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Lyr Add: The Baron o' Brackley (3)


Related thread:
Lyr Req: Inverey / The Baron o' Brackley (5)

Stewie 08 Nov 99 - 08:42 PM
Bracken 09 Nov 99 - 02:21 AM
Susanne (skw) 09 Nov 99 - 05:36 PM
Rick Fielding 10 Nov 99 - 05:36 PM
Genie 20 Nov 08 - 10:13 PM
Anglo 21 Nov 08 - 02:26 AM
GUEST,Big Tim 21 Nov 08 - 03:15 AM
Jim Dixon 22 Nov 08 - 11:57 AM
Genie 22 Nov 08 - 03:18 PM
GUEST,Big Tim 23 Nov 08 - 05:50 AM
Genie 23 Nov 08 - 02:42 PM
Lighter 23 Nov 08 - 03:33 PM
Stewie 24 Mar 09 - 01:48 AM
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Subject: The Baron O' Brackley (3)
From: Stewie
Date: 08 Nov 99 - 08:42 PM

Here is another version of 'The Baron O' Brackley' - one of the greatest of all the ballads. The text is from the singing of Danny Spooner of Melbourne and it differs in significant respects from the two in the DT. As the DT note indicates, the texts of this ballad all appear to be conflated. This text has bits and pieces from the various Child texts (#203) and from other sources. However, I reckon it is the most coherent and satisfying text that I have heard for singing in a folk club setting. Like most traditional ballads, it has no preamble and assumes that the listener knows the background to the story. It is believed the incident occurred in September 1666, but what the ballad does not tell us is that it is a reprisal raid by John Farquharson of Inverey on John Gordon of Brackley for a cattle raid. This version has an interesting last stanza wherein Brackley's son indicates that the feud will continue – Child's A text only has this. 'Donnywhistle' is in brackets because I am not sure it is the right word.


From Dee side came Inverey whistlin' and playin'
And he is to Brackley's yetts ere the day is dawnin'
Saying, Baron O'Brackley oh are ye within?
There are sharp swords to knock your yetts, to gar your bluid spin

Oh rise up my husband and turn back your kye
For the men frae (Donnywhistle) are driving them by
Oh how might I rise up and turn them again
For every man I ha'e I am sure he ha'e ten

Gin I had a husband the like I have nane
He'd no lie in his bed and watch his kye ta'en
Then up spake the baron, said gi'e me my sword
There's nae a man in Scotland but I'll brave at a word

Then the baron were buskit to ride o'er the close
A gallanter Gordon ne'er mounted a horse
Saying, kiss me, my Peggy, dinna think me tae blame
For I maun go oot, love, and I'll never come hame

There rode wi' false Inverey full thirty and three
But along wi' bonny Brackley just his brother and he
Twa gallanter Gordons did ne'er the sword draw
But against three and thirty, wae's me, what is twa?

Wi' swords and wi' daggers they did him surround
And they pierced bonny Brackley wi' monys a wound
Tae the banks o the Dee, tae the sides of the Spey
Oh the Gordons will mourn him and will ban Inverey

Oh came ye from Brackley's yetts, oh came ye by there?
And saw ye his Peggy a-rivin' her hair
Aye, I came by Brackley's yetts, I came by there
And I saw his bonny Peggy she was makin' good cheer

She was rantin', she was dancin', she was singin' wi' joy
And she swears ilka nicht she will feast Inverey
And she laughed wi' him danced wi' him, welcomed him ben
And lay wi' him till morning he who slew her good man

There's grief in the kitchen, there's mirth in the hall
For the Baron o Brackley lies dead and awa'
But oot spake his young son on his nurse's knee
Gin I grow to be a man 'tis revenged I'll be ^^ Traditional

Source: 'Danny Spooner and Friends' Anthology AR 002

Added to Digital Tradition April 2000. I'll post the Traditional Ballad Index entry below.
-Joe Offer-

Baron of Brackley, The [Child 203]

DESCRIPTION: Inverey comes to Brackley's gate, calling for Brackley to come forth. The baron, with few men on hand, would stay within, but his wife shames him into going out (with 4 men against 400). Brackley is killed; Lady Brackley rejoices. (His son vows revenge)
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1806 (Jamieson)
KEYWORDS: revenge death feud betrayal
1666 - Reported date of the fatal feud between Brackley and Inverey.
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber,Bord)
REFERENCES (8 citations):
Child 203, "The Baron of Brackley" (4 texts)
Bronson 203, "The Baron of Brackley" (3 versions+6 in addenda)
Leach, pp. 544-546, "The Baron of Brackley" (1 text)
OBB 149, "The Baron of Brackley" (1 text)
Gummere, pp. 151-154+333, "The Baron of Brackley" (1 text)
DBuchan 23, "The Baron of Brackley" (1 text)
HarvClass-EP1, pp. 119-121, "The Baron of Brackley" (1 text)

Ewan MacColl, "The Baron of Brackley" (ESFB1, ESFB2)
Notes: The feud between Brackley and Inverey seems to have arisen when the former raided Inverey's cattle and refused to give compensation. Inverey rode to Brackley's, and recovered both his own cattle and Brackley's own. Brackley, his brother, and two or three others rode forth and were killed.
It is worth noting that Margaret Burnet, Lady Brackley, married Brackley without her family's consent, implying that it was a love match. The rumour that she was untrue may have arisen because she later remarried. - RBW
File: C203

Go to the Ballad Search form
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The Ballad Index Copyright 2003 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Baron O' Brackley (3)
From: Bracken
Date: 09 Nov 99 - 02:21 AM

Every time I see or hear the words to Baron of Brackely, I want to say the Baron of Broccoli so I must admit that I finally wrote a parody, "The Baron of Broccoli" the reason being "It's all because they didn't eat their vegetables." Sorry but I really couldn't resist. Their was this overwhelming compulsion.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Baron O' Brackley (3)
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 09 Nov 99 - 05:36 PM

There is a place 'Donibristle' in Scotland, outside Edinburgh, I think.
Bracken, do you know the song 'Vegetables' by Pete and Lou Berryman? It uses precisely the line you quote from your parody. Are you going to post it? - Susanne

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Baron O' Brackley (3)
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 10 Nov 99 - 05:36 PM


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Subject: Lyr Add: Inverey (Robin Hall & Jimmie MacGregor)
From: Genie
Date: 20 Nov 08 - 10:13 PM

Here is the version sung by Robin Hall and Jimmie MacGregor (early 1960s).
(Please excuse any spelling errors.)

(as recorded by Robin Hall and Jimmie MacGregor)

Doon Dee side came Inverey whistlin' and playin'

And he was at Brackley's yetts ere the day was dawin.
"Oh, are ye there, Brackley, and are ye within? 

There's sharp swords are at your yetts, will gar your bluid spin."

"Then rise up, my baron, and turn back your kye,

For the lads frae Drumwharron (sp?) are driving them by."

"Oh how can I rise up and how can I gang,

For where I hae a man I am sure they hae ten?

Then rise up, Betsy Gordon, and gie me my gun,
For though I gang oot, love, sure I'll never return.
"Come, kiss me, my Betsy, nor think I'm tae blame,
But against three and thirty, was' is me what is ain?"

When Brackley was mounted and he raed on his horse,
A bonnier baron ne'er raed ower a course.
Twa gallanter Gordons did never sword draw,
"But against three and thirty, wha' is me what is twa?"

Wi' their dirks an' their swords they did him surroond.

They've killed bonny Brackley wi' monys a wound.

Tae the banks o the Dee, tae the sides of the Spey

The Gordons will mourn him will ban Inverey.

"Oh come ye by Brackley, oh come ye by there? 

Saw ye his guid lady a-rivin' her hair?"

"Oh I come by Brackley and I come by here

And I saw his guid lady, she was makin' good cheer."

She was rantin' an' dancin' an' singin' for joy.

She vowed that that very nicht she would feast Inverey!

She laughed wi' him, danced wi' him, welcomed him ben.

She was kind till the villain that hae slain her guid man."

(I can't remember the first two lines of their last verse - maybe someone else can post them)

Then oot spak' the babe on his nanny's knee:
"It's afore I'm a man, aveng-ed I'll be!"

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Baron o' Brackley (3)
From: Anglo
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 02:26 AM

What I have, from an old notebook (a text taken from Hall & MacGregor, though I may have edited it slightly, not being a Scot) is:

There is dule in the kitchen and mirth in the hall
For the Baron of Brackley is dead and awa'
But up spoke the babe on his nourrice's knee
It's afore I'm a man, avenged I'll be.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Baron o' Brackley (3)
From: GUEST,Big Tim
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 03:15 AM

There are many and varying versions of this great song. As far as I can trace,it first appeared in Popular Ballads and Songs (1806) by Robert Jamieson (c.1780-1844).                                                                                                               
Jamieson got the song from Anna Brown, née Gordon, (c.1747-1810), the first Scots ballad singer to have her considerable repertoire collected. (I believe some academic is currently working on a biography of her. Anyone know any details?) She spent her childhood on an estate near Braemar (not far from Brackley, which was in nearby Ballater). Mrs Brown learned most of her songs from her aunt and her servants. Jamieson, from Morayshire, visited Mrs. Brown at her home in Dysart, Fife in 1800 and got numerous songs from her. He wrote, 'she learnt most of them before she was twelve years old; what she once learnt, she never forgot'. Sir Walter Scott also collected a version of the ballad, supplied to him by two female great-grandchildren of the man who killed John Gordon, the Baron of Backley, Farquharson of Inverey.

I seem to recall that Hall and McG sang 'through the woods of Glenturner'. Actually its Glentanar, a few miless east of Ballater.

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From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 11:57 AM

--from Popular Ballads and Songs, Vol. 1 by Robert Jamieson. (Edinburgh: Archibald Constable and Co., 1806).

From Tradition.

DOWN Dee side came Inverey whistling and playing;
He's lighted at Brackley yates at the day dawing.

Says, "Baron o' Brackley, O are ye within?
There's sharp swords at the yate will gar your blood spin."

The lady raise up, to the window she went;
She heard her kye lowing o'er hill and o'er bent.

"O rise up, ye baron, and turn back your kye;
For the lads o' Drumwharran are driving them bye."

"How can I rise, lady, or turn them again!
Whare'er I have ae man, I wat they hae ten."

"Then rise up, my lasses, tak rocks in your hand,
And turn back the kye;—I ha'e you at command.

"Gin I had a husband, as I hae nane,
He wadna lye in his bower, see his kye ta'en."

Then up got the baron, and cried for his graith;
Says, "Lady, I'll gang, tho' to leave you I'm laith.

"Come, kiss me, then, Peggy, and gie me my speir;
I ay was for peace, tho' I never fear'd weir.

["My glaive might hae hung in the ha' till my death,
Or e'er I had drawn it, a kinsman to skaith.]

"Come kiss me, then, Peggy, nor think I'm to blame;
I weel may gae out, but I'll never win in!"

When Brackley was busked, and rade o'er the closs,
A gallanter baron ne'er lap to a horse.

When Brackley was mounted, and rade o'er the green,
He was as bald a baron as ever was seen.

Tho' there cam' wi' Inverey thirty and three,
There was nane wi' bonny Brackley but his brother and he.

Twa gallanter Gordons did never sword draw,
But against four and thirty, wae's me, what is twa?

Wi' swords and wi' daggers they did him surround;
And they've pierced bonny Brackley wi' many a wound.

Frae the head o' the Dee to the banks o' the Spey,
The Gordons may mourn him, and bann Inverey.

"O came ye by Brackley yates, was ye in there?
Or saw ye his Peggy dear riving her hair?"

"O, I came by Brackley yates, I was in there,
And I saw his Peggy a-making good cheer."

That lady she feasted them, carried them ben;
She laugh'd wi' the men that her baron had slain.

"O fye on you, lady! how could you do sae?
You open'd your yates to the fause Inverey."

She ate wi' him, drank wi' him, welcom'd him in;
She welcom'd the villain that slew her baron!

She kept him till morning, syne bade him be gane,
And shaw'd him the road that he shou'dna be taen.

"Thro' Birss and Aboyne," she says, "lyin in a tour—
O'er the hills o' Glentanar you'll skip in an hour."—

—There's grief in the kitchen, and mirth in the ha';
But the Baron o' Brackley is dead and awa.


There is an account of this affair in a genealogical history of
the family of Mackintosh, which fixes the date of the slaughter to
the 16th of September 1666. According to the statement there
given, Brackley had seized the horses of some dependants of Inverey,
to recover the fines due by them for having fished salmon in
the river Dee during the prohibited season. Inverey is said to have
demanded from Gordon the restitution of these horses, as not being
the property of the real offenders, whom he offered to produce and
deliver up. Finally, he offered to refer the matter to mutual friends.
But, according to this statement, Gordon not only rejected these
pacific overtures, but, with his cousin Alexander Gordon of Abergeldy,
began the affray, and killed two of Inverey's followers; upon
which the Farquharsons, in their own defence, slew John Gordon
of Brackley himself, his brother William, and James Gordon of
Cults. It may be noticed, that the author of this account is obviously
partial to Inverey, as leader of a branch of the Clan-Chattan,
of which Mackintosh was the chief. He says, that by the interference
of Mackintosh, the proceedings against Inverey in the
Court of Justiciary, which the Gordons had commenced, were traversed,
and put a stop to, for which interference he afterwards experienced
the enmity of the Gordon family.—M'Farlane's Genealogical
Collections, MS. in the Advocates' Library, vol. i. p. 299.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Baron o' Brackley (3)
From: Genie
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 03:18 PM

Big Tim,
I got Hall and MacGregor's "Inverey" from iTunes and posted the entire lyrics (complete with some spelling errors, I'm sure) in this thread:
The Baron o' Brackley / Inverey
so that people looking for the song under the title "Inverey" could find it.

Their last verse does refer to what I heard as "the woods o' Glenn Tower." I definitely do not hear another "n" as in "Glenturner" or "Glentanar." He* certainly sounds like he's singing "Glentower" or "Glentaur," but I don't know where that is or how it's spelled.

*(I think the singer is Robin Hall, but I'm not sure.)

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Baron o' Brackley (3)
From: GUEST,Big Tim
Date: 23 Nov 08 - 05:50 AM

I've dug out the Hall/McG recording and yes, for whatever reasons, they use the title 'Inverey', a small place just west of Brackley (Ballater). They also say 'Glentower', should be Glentanar. Having made these small crits, I must say I love their recording, and yes it was Robin singing. Their version dates from 1962, MacColl's from 1964 and an excellent version from Owen Hand in 1966.

Jamieson's book is available in facsimile form for about 20 GBP.

Below is a glossary for his version. It's my own, compiled from a Scots dictionary, so hope it's accurate.

Glossary. baron, title for freehold estate owner. gar, cause, make. rin, run. gang, go. yetts, gates. ae, one. wae, woe. kye, cattle. buskit, dressed up. close, enclosure, courtyard. ava, at all. ben, inner room of the house. bann, curse. rivin', tearing. oor, hour. gin, if. nourice, nurse.

What a helluva song!

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Baron o' Brackley (3)
From: Genie
Date: 23 Nov 08 - 02:42 PM

I think Hall and MacGregor used the title "Inverey" because that was one name by which the 'villain' - Farquharson of Inverey - not as a reference to a place.

Thanks for the clarifications.   (I believe Hall and MacGregor's album liner notes included those definitions, too, for the Scots terms used in their version. E.g., "Ye maun slap in an oor" meant "You might slip in an hour.")

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Baron o' Brackley (3)
From: Lighter
Date: 23 Nov 08 - 03:33 PM

Jean Redpath also recorded "Inverey" in 1962 on her early LP "Jean Redpath's Scottish Ballad Book" (EKL-214). Redpath's liner notes credit the song to Hamish Henderson.

Bronson, vol. III, pp. 255-56, prints the Henderson/Redpath text and tune with the note that it was collected for the School of Scottish Studies by Francis Collinson from "Miss M. Douglas Gordon" in 1953. Gordon, of Aberdeenshire, sang some other ballads and fragments too: "Glenkindie" (Child 67), "The Birth of Robin Hood" (102), "The Duke of Athole's Nurse" (212), "Willie's Drowned in Yarrow" (215), "The Laird of Drum" (236), "The Duke of Gordon's Daughters" (237), "Glenlogie" (238), and "Jock o' Hazeldean" (293).

Some of these are very rare, which suggests an earlier currency pretty much limited to Aberdeenshire itself. Gordon's tune for "Glenkindie" is the only one ever collected from tradition.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Baron o' Brackley (3)
From: Stewie
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 01:48 AM

The long-gone LP in which Danny recorded 'Baron ...' is currently available as a free download at this blog:

Danny Spooner and Friends.

It's a beaut album.


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