of drink. That's the best I can do; I hope others will be able to shed more light on the matter for you. Great song, by the way! Cheers and good luck.


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Subject: RE: Background info on Flanders
From: Bruce O.
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 03:29 AM

It's from David Herd's 'Scots Songs', 1776. It's only got 2 verses. The tune was published earleir, c 1743 at the end of the first book of Oswald's 'Caledonian Pocket Companion'. I went to put Oswald's tune on my website a few days ago, and found an obvious timing error in one measure that I haven't gotten the correction for yet.


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Subject: RE: Background info on Flanders
From: Bruce O.
Date: 08 Apr 99 - 10:44 PM

Earliest copy of tune, from c 1743, now corrected, and on my website as the ABC FLANDERS1 in file S2.HTM


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Subject: RE: Background info on Flanders
From: Bruce O.
Date: 09 Apr 99 - 12:34 PM

I put the trills in so the tune would display correctly from ABC2WIN, but I don't really like the way trills sound when played on ABC2WIN, and I would recomend using your word processor to take them out, i.e., delete the character '`'.


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Subject: RE: Background info on Flanders
From: Jack Hickman - Kingston, ON
Date: 09 Apr 99 - 08:42 PM

The reference in a previous post to"sack". Sack is a type of sherry wine.

Flanders is now part of Belgium. Belgium is divided into two parts, Flanders, the language of which is Flemish, a type of German. I don't know the name of the other province, but it is closer to French, and the language is Walloon, a dialect of French.

Jack Hickman


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Subject: RE: Background info on Flanders
From: Jane
Date: 10 Apr 99 - 06:24 PM

Thanks to all who responded. FOLK ARTS & MUSIC badge day was a great success. Just think, there are now six troops of girl scouts who are walking around singing "...my Mally-o."


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Subject: RE: Background info on Flanders
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 04:07 PM

A quick look at the CIA's Factbook suggests that the situation in Belgium is more complicated than Jack said. The two main legislative houses (there are six!) represent language communities, not regions. Incidentally, the region where (most of) the Walloons live is called Wallonia.

Flemish is indeed close to German, but I believe it's even closer to Dutch--almost identical.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: bfolkemer
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 12:25 PM

I'm trying to find out the source for the additional stanzas in Ossian;s (Tony Cuffe) version of "Will Ye Go to Flanders." The track is included on Dove Across the Water as well as the Best of Ossian. These are the stanzas Karine Polwart sings, which she attributes to John Faulkner, but I have listened to both recordings, and Faulkner's stanzas are quite different (and the composite version on the Digital Tradition differs from both except for the stanzas from Herd, below). I have Ewan MacColl's book as well, which gives only the stanzas from Herd. Additionally, the band Providence has recorded the stanzas from Herd plus those stanzas Cuffe and Polwart sing. They say the song was learned from Alistair Russell of Battlefield Band, with out further attribution.

Since I purchased the Ossian recording by legal download, I don't have their liner notes. Perhaps someone has them and could check to see whether they wrote the additional stanzas, or someone else. Perhaps they are verse that were added by oral tradition long ago.

[From Herd's 'Scots Songs', II, 23, 1776]

Will ye go to Flanders, my Mally-O?
Will ye go to Flanders, my bonnie Mally-O?
There we'll get wine and brandy,
And sack and sugar candy;
Will ye go to Flanders, my Mally-O?

Will ye go to Flanders, my Mally-O?
And see the chief commanders, my Mally-O?
You'll see the bullets fly,
and the soldiers how they die,
And the ladies loudly cry, my Mally-O
The tune is here:
http://abcnotation.com/tunePage?a=trillian.mit.edu/~jc/music/abc/mirror/home.quicknet.nl/england/1995

Bruce Olson said that the earliest recorded version of the tune is 1743, Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion, where the tune is identified by this title. He wondered whether there was any real evidence behind some folk's claim that the song traced to to 1706, or whether that was an educated guess. King William was fighting in Flanders as early as 1692. At any rate it's an old and beautiful song.

Thank you very much for your kind help!

Beth


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 12:45 PM

From the DT; Will Ye Go to Flanders?

Will ye go to Flanders, my Mally, O?
Will ye go to Flanders, my Mally, O?
There we'll get wine and brandy,
And sack and sugar-candy
Will ye go to Flanders, my Mally, O?

Will ye go to Flanders, my Mally, O?
And see the bonny sodjers there, my Mally, O
They'll gie the pipes a blaw
Wi' their plaids and kilts sae braw,
The fairest o' them a', my Mally, O

Will ye go to Flanders, my Mally, O?
And see the chief commanders, my Mally, O
You'll see the bullets fly
And the soldiers how they die
And the ladies loudly cry, my Mally, O?

Will ye go to Flanders, my Mally, O?
And join the bold hielanders, my Mally, O?
Ye'll hear the captains callin'
And see the sergeants crawlin'
And a' the sodjers fallin', my Mally, O.

First and third verses from Folksongs and Ballads
of Scotland, MacColl. Second verse from recording
by Ossian; final verse from Kim Friedman. RG


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 01:02 PM

The DT has the tune, and it sounds like a good one. Thanks, all.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: Speedwell
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 01:18 PM

Excellent version of this song exists on a CD by the UK Sheffield based band Crucible. Worth a listen. If I can find my copy I'll check sleeve notes for any more info!


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: GUEST,Soph FFS
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 09:36 AM

There's a lovely version by Miranda Sykes' old band, Firebrand. Well worth checking out.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: Teribus
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 11:37 AM

As sung by Ian Bruce on his CD - "Hodden Gray"



"Will Ye Go Tae Flanders"

1:
Will ye go tae Flanders, My Mally-O
Will ye go tae Flanders, My Mally-O
We'll get Wine and Brandy
Sack and Sugar Candy
Will ye go tae Flanders, My Mally-O

2:
Will ye go tae Flanders, My Mally-O
Tae see the bonnie Sodjers there, My Mally-O
They'll gie us Pipes tae blaw
Coats o' Red and Kilts sae braw
A' the finest o them a, My Mally-O

3:
Will ye go tae tae Flanders, My Mally-O
Gin I tak the Royal Shillin there, My Mally-O
And will ye tae a foreign shore
For tae hear the cannons roar
And the bloody shouts o war, My Mally-O

4:
Will ye go tae Flanders, My Mally-O
Tae see the Chief Commanders, My Mally-O
You'll see the bullets fly
And the sodjers how they die
And the Ladies loudly cry, My Mally-O

5:
Will ye go tae Flanders, My Mally-O
Will ye go tae Flanders, My Mally-O
We'll get Wine and Brandy
Sack and Sugar Candy
Will ye go tae Flanders, My Mally-O


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: GUEST,Henryp
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 01:23 PM

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Will ye go tae Flanders?'
From: radriano
Date: 01 Jun 00 - 11:03 AM

As far as I know, Will Ye Go to Flanders is an anti-recruitment song. I first heard it on the album Broken hearted I'll wander by Dolores Keane and John Faulkner. Here's what their liner notes say. John Faulkner says he learned the song from Ewan MacColl, who sang two verses of it on an old record. John wrote two additional verses to it. According the Peter Hall in Aberdeen, the original stanzas date back to the 1st Duke of Marlborough's campaign in Flanders in 1706.

radriano

Additional verses by John Faulkener

Will ye go to Flanders, my Mally-o
Will ye go to Flanders, my bonny Mally-o
Ye'll see the plaidies furlin'
And hear the pipies skirlin'
Will ye go to Flanders, my Mally-o

Will ye go to Flanders, my Mally-o
Alang wi' all the Hielanders, my bonny Mally-o
Ye'll hear the captain callin'
Ye'll see the surgeon thrallin'
And the sodgers how they're fallin' my Mally-o


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 02:33 PM

For me, the two Herd verses are perfect as they stand - two juxtaposed depictions of war, one romantic and one starkly realistic; add anything and you run the risk of spoiling the effect of the piece, as has John Faulkner's additional verses, which do nothing more than repeat what the original ones have already said extremely effectively.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: GUEST,Henryp
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 04:33 PM

You're quite right, Jim. They are perfect as they stand.

However, in performance, they don't last very long. There is a temptation to repeat a verse, add a verse, or both.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: Teribus
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 06:17 AM

More likely to have originated during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740 to 1748) than those of the Spanish (1701 to 1714 - Marlborough).

The Scottish Army establishment did not join the List of the British Army until after 1707 and consisted of:

Scots Guards
Royal Scots*
Kings Own Scottish Borderers
The Cameronians*
Royal Scots Fusiliers
Scots Greys

Those marked * served under Marlborough but as most of these Regiments up until their incorporation into the British Army had served in Swedish or French service meant that they were viewed as "suspect" particularly when the time frame is considered (1701 to 1745 - Jacobite Rebellions 1715 & 1745). The other factor is that all of the above regiments were Scottish Lowland Regiments. It was not until the War of the Austrian Succession that "Highland Regiments" started to appear on the British Army List.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 09:45 AM

Teribus, you might know this. Were there any Irish regiments stationed in Ceylon between 1795 and 1860?

Singers of "Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye" insist this was so, but I've seen no evidence.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 10:47 AM

Intersting information, Teribus.

It's the modern verses that introduce the Highlanders, the pipes and the plaids though, not the original two.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: Teribus
Date: 23 Jul 11 - 06:05 AM

If the original verses do indeed date back to 1706, there would have been no Scottish Regiments in the British Army

"Were there any Irish regiments stationed in Ceylon between 1795 and 1860?"

The only possible candidate is an "Irish Regiment" the Leinster Regiment whose first battalion originated and was originally raised in Canada and its Second battalion that was part of the East India Company's Army.

The only fighting was early on in the period you mention the Kandyan Wars all over by about 1819 if memory serves the British Regiments who fought then were the 51st Foot and the Green Howards.

None of which, goes to say that Irish soldiers were not present in Ceylon, by 1866 (I know it is outside your time frame) two-thirds of those serving in British Army were Irishmen.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: bfolkemer
Date: 23 Jul 11 - 11:50 AM

Thank you sincerely for all the interesting historical information. Since the earliest printed reference to the song seems to be 1743, it could have originated during the War of Austrian Succession.

Jim makes a very good point, as does Henryp. If we decide to add any stanza(s), those recorded by Ossian are the best, which are those of Ian Bruce. I want to be sure to have the proper credits in hand. If anyone finds any info on Ossian or Bruce's liner notes, please let me know.

Thanks again!

Beth


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 23 Jul 11 - 12:17 PM

The liner notes on The Best Of Ossian credit the the first and fourth verses as the original and the second and third verses by ex-Ossian member Billy Ross.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: GUEST,Tich Frier
Date: 23 Jul 11 - 03:22 PM

"As I Cam By The Luckenbooth".
I was in a radio ballad for BBC Radio Scotland some time in the seventies. It featured Archie Fisher, Alison McMorland and Lesley Hale.
Archie was MD and expanded some fragments into longer songs. I recall Mally Leigh, It's Braw Sailing on The Sea and Will Ye Go to Flanders. I suspect Tony Cuffe and Blly Ross were in short trousers at the time. My apologies if you're older than I think Billy. Tich


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: GUEST,Tich
Date: 23 Jul 11 - 03:24 PM

What's this 3.22pm stuff. It's half past eight in Kinross. Eh?


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: GUEST,Auldtimer
Date: 23 Jul 11 - 05:55 PM

Aye, but what year?


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: bfolkemer
Date: 23 Jul 11 - 06:09 PM

Many thanks!
Beth


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: GUEST,Guest - Lin
Date: 23 Jul 11 - 07:38 PM

I'm trying to find a version that Scartalglen recorded to listen to. I tried searching on Youtube and found different artists who have covered this song but cannot seem to locate an MP3 or anything on the internet where you can hear Scartalglen (other songs of theirs available to hear) but not, "Will Ye Go To Flanders."

Looked on Google by typing in Scartaglen and the song title but still unable to find where I can actually hear the song by them.

If anyone can locate it please let me know. I'm not looking for the lyrics but just want to find where I can hear them singing it.
Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: GUEST,Tich Frier
Date: 23 Jul 11 - 08:43 PM

Several years ahead o Dundee Auldyin.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 23 Jul 11 - 09:42 PM

Thank you, Teribus. Very helpful information!


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: GUEST,Billy Ross
Date: 25 Apr 12 - 05:20 AM

Came across this ongoing debate by accident.Just to confirm that I wrote the additional verses

And will ye go tae Flanders my Mally-o
Tae see the bonnie sodjers there my Mally-o
They'll gie us pipes tae blaw
Coats o red an kilts sae braw
The finest o them a' my Mally-o

And will ye go wi me tae Flanders my Mally-o
Gin I'd take the royal shillin my Mally-o
Wid ye tae a foreign shore
A' tae hear the canons roar
and the bloody shouts o' war My Mally-o

I sang the song with Ossian but never recorded it. When I left the band in 1980 Tony (Cuffe) carried on singing the song and recorded it on the Dove Across the Water album

Tony and I sang it together for a final time at the Ossian reunion at Celtic Connections in 1997. As other contributers have said the song dates from 1706/7 and appears in a number of early collections


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 25 Apr 12 - 06:25 AM

Well done, Billy, and thank you for letting us know.

It's an old song and this thread isn't far behind!


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Mar 13 - 12:35 PM

The othe part was Waloon, which is similar to French. Flemish which was also spoken is similar to Dutch / German.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 20 Mar 13 - 09:41 PM

These are delicate matters!

The Walloons live in Wallonia - symbol a cockerel - and spoke Walloon - like French, a Romance language - until the middle of the 20th century. Walloon is more distinct as a language than Belgian French, which differs from the French spoken in France only in some minor points of vocabulary and pronunciation.

The Flemings live in Flanders - symbol a lion - and traditionally speak Flemish. To say that Flemish is the same language as Dutch risks the same response as saying that the Scots language is the same as English. They do however share a common written language.

"This revised spelling is known as the 'Marchant Spelling', and it has been taught in all Dutch schools since 1934. However, this only became the official spelling in both the North (Netherlands) and the South (Flemish Belgium) in 1946-47. Following this, in 1954 a mixed Dutch-Flemish commission published a 'Glossary of the Dutch Language' ('Woordenlijst van de Nederlandse Taal'), often called 'de Groene Bijbel' ('the Green Bible'). Nowadays, this is still considered as the official reference book in spelling matters."

"The last decades have seen a convergence to the Dutch language, with a new level that is called "tussentaal" ("in-between-language"). Most younger people speak tussentaal and are taught to refer to their language as "Nederlands" [Dutch] while older people speak more dialect and will often refer to it as "Vlaams" [Flemish]."


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 08:52 AM

The oldest copy I can find is in:

Scotish [sic] Song, Vol. 1 by Joseph Ritson (London: J. Johnson & J. Edergon, 1714), page 48.

It has 2 verses; the lyrics are identical to those posted by bfolkemer above, from Herd's 'Scots Songs'.

A tune is also given there.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 03 Nov 15 - 06:38 AM

The Battle of Sheriffmuir; 13th November 1715

Will ye go to Sheriffmuir,
Bauld John o Innisture?
There to see the noble Mar,
And his Heiland laddies.
A' the true men o the north,
Angus, Huntly and Seaforth,
Scouring on tae cross the Forth,
Wi their white cock-a-dies.

There you'll see the banners flare,
There you'll hear the bagpipes rare,
And the trumpets deadly blare,
Wi the cannon's rattle,
There you'll see the bold McCraws,
Cameron's and Clanronald's raws,
A' the clans wi loud huzzas,
Rushing tae the battle.

http://digital.nls.uk/1715-rising/songs/will-ye-go-tae-sheriffmuir/index.html

Whilst most of this song celebrates the Jacobites involved in the battle and uses typical military themes, the third verse displays the Jacobite animosity towards the Whigs, Presbyterianism and that religion's strict morality. Transgressors were publicly chastised in church while sitting on the 18th century's version of the naughty step: the cutty stool.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Sep 16 - 03:00 PM

Jim's posting of 22 March 2014, whilst absolutely correct needs correcting in light of the datings crucial to this thread.

The title page of the book does indeed state MDCCXIV but reading the preface the correct date must actually be MDCCCXIV, so a misprint.
Had it been published in 1714 it would have been an amazing resource.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar
Date: 10 Sep 16 - 04:41 PM

I do not have references to hand, but Scots mercenaries fought for the Dutch Republic, and Jacobite refugees swarmed in Flanders.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar
Date: 10 Sep 16 - 04:41 PM

I do not have references to hand, but Scots mercenaries fought for the Dutch Republic, and Jacobite refugees swarmed in Flanders.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: Reinhard
Date: 10 Sep 16 - 04:53 PM

And the preface of Ritson's "Scotish Song" says that Will Ye Go to Flanders was taken "from Ancient and modern Scottish Songs, heroic ballads, etc., Edinburgh, 1769 and 1776", i.e. David Herd's book.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: GUEST,GUTCHER
Date: 11 Sep 16 - 07:26 AM

Colvils Whiggs 1684--

We"ll there get sack and brandy,
Weil tempered wi succar-candy.

Could these two lines be from an older version of this song or from a different song and adopted/adapted into the one published by Herd some 70 years later.

This date was when the killing times were at their height in Scotland and many people fled to Ireland or the Low Countries to avoid persecuition or death.
NB. They did not go to those parts as part of an army at that time.
   
Sack was a Spanish wine called Malligoe [various spellings].


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: Rumncoke
Date: 11 Sep 16 - 10:55 PM

old age sack and sugar will steal upon us ere we be aware.

Thought it might be The Bard - and Falstaff, but it is Thomas Dekker, the Shoemaker's Holiday


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: GUEST,John Klapproth
Date: 26 Sep 17 - 09:17 PM

One thing not mentioned in the above posts was the subject of the song. Just as happened at the battle of Bull Run at the beginning of the American Civil War, it was considered great entertainment for the aristocrats and elites to be spectators at battles.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: Lighter
Date: 27 Sep 17 - 10:23 AM

Like non-elites at public hangings.

In defense of the elites (sorry!), few, other than retired officers, could have had any clear idea of what a battle was like. Furthermore, they watched it at a distance from a hillside: no close-ups of blood & gore, no movie images in their minds, no photographs, no realistic novels, few down and dirty historical accounts, lots of idealized paintings and poetry (for the upper classes).

And, of course, not all the enthusiastic spectators were "aristocrats and elites."


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 27 Sep 17 - 12:16 PM

Interesting thread: I probably first heard this song from English a capella group "Beggar's Velvet" on their album "My Lady of Autumn": another good rendition of the 4-verse version, IMHO.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: Lighter
Date: 27 Sep 17 - 06:52 PM

It's one more of the many, many songs introduced to the folkie scene by Ewan MacColl.

He sang the original two stanzas on the LP "A Garland of Scots Folksongs"(1960).


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 Sep 17 - 09:26 AM

Doesn't it bother anybody that the song sounds like a pimp recruiting a young girl to the campfollowers? Candy, cute boys (bonny sodjers), her first liquor, glamour.   

I can't believe anybody wanted to use this with Girl Scouts, except to say, "Here's another reason never to go off with a stranger offering candy."


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Subject: RE: Origin: Will Ye Go to Flanders
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 28 Sep 17 - 02:34 PM

The incitement to camp followers is no more shocking than the promises made by the recruiting sergeant when we look at the reality.
Different times, different values.


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