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Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy

DigiTrad:
BLACK JACK DAVEY
BLACK JACK DAVY
BLACK JACK DAVY (IN ATLANTIC CITY)
BLACKJACK DAVEY (2)
BLACKJACK DAVID
CLAYTON BOONE
GYPSIE LADDIE
GYPSY DAVEY
GYPSY LADDIES
GYPSY ROVER
HARRISON BRADY
SEVEN GYPSIES ON YON HILL
THE GYPSY LADDIE
THE GYPSY LADDIE (4)
THE HIPPIES AND THE BEATNIKS
THE LADY AND THE GYPSY
THE WRAGGLE-TAGGLE GYPSIES
WHEN CARNAL FIRST CAME TO ARKANSAS


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(origins) Origins: The Raggle-Taggle Gypsy (127)
Wraggle Taggle Gypsies in translation (3)
Lyr Req: Seven Yellow Gypsies (Dolores Keane) (8)
Chord Req:This version of Black Jack Davey (Heron) (13)
(origins) Origins: Clayton Boone (Child #200) (10)
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Lighter 30 Dec 15 - 11:50 AM
Richie 30 Dec 15 - 12:35 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Dec 15 - 09:00 AM
Gutcher 16 Dec 15 - 08:37 AM
Jim Brown 14 Dec 15 - 04:51 AM
Gutcher 13 Dec 15 - 05:41 PM
Paul Burke 13 Dec 15 - 05:28 PM
Steve Gardham 13 Dec 15 - 04:48 PM
Jim Brown 13 Dec 15 - 04:24 PM
Steve Gardham 13 Dec 15 - 04:14 PM
Gutcher 13 Dec 15 - 03:35 PM
Jim Brown 13 Dec 15 - 02:55 PM
Jim Brown 13 Dec 15 - 02:40 PM
Steve Gardham 13 Dec 15 - 02:37 PM
Jim Brown 13 Dec 15 - 02:11 PM
Gutcher 13 Dec 15 - 01:59 PM
Jim Brown 13 Dec 15 - 12:28 PM
Gutcher 13 Dec 15 - 11:43 AM
Steve Gardham 13 Dec 15 - 05:57 AM
GUEST 12 Dec 15 - 06:20 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Dec 15 - 03:51 PM
Jim Brown 12 Dec 15 - 01:40 PM
GUEST 12 Dec 15 - 12:42 PM
Jim Brown 12 Dec 15 - 06:09 AM
Jim Brown 12 Dec 15 - 06:01 AM
GUEST 12 Dec 15 - 05:54 AM
Jim Brown 12 Dec 15 - 05:17 AM
GUEST 11 Dec 15 - 06:35 PM
Lighter 11 Dec 15 - 04:02 PM
Jim Brown 11 Dec 15 - 02:22 PM
Lighter 11 Dec 15 - 10:03 AM
GUEST 10 Dec 15 - 09:03 PM
Lighter 10 Dec 15 - 05:16 PM
Jim Brown 10 Dec 15 - 03:53 PM
Lighter 09 Dec 15 - 09:23 PM
GUEST 09 Dec 15 - 06:54 PM
Lighter 09 Dec 15 - 02:29 PM
Paul Burke 09 Dec 15 - 02:21 PM
GUEST 09 Dec 15 - 01:14 PM
GUEST,leeneia 09 Dec 15 - 10:50 AM
GUEST 09 Dec 15 - 10:47 AM
Richie 09 Dec 15 - 10:14 AM
Lighter 09 Dec 15 - 09:35 AM
Richie 09 Dec 15 - 09:31 AM
GUEST 09 Dec 15 - 08:50 AM
Jim Brown 09 Dec 15 - 07:01 AM
Ged Fox 09 Dec 15 - 04:37 AM
Richie 08 Dec 15 - 09:30 PM
Lighter 08 Dec 15 - 12:37 PM
GUEST,leeneia 08 Dec 15 - 12:07 PM
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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Lighter
Date: 30 Dec 15 - 11:50 AM

Theoretically a "darby horse" would be a horse good enough to run in a derby, "darby" being the southern English pronunciation.

If Brown's texts were rooted in some English idiosyncrasy, a later singer might have found "darby" inexplicable as a horse and rationalized and relocated the word as a "derby" hat - a style described in 1864 as "all the go" in the U.S.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Richie
Date: 30 Dec 15 - 12:35 AM

Hi,

I found another interesting twist of two words- Darby (a horse) and derby (a hat). Gypsy Davy's horse is a "darby" (Go saddle me up my darby, --Brown A, see also Brown B) and his hat is a "derby" (see Lunsford and his Collection where it's "Then bridle and saddle my old gray mare/ And hand me down my derby )-- how could singers get mixed up?

So I ask you, what is a Darby horse? And, do you think the two have been confused here?

Richie

BTW I've finished putting 244 versions from North America on my site and added a few notes here:
http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/us--canada-versions-200-the-gypsy-laddie.aspx


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Dec 15 - 09:00 AM

This fascinating piece of folklore from 'Anecdotes Of The Scottish Gipsies'; a long article on Scottish Gypsies, presumably written by Robert Chambers, though none of the articles are attributed.
It was published in Chambers Miscellany, Vol 16, 1847.
Jim Carroll
   
"One of the earliest anecdotes of the Scottish gipsies is that of " Johnnie Faa, the Gipsy Laddie," who eloped with the lady of the Earl of Cassilis. This story rests on tradition, and on an old ballad; the facts, so far as they can be gathered, are thus related in the " Picture of Scotland." "John, the sixth Earl of Cassilis, a stern Covenanter, of whom it is recorded by Bishop Burnet that he would never permit his language to be understood but in its direct sense, obtained to wife Lady Jean Hamilton, a daughter of Thomas, first Earl of Haddington, who had raised himself from the Scottish bar to a peerage, and the best fortune of his time. The match seems to have been dictated by policy; and it is not likely that Lady Jean herself had much to say in the bargain. On the contrary, says report, she had been previously beloved by a gallant young knight, a Sir John Faa of Dunbar, who had perhaps seen her at her father's seat of Tyningham, which is not more than three miles from that town. When several years were gone, and Lady Cassilis had brought her husband three children, this passion led to a dreadful catastrophe. Her youthful lover, seizing an opportunity when the Earl of Cassilis was attending the Assembly of Divines at Westminster, came to Cassilis Castle, a massive old tower, on the banks of the Doon. He was dis¬guised as a gipsy, and attended by a band of these desperate out¬casts. The countess consented to elope with her lover. Ere they had proceeded very far, however, the earl came home, and immediately set out in pursuit. Accompanied by a band which put resistance out of the question, he overtook them, and captured the whole party at a ford over the Doon, still called the ' Gipsies' Steps,' a few miles from the castle. He brought them back to Cassilis, and there hanged all the gipsies, including the hapless
Sir John, upon ' the Dule Tree, a splendid and most umbrageous' plane, which yet flourishes on a mound, in front of the castle gate, and which was his gallows in ordinary, as the name testi¬fies—

'And we were fifteen weel-made men,
Although we were na bonnie ;
And we were a' put down for ane—
A fair young wanton ladie.'

The countess was taken by her husband to a window in front of the castle, and there compelled to survey the dreadful scene—to see one after another, fifteen gallant men put to death—and at last to witness the dying agonies of him who had first been dear to her. The particular room in the stately old house where the unhappy lady endured this horrible torture, is still called ' The Countess's Room.' After undergoing a short confinement in that apartment, the house belonging' to the family at Maybole was fitted up for her reception, by the addition of a fine projecting-staircase, upon which were carved heads, representing those of her lover and his band; and she was removed thither, and con¬fined for the rest of her life—the earl, in the meantime, marry¬ing another wife. One of her daughters was afterwards married to the celebrated Gilbert Burnet. The effigies of the gipsies on the staircase at Maybole are very minute; the head of Johnnie Faa himself is distinct from the rest, large, and more lachrymose in the expression of the features." Such is the story; but whether I lie here, who is here called Sir John Faa of Dunbar, was himself of gipsy blood, as the ballad bears, and as tradition asserts, or whether he was merely in such intimacy with the gipsies as to obtain their aid in the adventure, cannot be decisively ascertained. It may be mentioned, however, that the colony of gipsies long established in Yetholm, in Roxburghshire, always claimed to be of the same stock with the Faws or Falls, a family of respecta¬bility settled in East-Lothian, and of which the hero of the ballad may have been a scion, holding some rank in Scottish society, and yet keeping up a connexion with his outcast kindred.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Gutcher
Date: 16 Dec 15 - 08:37 AM

To this day and for as long as I can remember those who have taken the gentility pronounce Cassillis as Castles while we of the peasantry pronounce it as Caasseelis,

In another thread {WDLNGP} I gave two examples of folk memory being proved correct, I give another two :----
Looking down the brae from my back window I see the farm of "Brownmuir" known to the owners and locals as "The Brimmer". On looking up the 17th. C. map you will find "Brimmer" with no mention of "Brownmuir" so we have nearly 500yrs, and who knows how long before the date of the map, of folk memory on our doorstep.
To the East we have the croft of "The Lowes" {pronounced Lous} as it is called locally, again "correct" people call it "Lowhouse" with what authority? as it appears on the same map as "Lowes".
Interestingly enough we find the same word "Lowes" in the song "The Bonny Lass O Fyvie" it being pronounced the same as here with the Ou sound as in plough.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Jim Brown
Date: 14 Dec 15 - 04:51 AM

> Kennedy having been a ancient name in Galloway/Carrick ...

And the family name of the Earls of Cassillis.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Gutcher
Date: 13 Dec 15 - 05:41 PM

I doubt it Paul, Kennedy having been a ancient name in Galloway/Carrick from before surnames came into use at the end of the 11th. C.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Paul Burke
Date: 13 Dec 15 - 05:28 PM

Wonderful stuff as Perivate Eye's Bogbrush would say. But just a note- that Gypsies were called Kennedy right from the start. This suggests that they were associated with Irish (travellers ?) from the word go. And that Irish travellers. tinkers, pavvies, whatever, could have been simply subsumed in official estimation by the new immigrants- just as to some of our friends here, all Mooslims are illegals, asylum seekers and tourorists.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Dec 15 - 04:48 PM

Okay here's a summary of 'Cassillis' appearances in 18thc versions.

TTM has no mention but as you say that could easily have been for politic reasons. V1 has 'good lord's gate' and 'fair lady' and last line is 'fair young wanton lady'.

SMM has v1 'Our lord's yett' and 'the fair lady' but last line 'The Earl of Cassilis' lady'

Mansfield has v1 'Lord Cassillees gate' and 'fair lady' with last line 'The Earl of Cassillees lady'.

The Roxburghe slip has v1. 'Earl of Castle's house' and 'Earl of Castle's Lady' and last line 'Earl of Castle's lady'. As Ebsworth rightly states this printing is full of Englishisms like 'house' for 'gate'.

All versions are very close in text but Mansfield has the extra verse found in a few later versions.

v4
Aft have I ridden this wan water
And a' my maids beside me
But now I maun wade and weet my feet
Whatever may betide me.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Jim Brown
Date: 13 Dec 15 - 04:24 PM

> I know not when A. Fraser published his book and have never heard of him.

1992 - so he couldn't have known about the document you mention if it just came to light a few years ago.

I didn't know anything about the author at the time I read the book, but it sounds as if he was an interesting man -- a "champion of government efficiency and Gypsies" according to his obituary in the Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/news/2001/jun/15/guardianobituaries
Sorry, there's nothing in the notes I made at the time about the first records of Gypsies in Ireland, and I don't have a copy of the book to check. Maybe someone else here knows more about that.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Dec 15 - 04:14 PM

Okay
You can look at the broadside yourself easily enough. The original is on the UCSB English Ballads website. I would say it could have been printed any time in the 18thc. On the opposite page with similar type is another sheet with no imprint about Paul Jones exploits in 1779.

It is a definite Cassilis version although it spells it Lady Castle an easy slip for an English broadside from oral tradition.

Ebsworth also prints the 1740 Ramsay version and gives 3 pages of historical detail on the event mentioned by Gutcher.

I'll now check the St Clair version with the SMM and Herd versions.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Gutcher
Date: 13 Dec 15 - 03:35 PM

I know not when A. Fraser published his book and have never heard of him.
The press report I mentioned was within the last five years and as I mentioned above the date is as remembered or very close to the date given in the paper.

Any record of a date for the Gypsies in Ireland ?.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Jim Brown
Date: 13 Dec 15 - 02:55 PM

> It was reported in the press when the account books came to light.

Thank you. The nearest I have seen is a reference in Angus Fraser's "The Gypsies" to James IV paying £7 to "Egiptianis" at Stirling in 1505, but that's a lot later than what you mention and it doesn't involve a dole of food, so it can't be the same event.

Yes, I've come across the story of the Bombie estate and arms. Whether the "Moors" or "Saracens" raiding Galloway were Gypsies or not, there's certainly an interesting story there. (And their being Gypsies does look like a possible explanation, even if it's not the only one.)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Jim Brown
Date: 13 Dec 15 - 02:40 PM

> It was reported in the press when the account books came to light.

Thank you. The closest I have come across is a reference in Angus Fraser's "The Gypsies" to James IV paying "Egiptianis" £7 at Stirling in 1505, but that's a lot later than what you mention.

Yes, I've come across the story of the Bombie estate and arms. Whether the "Moors" or "Saracens" raiding Galloway were actually Gypsies or not, there's certainly an interesting story there.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Dec 15 - 02:37 PM

I'll have another look at Roxburghe and compare St Clair with SMM.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Jim Brown
Date: 13 Dec 15 - 02:11 PM

> How early is Ramsay's earlier printing of it?

Child says it was first printed in vol. 4 of the 1740 edition, but I understand from Sigrid Rieuwerts's article that there is also a single copy in existence of a 1737 printing of vol. 4 alone -- so it looks as if the answer is actually 1737.

Indeed, if the Mansfield MS could be as late as 1785, there might not be much difference in date between it and Burns's version, published in the second volume of SMM in 1788. It is also almost word for word the same as Ramsay's, apart being printed in 5 stanzas of 8 lines instead of 10 of 4 lines and having "The earl of Cassilis' lady." as the last line instead of "A fair young wanton lady." It also has "sae compleat" rather than "sae very compleat" in stanza 1 and "we are a' put down" instead of "were" in the last stanza, and a few spelling differences. (I'm comparing it with the 1740 TTM scanned at archive.org.)

What about the Roxburghe ballad, Child G? Is there any way of saying whether the estimated date of 1720 is plausible?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Gutcher
Date: 13 Dec 15 - 01:59 PM

It was reported in the press when the account books came to light.
The date, given from memory, may be slightly out but not by much.

The charter is given as I found mention of it, perhaps the original can be checked.

For another slant on the subject {gypsies} check what Sir George MacKenzie of Rosehaugh has to say, he giving details of armorial bearings on shields The date when these were granted to the McClellands of Bombie, ie. a Moors head on a dagger, may go a long way to confirming the more than local tradition of the gypsies having arrived in Galloway from Ireland circa 1450, they having first being reported in the South of France in 1422. Any record of them travelling North through Ireland prior to 1450 would also help.

Saracens, Moors, Blackamoors, Egyptians, Gypsies and Tinkers have long been recognised. in Scotland, as names pertaining to Gypsies.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Jim Brown
Date: 13 Dec 15 - 12:28 PM

> See the account books for Stirling Castle circa 1467 for a dole of food to two gypsies.

That would certainly push things back a few decades. Do you have a source?

Not sure about the 1439 charter, though. I've found Ramage's article, in Notes and Queries of 15 January 1876 (at archive.com - it's in series 5 volume 5). All he says there about the charter is that in it Halliday "wadsetts" various lands, including "the Tynklers land" to the Laird of Mousewald. It seems to be Ramage himself who makes the connection to the fact that "Faas, Kennedys, etc." are known in later times to have lived near to the place mentioned in the document. He raises the possibility that this and other references to "tinklers" going back to the late 12th-early 13th century, might indicate an earlier Gypsy presence in Scotland, but doesn't prove that they do.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Gutcher
Date: 13 Dec 15 - 11:43 AM

Hello Steve,
Correct, I have posted my answer to the wrong thread. No doubt you will see it there.
Joe.

PS---if you could let me have the contact details, by PM, of your Scottish friends of like interest, I would be obliged, they being willing for you to disclose their identities.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Dec 15 - 05:57 AM

Hi GUEST.
You presumably have your reasons for not being a member or posting your name. It isn't Gutcher by any chance?

You obviously have a very good grasp of Scottish history and I'd like to thank you properly for your highly appreciated contributions. I am in touch with one or two non-academic Scots with a similar grasp and am anxious to increase that circle. My main topics of interest are Child Ballads, broadside ballads, folk song and Music Hall with a particular interest in forgery and literary interference.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Dec 15 - 06:20 PM

See the account books for Stirling Castle circa 1467 for a dole of food to two gypsies.
See charter dated May 31st. 1439 by Halliday of Hoddam granting a wadser {mortgage} to Carruthers of Mouswald over his lands of Hodholm
and that part called Tynclers Lands occupied by the gypsies yeclept Faas, Kennedys, etc. etc. {at a later date in Northumberland and the Borders any band of gypsies were given the generic name Faas, as also in the town of Thornhill, Dumfrieshire, when a band of gypsies arrived the people would say the Kennedys have come.}
Read:--- Lucas, Simson, Halliwell, Craig, Eamage, etc. etc.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Dec 15 - 03:51 PM

Hi Jim,
The St Clair (Mansfield) version is almost word for word the version in my 1763 edition of Ramsay. How early is Ramsay's earlier printing of it? St Clair would have been very familiar with Ramsay being part of Edinburgh society.

Whether her Cassillis version predates Burns would be hard to say with any certainty. Her probable date of writing this down is c1775 but it could be 10 years either side.

St Clair has an extra stanza which looks like a commonplace from other ballads.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Jim Brown
Date: 12 Dec 15 - 01:40 PM

> was she the lady who got the first entry of the gypsies to these shores out by upwards of 60yrs

No, I don't think so. In this article, she just says: "Gypsies, or Romany, are generally supposed not to have entered England and Scotland much earlier than 1500." That's in line with any other information I've every seen on the subject. Earlier on this thread, Mike Yates gave 1492 for the earliest record of Gypsies in Scotland. That's also "not much earlier than 1500". Is there anything earlier?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Dec 15 - 12:42 PM

I do not have J.C. Dicks book but the quote you give in your post @ 6.09 AM looks as if it could be the one I vaguely remember. This will save me a lot of time, I had thought it may be in his extensive correspondence.

Anent Sigrid Rieuvert---was she the lady who got the first entry of the gypsies to these shores out by upwards of 60yrs. ie. giving it as in the 16th C. rather than the 15th. C.?.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Jim Brown
Date: 12 Dec 15 - 06:09 AM

> Not that quote--the one referring to the origins of the ballad

There's also this:

"*Johnnie Faa* is the only old song which I could ever trace as belonging to the extensive county of Ayr."

(same book, page 31)

I'm afraid I haven't come across any others.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Jim Brown
Date: 12 Dec 15 - 06:01 AM

For the question of whether the ballad has anything to do with any real Lady Cassillis Sigrid Rieuwerts's article "The Historical Moorings of 'The Gypsy Laddie': Johnny Faa and Lady Cassillis." in Joseph Harris, ed. The Ballad and Oral Literature (Harvard UP, 1991) makes some relevant observations, including:

1) Burns wasn't the first to introduce the name Cassillis into Ramsay's version of the song, as Child seems to have thought. There is a similar version in the Mansfield Manuscript, which is some time earlier, also with the name Cassillis, so Burns was not alone.
2) Rather than the name Cassillis being introduced later into Ramsay's text, Ramsay might well have removed it from the song to avoid causing offence to living members of the family -- the present Earl was one of his subscribers, for example.
3) "Earl of Castle" in Child G could come from a mishearing of "Cassillis" (just as the same English broadside printer misunderstood the Scots "glamour" as "grandmother"), which would push the Cassillis connection back to the early 18th century;
4)The tunes for "Johnny Faa" in several 18th century books (and a group of tunes in more recent tradition, I would add from Bronson) are similar to a tune called "Ladie Cassiles Lilt" in the early-17th-century Skene manuscript, which suggests a possible association between the ballad and the family going back at least that far


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Dec 15 - 05:54 AM

Hello Jim.

Not that quote--the one referring to the origins of the ballad.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Jim Brown
Date: 12 Dec 15 - 05:17 AM

> Burns made some remarks on the ballad

Perhaps this:

"The people in Ayrshire begin this song:-
The gypsies cam to my Lord Cassili's yett
They have a great many more stanzas in this song than I ever yet saw in any printed copy. The castle is still remaining at Maybole, where his lordship shut up his wayward spouse, and kept her for life."

(James C. Dick, Notes on Scottish Song by Robert Burns, 1908, p. 35)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Dec 15 - 06:35 PM

Letter from the Earl of Cassillis to the Earl of Eglinton dated 15th. day of December, 1642.

"My noble Lord. It hath pleasit the Almightie to tak my deir bed-fellow frome this valley of tears to hir hame {as hir...in her last wordis called it} There remains now the last duetie to be done to that part of hir left with ws qch I intend to pforme vpoun the ffyft of Jnuar nixt. This I intreat may be honoured with yor Lo. presence heir at Cassillis, yt day, at Ten in the morning, and from this to our burial place at Mayboille, qch shalbe taken as a mark of yor. Lo. affectioun to
             yor. Lo. humble servant,
                                  Cassillis."

Married 1621---died 1642.

Burns made some remarks on the ballad---these may take longer to locate.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Lighter
Date: 11 Dec 15 - 04:02 PM

Thanks, Jim.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Jim Brown
Date: 11 Dec 15 - 02:22 PM

> that the "-o/-oe" place names in Scotland and Cornwall ... are ultimately holdovers from British

Maybe in Cornwall. In Scotland not in every case. Glasgow is certainly British (= "green hollow") , but Lesmahagow is Gaelic (lios mo-fhegu = "enclosure of my (Saint) Fechin" - at least according to Watson's identification of the saint's name). In eastern Scotland, where Pictish gave way to Gaelic and then Gaelic gave way to Scots later in the Middle Ages, there are a number of placenames where Gaelic -ach became -o (Pitsligo, Stracathro, Balmerino) - also Balerno in the SE, where there are a few Anglicized Gaelic placenames among others of British and Old English origin. See http://www.arts.gla.ac.uk/STELLA/STARN/lang/GAELIC/evident.htm for more on these.

Beyond that I'd be getting beyond my depth too. Better get back to the topic I guess...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Lighter
Date: 11 Dec 15 - 10:03 AM

To keep drifting for just a moment, a glance at the Google map of Cornwall gives comparable results:

Truro, Porthcurno, Poltesco, Perranuthnoe, Germoe, Gunwalloe, Traboe, Perranzabuloe, and Trevescoe.

I'm getting beyond my depth here, but Cornish and Welsh are both varieties of the Celtic language spoken in Britain before the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons - and for some time afterward. That language is called "Old Brittonic" or often just "British." Another descendant of British, Cumbric, was spoken in Northern England and parts of Lowland Scotland. (Gaelic seems to have originated in Ireland and not to have come to Britain till the 6th Century, by which time Pictish - very possibly another descendant of British - was apparently well established in northern Scotland. Sorry for so much hedging, but the written - and carved - evidence remains scanty.)

So going out on a limb, my guess is that the "-o/-oe" place names in Scotland and Cornwall - and elsewhere? - are ultimately holdovers from British

I hope someone will tell us if they have better information.

Though not necessarily on this thread.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Dec 15 - 09:03 PM

When I lay my hands on it I will give a copy of the letter from that Earl of Cassillis, given in printed versions of the ballad "The Gypsy Laddies", as a historical character involved in the story. The letter, to the Earl of Eglinton, completely destroys any claim to the 17th.C. date given for the event.

Having now salvaged my conscience by getting back to the topic I comment on the last two or three posts:---

Wemyss, claimed as a Pictish word has always been with me, must have picked it up with my mothers milk. At the North end of Ayrshire lies Wemyss bay,
here we have a good example of a raised beach of some 35ft. The vertical face of red sandstone has various caves therein.

Another tenet from the same period was that place names ending in "o" were likely to be of Pictish origin, thus we have:----
Greego, Grogo, Kelso, [A surname and Estate], Penango {a surname and lands of the same name Pen, Welsh? not uncommon in the same area], Stobo, Lesmahago, Glasgo, etc. etc. these all in the S.W. of Scotland


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Lighter
Date: 10 Dec 15 - 05:16 PM

Thanks for the link, Jim.

The missing bit is that English "-weem" and "Wemyss" appear to be anglicized "spelling pronunciations" of "uamh," which doesn't sound anything like it in Gaelic.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Jim Brown
Date: 10 Dec 15 - 03:53 PM

> it would be good to know the source of the idea that "wemyss" was the Pictish word for cave

This is getting a bit off-topic, but surely it is more likely Gaelic. See the short article on place names from "uamh" (including Wemyss) at http://asls.arts.gla.ac.uk/SWE/TBI/TBIIssue16/Uamh.html
Not far from Wemyss is Pittenweem, which W.J. Watson, in The Celtic Placenames of Scotland (1926) explains as "peit na h-uam(h)a", "share of the cave". The "peit" bit seems to come from a Pictish word meaning a portion of land, which continued to be used even after Gaelic replaced Pictish as the dominant language in the east of Scotland, but the rest is completely Gaelic.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Dec 15 - 09:23 PM

Almost nothing is known about the Pictish language except that it was spoken in central and northern Scotland before the ninth or tenth century.

Other than a handful of proper names and place names, the Pictish vocabulary is almost entirely unknown. Linguists can't even agree entirely as to whether the language most resembled Welsh or Gaelic or something else. (Welsh is the favorite nowadays.)

While the Wemyss Caves do contain a wealth of Pictish carvings, it would be good to know the source of the idea that "wemyss" was the Pictish word for cave. The Gaelic word is "uamh" (pronounced "oo-av") and the Welsh is "ogof."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Dec 15 - 06:54 PM

Hello Paul.
Not being an academic I have up to now relied on an excellent memory
[academics I understand are prone to take note of every small detail]

[1]----check out Edinburgh University's excavation of a burial mound at Wemyss, Fife.----- Wemyss, forby being a surname is also I understand, the pictish word for a cave.

[2]----early 19th. C. drought, Moray Firth, excavation for a well in the town of Burghead.

P.S.--for refs. to both I may, given time, be able to come up with    something from the back nos. of the journals of the proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.
FSA Scot.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Dec 15 - 02:29 PM

"Drumlie" = "(of streams or water) troubled, clouded, muddy."

In other words, "roily."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Paul Burke
Date: 09 Dec 15 - 02:21 PM

I'd appreciate a reference for instances (1) and (2) please.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Dec 15 - 01:14 PM

No idea about "riley"

"It's when she cam tae the banks o the Doon
the waater was rou'in DRUMLIE o
She's looted doun an taen aaf her shoun
tae wade it wae the gypsy laddies o"

The spot on the river Doon is to this day known as the gypsies steps.

I once had a number of examples of oral tradition being proved accurate, memory is now not what it was, two only now come to mind:--

[1] In the East Neuk of Fife a certain burial mound was orally reputed to contain a hoard of silver. On being excavated by E.U., and they certified that the mound, some 950 years old, had never previously been excavated, a hoard of silver was found therein.

[2] During a drought in the early 19th. C. in the N.E. oral tradition had it that there was a well at a certain spot. The area was excavated and at a depth of 36ft. below the existing surface what was claimed to be a Roman well was found. That takes us back at least 1500 years.

One of the collectors remarking on the literacy of the Scots also makes mention of their vast grasp of oral lore.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 09 Dec 15 - 10:50 AM

If you read lots of ballads, you absorb the impression that their main is this: what jerks the upper classes are. Killing babies, stabbing rivals, raping maidens, bewitching daughters-in-law, poisoning lovers...the list of the misdeeds of the so-called nobility never stops.

The sting in the Gypsy Davy songs is that the lady would rather sleep on the ground with a real man than stay in a castle with a member of the so-called nobility.

The interesting, exciting gypsy music doesn't hurt, either.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Dec 15 - 10:47 AM

The folk in the West of Scotland, where she resided after her marriage, did not know of her previous involvement with Sir John Fall and when she absconded with Johnie Faa when he came through from the East, in the guise of a gypsy, they assumed he had "cast the glamourie oure her o" with his song, as an explanation for her strange conduct.

Richie.
Names and dates are all as given by me in a previous thread and can be checked in the historical records of the families involved.

Note 1----there was a letter found, from the 17th.C Earl of Cassilles to the Earl of Eglinton, which completely rules out the usual historical explanation given with this ballad as having taken place in the first part of the 17th. C.

Note 2----Fall, Hall etc. are to this day pronounced, by speakers of Scots, as Faa, Haa etc. here in the West of Scotland


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Richie
Date: 09 Dec 15 - 10:14 AM

Thanks Lighter,

In regards to the Guests post 8:50 AM, Kyle Davis Jr. writes this in More TBVa, 1960:

Later Scottish tradition and some of the ballads themselves have identified the lady as the wife of the mid-seventeenth-century Earl of Cassilis, apparently without any foundation whatever-- except that the first line of some texts of the ballad have the gypsies come to the "castle-gate."

Do you agree?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Dec 15 - 09:35 AM

"Glamour" is certainly enchantment.

MacColl's version includes the odd word "comprols," defined in the notes as "spells."

But I can't find this word in either the OED or the Scottish National Dictionary.

Unlike "glamour," it's presumably some sort of mistake.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Richie
Date: 09 Dec 15 - 09:31 AM

Hi,

Guest- you write as if this was a historical event. Please provide more details, TY.

I thought the singing was a form gypsies' magic and seduction. It seems to me that ur-ballad is about her seduction by magic and that she was under a spell which caused her to give away her valuables and leave her husband. Perhaps the original intention of the ballad is that she is under a spell and not responsible for her actions.

Obviously this changed (Child B) and was not understood (Child G, many American versions) but it seems that the spell and the effects of the spell have been ignored and that she ran off with Gypsy Davy on her own accord- and, is responsible for that action.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Dec 15 - 08:50 AM

In another thread, a few years back, I gave the explanation as to why the lady "cam trippin doon the stairs" when she heard Johnie Faa singing---no magic involved, she recognised the song and the singer from her previous involvement with Sir John Fall of Dunbar.
As a niece of the then King and daughter of an Earl, a scandal of a child born out of wedlock could not be entertained so she was married out of hand to Kennedy of Cassillis who was created an Earl the year after the marriage, no doubt as part of an agreed marriage settlement, by the King her uncle.
The first child born to the lady, a son, did not live to reach adulthood and therefor did not become the second Earl of Cassillis.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Jim Brown
Date: 09 Dec 15 - 07:01 AM

> Has the lady been put under a spell?

That seems to be the implication in some of the Scottish versions in Child (A, B, C, D, F) where they "cast their glamour o'er her" etc. According to the Dictionary of the Scots Language (http://www.dsl.ac.uk), glamour = "Magic, enchantment, witchcraft; a spell, esp. one affecting the sight, as in phr. to cast (the) [glamour] ower someone('s een)". On the other hand the mondegreen in Child G ("They called their grandmother over") might suggest that already in the 18 century not everyone got the meaning, at least outside Scotland. "Charmed" could also mean there was magic involved, but it doesn't have to. According to the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, the non-magical meaning of "charm" as "powerfully attract, fascinate" also goes back to Middle English.

> Can we assume that if we agree that the lady has been put under a spell that the choices she makes are no longer her own?

Maybe that one should be left for the lawyers, but poetically speaking I think it makes more sense if we assume that their magic (real or metaphorical) couldn't have such an effect on her if she wasn't already open to the possibility of running away. Child B has an interesting ending from this point of view: she declares herself free of the Gypsies' influence, but still won't go back to her husband.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Ged Fox
Date: 09 Dec 15 - 04:37 AM

No


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Richie
Date: 08 Dec 15 - 09:30 PM

Hi,

A Question in two parts:

Has the lady been put under a spell?

Can we assume that if we agree that the lady has been put under a spell that the choices she makes are no longer her own?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: Lighter
Date: 08 Dec 15 - 12:37 PM

Yes. But not "riley."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 08 Dec 15 - 12:07 PM

My unabridged dictionary says

riley= turbid, irritated, vexed. Colloquial U.S.
==========
Do you say "all riled up" meaning to become angry suddenly? I say that once in a while.


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