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Lyr Add: Bonny Doon / The Banks o' Doon

DigiTrad:
THE BANKS O' DOON


Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Oct 07 - 10:14 PM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Oct 07 - 09:23 AM
John MacKenzie 05 Oct 07 - 09:42 AM
masato sakurai 05 Oct 07 - 10:50 AM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Oct 07 - 11:20 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Oct 07 - 02:37 PM
Malcolm Douglas 05 Oct 07 - 06:09 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 06 Oct 07 - 07:24 PM
Malcolm Douglas 08 Oct 07 - 02:28 AM
masato sakurai 08 Oct 07 - 04:09 AM
Malcolm Douglas 08 Oct 07 - 12:31 PM
GUEST, Sminky 08 Oct 07 - 12:55 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Oct 07 - 01:41 PM
Genie 08 Oct 07 - 09:55 PM
Malcolm Douglas 08 Oct 07 - 11:03 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Oct 07 - 01:38 PM
Malcolm Douglas 09 Oct 07 - 01:58 PM
GUEST,leeneia 09 Oct 07 - 03:56 PM
Genie 09 Oct 07 - 05:58 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Oct 07 - 09:34 PM
Genie 09 Oct 07 - 11:27 PM
Goose Gander 10 Oct 07 - 01:13 AM
Malcolm Douglas 10 Oct 07 - 02:01 AM
Goose Gander 10 Oct 07 - 09:40 AM
Malcolm Douglas 10 Oct 07 - 07:02 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Oct 07 - 06:29 PM
Joe Offer 14 Nov 07 - 04:59 AM
Malcolm Douglas 14 Nov 07 - 05:23 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BANKS O' DOON and BONNY DOON
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Oct 07 - 10:14 PM

This old favorite by Robert Burns (or collected by Burns) is represented in the DT by the version in James Johnson's "Scots Musical Museum." I believe this song needs a thread of its own.

Given below are both versions from pp. 275-276, "The Poetical Works of Robert Burns" (with biographical memoir by Alexander Smith and chronological table), a much reprinted work, this one by A. L. Burt, NY. In another thread, Malcolm Douglas gave details of the original printing of this work.

THE BANKS O' DOON*
Tune- "The Caledonian Hunt's delight."

Ye banks and braes o'bonnie Doon,
How can ye bloom sae fresh and fair!
How can ye chant, ye little birds,
And I sae weary fu' o'care!
Thou'lt break my heart, thou warbling bird,
That wantons thro' the flowering thorn:
Thou minds me o' departed joys,
Departed- never to return.

Thou'lt break my heart, thou bonnie bird,
That sings beside thy mate,
For sae I sat, and sae I sang,
And wist na o' my fate.
Aft hae I rov'd by bonnie Doon
To see the rose and woodbine twine;
And ilka bird sang o' its luve,
And fondly sae did I o' mine.

Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose,
Fu' sweet upon its thorny tree;
And my fause luver stole my rose,
But ah! he left the thorn wi' me.
Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose
Upon a morn in June;
And sae I flourish'd on the morn,
And sae was pu'd on noon.

* "This song appeared with Burn's name attached in Johnson's "Museum." The simple and finer version which follows was sent to Mr. Ballantine in 1787. ""While here I sit," Burns writes, "sad and solitary, by the side of a fire in a little country inn, and drying my wet clothes."

Other names for the tune specified by Burns?


Click to play


VERSION PRINTED IN THE MUSICAL MUSEUM

Lyr. Add: THE BANKS O' DOON (2)
Ye flowery banks o' bonnie Doon,
How can ye blume sae fair?
How can ye chant, ye little birds,
Abd I sae fu' o' care.

Thou'll break my heart, thou bonnie bird,
That sings upon the bough;
Thou minds me o' the happy days,
When my fause luve was true.

Thou'll break my heart, thou bonnie bird,
That sing beside thy mate;
For sae I sat, and sae I sang,
And wist na o' my fate.

Aft hae I rov'd by bonnie Doon,
To see the woodbine twine,
And ilka a bird sang o' his love,
And sae did I o' mine.

Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose
Frae off its thorny tree;
And my fause luver staw the rose
But left the thorn wi' me.

The song appears in slightly different form in a broadside printed between 1821-1850 by Stephenson (Gatehead), Harding B11(407), paired with "A Woman Is the Pride of the Land."

LYR. ADD: BONNY DOON (broadside)

Ye banks and braes of bonny Doon,
How can ye bloom so fresh and fair,
How can you chant ye little birds,
When I'm so wae and fu' o' care?
Ye'll break my heart, ye little birds,
That wanton thro' the flow'ry thorn,
Ye mind me of departed joys,
Departed, never to return.

Oft have I roam'd on bonny Doon,
To see the rose and woodbine twine;
Where ilka bird sung o'er its note,
And cheerfully I joined with mine;
With heartsome glee I pu'd a rose,
A rose out of yon thorny tree;
But my false love has stoun the rose
And left the thorn behind to me.

Ye roses blaw your bonny blooms,
And draw the wild birds by the burn,
For Luman promis'd me a ring,
And ye maun aid me should I mourn;
Ah! na, na, na, ye need na sing,
My een are dim and drowsy worn,
Ye bonny birds, ye needna sing,
For Luman never can return.

My Luman's love, in broken sighs
At dawn of day by Doon you'd hear,
And mid-day by the willow green,
For him I'd shed a silent tear.
Sweet birds,, I ken you'll pity me,
And join me wi' a plaintive sang,
While echo waits and joins the mame,
I make 'er him I lo'ed sae long.

The last two lines in a broadside printed by L. Deming, Boston, MA, titled "Bonny Doun" -
While echo waits and joins the mane,
I make for him I look'd sae long.
Otherwise the two are almost identical.

A long note, with possibly antecedent musical score, appears in William Chappell, "Popular Music of the Olden Time, vol. 2, pp. 794-795, Dover reprint of the 1859 Chappell & Co. edition. "Burns thought the tune of ... to have been made by an amateur,..." The score given is from Dale's Collection of English Songs (i. 157). Chappell says the alteration was probably made by Stephen Clarke for the "Scots' Musical Museum."
I am not qualified to comment; perhaps Malcolm Douglas will help in this regard.

An abbreviated version, with score, pp. 300-301, appears in "Heart Songs, Melodies of Days Gone By," published by Chapple for World Syndicate, 1909.


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Subject: RE: Bonny Doon- The Banks o' Doon
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 09:23 AM

this is interesting. I sing this song, having seen it in (I believe) William Cole's collection of British Isles folk songs.

I have my doubts about the name Luman. I never the name before. Do you suppose it's a variant on the old word "leman," which means beloved person of the opposite sex?

When I sing it, I eliminate the broad Scots features. I figure if Burns miraculously appeared at my home, I wouldn't make him speak like me. Therefore I don't have to speak like him. Seem fair?


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Subject: RE: Bonny Doon- The Banks o' Doon
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 09:42 AM

It may be loo'ed man ie. Loved man
G


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Subject: RE: Bonny Doon- The Banks o' Doon
From: masato sakurai
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 10:50 AM

See also a thread (Ye Banks And Braes) at folkinfo.


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Subject: RE: Bonny Doon- The Banks o' Doon
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 11:20 AM

That's a good suggestion, G.


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Subject: RE: Bonny Doon- The Banks o' Doon
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 02:37 PM

I suspect Giok is correct. I don't know where the broadside version came from; they often have mistakes and 'luman' could be one. I have several Scots glossaries and didn't find it.


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Subject: RE: Bonny Doon- The Banks o' Doon
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 06:09 PM

Unlikely, I think. It's used as a name, (and therefore wouldn't be in a glossary anyway) and Luman is a perfectly good name, though not Scottish; but then, neither is Chloris, who certainly features as a 'type' name in Burns, though he didn't over-use the classical names like Corydon, Phyllis, Strephon and the like, that fill the works of many of his contemporaries.

I wonder if the broadside is somebody else's modification of Burns, or another of his own drafts? Although I don't recall coming across Luman among the stereotypical classic-bucolic nomenclature, Lubin, for example, was pretty common. Whether anybody was actually called by any of these names in those days is another matter, of course; but perhaps that was the whole point.

I'll get to the question of the tune, but that will have to be later. The matter is a bit lengthy and I am too tired to do all that typing this evening.


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Subject: RE: Bonny Doon- The Banks o' Doon
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 06 Oct 07 - 07:24 PM

ref.


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Subject: Tune Add: LOST, LOST IS MY QUIET
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 08 Oct 07 - 02:28 AM

The Fiddler's Companion goes into some detail on the subject of the tune, but spreads the matter over several separate entries which contain various inaccuracies, misunderstandings and contradictions, beside failing to identify sources for some of the commentary. It is therefore quite misleading and I will not quote from it here, though I will address some of the points it raises.

Burns himself identified the source of the melody as he knew it, in a letter to George Thomson (November 1794):

'There is an air, "The Caledonian Hunt's delight", to which I wrote a song that you will find in Johnson [Scots Musical Museum, IV, 1792, no 374]. "Ye banks and braes o' bonnie Doon"; this air, I think, might find a place among your hundred, as Lear says of his knights. Do you know the history of the air? It is curious enough. A good many years ago, Mr. James Miller, writer in your good town [Edinburgh], a gentleman whom possibly you know, was in company with our friend [Stephen] Clarke; and talking of Scottish music, Miller expressed an ardent ambition to be able to compose a Scots air. Mr. Clarke, partly by way of joke, told him to keep to the black keys of the harpsichord, and preserve some kind of rhythm, and he would infallibly compose a Scots air. Certain it is, that in a few days, Mr. Miller produced the rudiments of an air, which Mr. Clarke, with some touches and corrections, fashioned into the tune in question. Ritson, you know, has the same story of the "Black keys;" but this account which I have just given you, Mr. Clarke informed me of several years ago.

Now, to shew you how difficult it is to trace the origin of our airs, I have heard it repeatedly asserted that this was an Irish air nay, I met with an Irish gentleman who affirmed he had heard it in Ireland among the old women; while, on the other hand, a countess informed me, that the first person who introduced the air into this country was a baronet's lady of her acquaintance, who took down the notes from an itinerant piper in the Isle of Man. How difficult then to ascertain the truth respecting our poesy and music! I, myself, have lately seen a couple of ballads sung through the streets of Dumfries, with my name at the head of them as the author, though it was the first time I had ever seen them.'

The Letters of Robert Burns: Selected and Arranged, with an Introduction,
by J. Logie Robertson, M.A.
The Thomson letters, XX.

Thomson was the editor of The Select Melodies of Scotland, Interspersed with those of Ireland and Wales, 6 vol, 1798-1841. Stephen Clarke, organist at the Episcopalian Chapel in Edinburgh, was the musical editor of SMM. He was actually English, born in Durham.

SMM credits 'Mr James Millar, Writer in Edinr.' with the tune for 'Ye Banks and Braes'. 'Writer' here seems to be short for 'Writer to the Signet'; that is, a lawyer. It had been printed a few years earlier by Niel Gow in his Second Collection of Strathspey Reels (1788) as 'The Caledonian Hunt's Delight - a favourite air'; the book was dedicated to the Caledonian Hunt, and it has been suggested that it was Gow who named the tune. Burns had already written a song set to it, 'Caledonia', in 1789: see Burns Monument Trust: MS

'Caledonian Hunt's Delight' appeared in Aird's Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Air's (IV, 1796) subtitled 'Irish', repeating the rumour referred to by Burns. That attribution is also repeated elsewhere, but no evidence, so far as I can tell, has ever been adduced to support it; though O'Neill, misunderstanding a comment made by George Farquhar Graham (see below) claimed that was some basis for it. More recently, The Oxford Companion to Music has implied that Frank Kidson thought it Irish: that appears also to be a misunderstanding of what Kidson actually said.

An interesting question was raised by William Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Time, II, 1859, 794-5): noting that an essentially identical melody appeared in Dales' Collection of English Songs published some time after 1880, set to the song 'Lost, lost, lost is my quiet', he concluded that the melody was originally English, and that Clarke had merely made a few small alterations to it; Burns' anecdote being a fiction. Chappell printed the music, as follows:

X:1
T:Lost, Lost is My Quiet
B:Chappell, Popular Music of the Olden Time, II 794-5
N:taken from Dale's Collection of English Songs, i, 157, nd
L:1/8
Q:1/8=100
M:3/8
K:G
"Plaintively" G2 z|A2 z|B3/2d/B|A3/2G/A|B3/2A/G|GED|
w:Lost, lost, lost is my qui-et, for e-ver, since Hen-ry has
DGB|(B2 A)|G2 z|A2 z|B3/2d/B|A3/2G/A|B3/2A/G|
w:left me to mourn,_ To for-get him how vain my en-dea-vour, a-
GED|DEG|G3||(d2 e)|dBG|"Sym." D2E|
w:las! will he ne-ver re-turn? Ah!_ well-a-day!
DB,G,|dBG|"Sym." DB,G,|e2d/c/|(B A2)|G2 z|A2 z|
w:*** well-a-day! *** Ah! well-a-day!_ Lost, lost,
B3/2d/B|A3/2G/A|B3/2A/G|GED|DEG|G3|]
w:lost is my qui-et, for e-ver, since Hen-ry has left me to mourn.

Chappell's assertion went unchallenged for some time. George Farquhar Graham (The Songs of Scotland, adapted to their Appropriate Melodies, edition of 1888, 300-301) makes the same point, quoting in support of it Burns's fragment 'Why, why tell thy lover', also set to the CHD tune, with his comment 'Such is the peculiarity of the rhythm of this air, that I find it impossible to make another stanza to suit it.' FG went so far as to print the tune as quoted by Chappell, with Burns' words set to it, in order to show how the words better fitted the different phrasing. They do fit far better than they do to the tune as used for 'Bonny Doon'; unfortunately for the argument, Burns wrote them in 1795-6, well after his two previous songs set to the melody. Perhaps Thomson had sent him the English form; or perhaps Burns was confused. He was near the end of his life, and suffering from toothache at the time.

Farquhar Graham further wrote: 'As early as 1690 we find in Playford's Apollo's Banquet "a new Tune", which in its first part bears so striking a resemblance to our modern air, that it is just possible it may have given rise to a statement alluded to by Burns...' He goes on to quote Burns' comments on alleged Irish and Manx provenances and on the general difficulty of establishing the truth in such cases (quoted above), concluding: 'We may remark, is it possible or probable that Playford's "New Tune" can have spread so widely over the British Isles as to be claimed by each nationality as its own? or is the melody so obvious as to suggest itself to many individuals acting independently of each other?'

Unfortunately I've only seen the 1888 edition of the book, which appeared in several forms from c.1854; so I can't be sure whether or not that information appeared in editions prior to PMOT, and whether FG's comments derived from Chappell, or vice versa, or whether they arrived independently at the same conclusion. At all events, Chappell does not mention Apollo's Banquet in his note; and, since there are four tunes called 'a New Tune' in the 1690 edition (and four called 'a New Scotch Tune', come to that), that avenue can't be explored further until we know what all those tunes actually were.   

'The Fiddler's Companion' cites John Glen, without providing any reference (the only work of his in their bibliography is The Glen Collection of Scottish Dance Music, Edinburgh, 1891/5; but Bruce Olson refers to Glen's Early Scottish Melodies, 1900, 55, which will be the correct citation) and his apparent claim that the 'new tune' in Apollo's Banquet referred to by FG was called 'a Scotch Tune'. The number quoted is 68, which is wrong; though this may be a misprint for B8, one of the 'New Scotch Tunes'. Perhaps the compiler of FC hasn't actually seen Glen's book (as I also have not) and relies here -as he often does- on an unchecked and inaccurate third-party report.

In an article in The Leeds Mercury in 1890/1, Frank Kidson challenged Chappell's conclusions, pointing out that internal evidence put the publication of Dale's Collection of English Songs at no earlier than 1798. Where Dale got the tune is not explained, but it had certainly been published in Scotland (albeit in a different form) some 10 years earlier. 'Lost, lost, lost is my quiet', incidentally, should not be confused with 'Lost is my quiet for ever', which, as Kidson pointed out, appeared in Orpheus Britannicus (1701) set by Purcell to an unrelated melody.

That's about it for now. I might add, in conclusion, that James C Dick, The Songs of Robert Burns (1903) wrote: 'Two bathetic stanzas, written by a music publisher, were added to the song, and printed in the Rocket Encyclopedia, Glasgow, 1816, i. sg.' These are likely the two involving 'Luman', quoted earlier from a Gateshead broadside edition.


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Subject: Tune Add: FAVOURITE IRISH AIR
From: masato sakurai
Date: 08 Oct 07 - 04:09 AM

A related tune was recorded in Reels, Minuets, Hornpipes, Marches For Violin, Flute, etc. (NLS MS 3346. c.1756) as "Favourite Irish air," which is reproduced in Aloys Fleischmann, ed., Sources of Irish Traditional Music c.1600-1855, vol. 1 (Garland, 1998, p. 323 [no. 1712]):

X:1
T:Favourite Irish air
B:Fleischmann, ed., Sources of Irish Traditional Music, vol. 1, p. 323
L:1/8
M:6/8
K:D
D3 E3|{D/E/}FGF EDE|{D/E/}F3/2E/D DB,A,|A,B,D E3|
D3 E3|{D/E/}FGF EDE|{D/E/}F3/2E/D DB,A,|A,B,D D3:|
|:A2B AFD|A2B AFD|AFD AFD|{B/}AGF E3|
D3 E3|{D/E/}FGF EDE|{D/E/}F3/2E/D DB,A,|A,B,D D3:|]


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Subject: RE: Bonny Doon- The Banks o' Doon
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 08 Oct 07 - 12:31 PM

Thanks for that; I don't have access to Fleischmann. This is another example of the earlier form of the tune, and so far the earliest we have. Bruce Olson's indexes list this as Caledonian Hunts Delight/ Favourite Irish Air; is 'Favourite Irish Air' the sole title given in the MS?

Olson put the date of NLS MS 3346 at c.1765-75, but I don't know how he arrived at that. He was certainly critical of Fleischmann's approach to dating.

Further to my earlier comments on the 'Fiddler's Companion' reference to John Glen, it would appear that he actually dealt with the tune both in Early Scottish Melodies and the earlier Glen Collection of Scottish Dance Music. A footnote in Alfred Moffat, Minstrelsy of Scotland (2nd edn., 1896, 278) to 'Highland Mary' (there given the main title 'Ye Banks and Braes' from its opening line) includes the following:

'The claim which Mr Chappell puts forward in Popular Music of the Olden Time, for the tune being English, has been well met by Mr John Glen, of Edinburgh. In the excellent preface to the Glen Collection of Scottish Dance Music, Mr Glen points out that as early as 1687, the air was published by John Playford, in his Apollo's Banquet, as "a Scotch tune".'

The air referred to is 'Katherine Ogie', not 'Caledonian Hunt's Delight'; the latter appears as the next song in Moffat; also with a footnote indicating that Glen disposes of Chappell's claims in his preface to the Glen Collection. On the face of it, it looks as if someone has confused or conflated the two references; but it would be necessary actually to see the book (ideally, both), of course, in order to be sure. Early Scottish Melodies is listed by Google Books as digitized, but if it is online, access is denied to UK-based users; although it is just as much out of copyright here as in the USA.

Leaving aside the point (made by Chappell, as it happens, but not uniquely) that in Playford's time 'Scotch', as applied to music, was a generic description rather than (necessarily) an indication of origin, there are still several potential antecedents in Apollo's Banquet that need to be looked at, if only to discount them. Does anyone have access to these? Incipits and stress-notes are provided at Early American Secular Music and Its European Sources, 1589-1839: An Index, but I lack the musical knowledge required to make anything much of such things.


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Subject: RE: Bonny Doon- The Banks o' Doon
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 08 Oct 07 - 12:55 PM

"I have my doubts about the name Luman. I never the name before."


The Luman/Lewman/Looman family are alive and kicking.


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Subject: RE: Bonny Doon- The Banks o' Doon
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Oct 07 - 01:41 PM

"Early Scottish Melodies," Glen, available as hardcover reprint for $50 from Amazon.com (271pp. pub. by Arns, 1972); Amazon.uk lists as unavailable.
The article licensed to JSTOR by Musical Times Publ. is a 2-page review.
Couldn't find the book on line.


www.burnsscotland.com, for "Bonnie Doon," illustrates the score of The Banks o' Doon" from 1853 ed., "Scots Musical Museum," vol. IV, song 374, p. 387 (Search: Ye banks and braes). Don't know how this fits.


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Subject: Lyr Add: YE BANKS AND BRAES O' BONNIE DOON
From: Genie
Date: 08 Oct 07 - 09:55 PM

This, I believe, is an accurate transcription of the lyrics sung by Robin Hall and Jimmie MacGregor on their self-titled album (ca. 1963):

YE BANKS AND BRAES O' BONNIE DOON

Ye Banks And Braes O' Bonnie Doon,
How can ye bloom sae fresh and fair?
How can ye chant, ye little birds,
And I sae weary, fu' o'care?
Thou'lt break my heart, thou warbling bird,
That wantons thro' the flowering thorn:
Thou minds me o' departed joys,
Departed, never to return.

Oft hae I rov'd by Bonnie Doon
Tae see the rose and woodbine twine;
And ilka bird sang o' its love,
And, fondly, sae did I o' mine.
Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose,
Fu' sweet upon its thorny tree;
And my false lover sto' my rose,
But, ah! he left the thorn wi' me.


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Subject: RE: Bonny Doon- The Banks o' Doon
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 08 Oct 07 - 11:03 PM

I hardly like to say this, but, with the greatest respect to both you and Hall & MacGregor, these are merely the standard verses printed in hundreds of popular song anthologies and selections from Burns, and learned by most of us at school; though with a few very minor differs of no significance due either to Hall & MacGregor or to your ear. They add nothing to a discussion of the history of the song.

If you have any new information to add on the question of the tune as explored above, that would of course be welcome.

Let's return to the matter in hand. In answer to Q, the notation in the 1853 edition of SMM is the same as in the original edition: if Burns' anecdote is accurate, Miller's melody as polished up by Clarke. That doesn't explain the obvious differences between the SMM notation and those printed by Gow and Dale or the MS example, though. There is clearly more to the story than we know so far.


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Subject: RE: Bonny Doon- The Banks o' Doon
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Oct 07 - 01:38 PM

Thanks, Malcolm, for the elucidations. At least the Scots Mus. Mus. score is available on line.

(Digression-SMM was reprinted in 1991 but used copies run well over $100 US).

Sminky, adding to your post, Dr. A. Luman of Edinburgh is a prominent physician, head of the Gastrointestinal Unit at Western General Hospital, Edinburgh (1997) and author of a number of papers.


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Subject: RE: Bonny Doon- The Banks o' Doon
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 09 Oct 07 - 01:58 PM

I got a set of the 1991 facsimile a while back for £40 (around $80), so not all dealers charge extravagant prices. Keep watching the lists!


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Subject: RE: Bonny Doon- The Banks o' Doon
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 09 Oct 07 - 03:56 PM

Malcolm. stop being a schnook.

In poetry, every word is important, and Genie is as entitled as anyone else to contribute what she knows. Catters, of course, can discuss a single word at great length.
=============
For example:

"Aft hae I rov'd by bonnie Doon
To see the rose and woodbine twine"

Aft!? Whaddya mean, 'aft'? Is our lovelorn maiden in the back of a boat or what? Distinguish aft from oft, researching etymology going back to the Ancient Norse or Medieval Latin. Was she even a maiden?
==============

As for the history of the tune, I have something to add, though I wish I could be more specific. Back when I was still trying to play piano for real, I carefully picked out the melody of a dance by a French [I think] composer. I got the treble going, and my husband remarked, "That's that new Scottish song you've been doing." And lo, it was! That dance by a French composer had the tune for "Banks and Braes of Bonnie Doone."

I've looked in my surviving piano books, but I can't find it now. Too bad.

The Frenchman may have borrowed the tune from the people, of course. I do know that at one time this tune was sloshing back and forth over Western Europe. I doubt if its authorship can ever be pinned down.


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Subject: RE: Bonny Doon- The Banks o' Doon
From: Genie
Date: 09 Oct 07 - 05:58 PM

Thanks, leeneia.
Malcolm, I wasn't aware that this thread's focus was that narrow (especially given its title), and it wasn't my intention to throw any hounds off the scent (so to speak).

I appreciate the background info offered in this thread - including your identification of the Hall/MacGregor version as "the standard verses printed in hundreds of popular song anthologies and selections from Burns, and learned by most of us at school," as I have heard several quite different versions of this song - both the poem and the melody - and somewhere I had gotten the idea that Burns had published 3 different versions of it. Nice to know which one is the "standard."

G


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Subject: RE: Bonny Doon- The Banks o' Doon
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Oct 07 - 09:34 PM

Scots aften-aft-afttimes is equivalent to English often-oft.
Anyone quoting Burns should know that.
(English used by Hall-McGregor, whoever they are, which puts them beyond the pale).
Harrumpff!

Several uses of aft-
Aft (after) is one, and given apt quotation in the OED.- "At aft-meals, who shall paye for the wine?" (Thynne, 1608).

Neither has to do with the rear end of whatever.


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Subject: RE: Bonny Doon- The Banks o' Doon
From: Genie
Date: 09 Oct 07 - 11:27 PM

For the record, the spelling in my transcription of Hall & MacGregor's recording is my own (non-Scots); I was attempting a transcription, not copying liner notes. Actually, it wasn't until I found the lyrics printed out here at Mudcat that I was able to understand a few parts of the lyrics I was hearing. Mudcat is very helpul in cases like that.


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Subject: RE: Bonny Doon- The Banks o' Doon
From: Goose Gander
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 01:13 AM

"Regarding the supposed Irish origin, I think much indirect evidence in its favor exists. Burns tells us that he has repeatedly heard it asserted to be Irish and that a gentleman affirmed he had heard the tune in Ireland among the old women. Another of Burns's informants told him that the tune had been originally noted down from an itinerant piper in the Isle of Man, who, it is easy to believe, might be an Irish one. A curious half-confirmation of this Irish theory has come in the way of the present writer, who in a remote district of Yorkshire heard the old Anglo-Irish street ballad sung to a decidedly Hibernian setting as under:- 'The Foggy Dew' (tune provided) . . . . Other airs for the ballad of the 'The Foggy Dew' are found; one is printed in 'Bunting's Irish Airs,' 1840, and another, from an old manuscript copy, in Kidson's 'Traditional Tunes,' 1891. The Yorkshire ballad singer did not know the air as 'Ye Banks and Braes,' but only as used for the song he then sang. I do not advance the theory that the traditional 'Foggy Dew' is the same air which the gentleman spoken of by Burns had heard among the old women of Ireland, though there is no doubt that a song of the 'Foggy Dew' existed there at that period. The traditional setting is distinctly Irish in form, and has an Irish song adapted to it. It is also quite within bounds to say that Gow, in dedicating the air to the Caledonian Hunt, may have changed the name (for the Irish song is somewhat coarse) to one more palatable."

Source:
The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular, Vol. 37, No. 643. (Sep. 1, 1896), p. 594-595.

The writer of this piece is not credited (at least as far as I can make out). The writer does cite a couple of references from the nineteenth century identifying the tune as an "Irish air" and notes, "Indeed, the opinion regarding the Irish origin of the air seems to have been very general about the time." Finally, the writer admits, "(a)nother theory was once advanced - that the tune was French; but as nothing beyond this bald statement has been adduced it may be dismissed until further particulars are vouchsafed." No source is provided for this alleged French origin, though it is an interesting possibility.


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Subject: RE: Bonny Doon- The Banks o' Doon
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 02:01 AM

I take it that this is one of Frank Kidson's series, 'New Lights upon Old Tunes'. If it was his, then he had certainly modified his views on the subject since his Leeds Mercury piece some 5 years previously, where he dismissed the Irish/Manx rumour pretty much out of hand, and described the French theory as 'foolish'.

Do you have the full text of this, and, in particular, the tune described as 'provided'? It might throw some useful light.


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Subject: RE: Bonny Doon- The Banks o' Doon
From: Goose Gander
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 09:40 AM

I downloaded the full text from JSTOR. There is a tune provided for the Yorkshire variant of "The Foggy Dew," which, if I understand the writer correctly, was more 'Irish-sounding' than definatively Irish. If you don't have access to the site, I could fax you a copy (my scanner is not working at the moment).


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Subject: RE: Bonny Doon- The Banks o' Doon
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 07:02 PM

I'd appreciate that; will pm re the technicalities.

Kidson mentions it in Traditional Tunes as 'a variation having Irish characteristics of "Ye Banks and Braes".' He quotes the first verse (apparently slightly modified), and it appears to be an example of what we think of as the 'English' 'Foggy Dew' rather than the altogether more polite, bucolic Irish song where the shepherd marries the milkmaid.

The tune is the important thing here, of course; and Kidson didn't quote it in TT.


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Subject: RE: Bonny Doon- The Banks o' Doon
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Oct 07 - 06:29 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Bonny Doon / The Banks o' Doon
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 04:59 AM

A long time ago, Q esnt me a scan of the tune for the first song he posted in the first message. I couldn't read the scan, but I found the tune in a book called Burns: Poems and Songs, Oxford University Press, 1969.
Sorry about the delay, Q. It was a tough tune to transcribe, so I procrastinated.
-Joe-


Click to play


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Bonny Doon / The Banks o' Doon
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 05:23 AM

My apologies for not yet having returned with more detail. Michael kindly sent me the Kidson article and I got rather bogged down chasing up further examples of the tune as used for versions of 'The Foggy Dew' (there are several such). My impression is that Kidson's comments have been misunderstood by some later writers, partly due to ambiguous use of punctuation (for 'a variation having Irish characteristics of "Ye Banks and Braes"', read 'a variation, having Irish characteristics, of "Ye Banks and Braes": it makes quite a difference) but I will have to revisit all this later once current deadlines are safely past.


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