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Lyr Req: The Gabalundi(?) Man / Gaberlunzie Man


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Sheila 18 Jun 97 - 11:15 AM
Alan of Australia 19 Jun 97 - 04:45 AM
Wolfgang Hell 19 Jun 97 - 05:06 AM
Frank in the swamps 19 Jun 97 - 06:36 AM
Susan of DT 19 Jun 97 - 08:14 PM
Alan of Oz 19 Jun 97 - 09:22 PM
Sheila 20 Jun 97 - 02:00 PM
GUEST,Shona 29 Apr 01 - 01:42 PM
Hillheader 29 Apr 01 - 03:55 PM
Susanne (skw) 29 Apr 01 - 09:05 PM
Malcolm Douglas 29 Apr 01 - 10:56 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 30 Apr 01 - 01:37 AM
Hillheader 01 May 01 - 02:43 PM
Susanne (skw) 01 May 01 - 06:41 PM
GUEST,Q 17 Dec 02 - 01:30 AM
GUEST,Q 17 Dec 02 - 01:44 AM
Joe Offer 17 Dec 02 - 02:24 AM
Joe Offer 17 Dec 02 - 02:49 AM
Joe Offer 17 Dec 02 - 02:53 AM
GUEST,Q 17 Dec 02 - 02:18 PM
GUEST,Q 19 Dec 02 - 10:51 PM
Abby Sale 08 Apr 07 - 11:59 AM
masato sakurai 08 Apr 07 - 12:30 PM
Abby Sale 08 Apr 07 - 10:06 PM
GUEST,Scotus (minus cookie) 08 Apr 07 - 10:57 PM
Malcolm Douglas 09 Apr 07 - 01:27 AM
Abby Sale 09 Apr 07 - 10:33 AM
GUEST,Scott 05 May 12 - 12:16 PM
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Subject: Lyric req: The Gabalundi(?) Man
From: Sheila
Date: 18 Jun 97 - 11:15 AM

I'm wondering if anyone has the lyrics for a song I taped off of the Thistle and Shamrock radio show on NPR. It's a Scottish song called the Gabalundi (spelling?) Man. It's about a Scottish king who disguises himself as a peddler and goes out among his people. He meets a peasant woman and falls in love with her. I don't get a lot of the words on my taped version of the song. Hoping someone knows this one. Thanks!

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Subject: RE: Lyric req: The Gabalundi(?) Man
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 19 Jun 97 - 04:45 AM

It's a Child ballad or an appendix to one. I should be able to find it in a few days, someone has borrowed that volume of my Child collection. The spelling is more like Gabalunyi.


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Subject: RE: Lyric req: The Gabalundi(?) Man
From: Wolfgang Hell
Date: 19 Jun 97 - 05:06 AM

Alan's right. It is CHILD 279 Appendix. There are several versions in the DT under different titles. You can find them by filtering with 279. The Tannahill Weavers did a version under the title "The Gaberlunzie man". You can find their lyrics on their homepage or directly under:

yours Wolfgang

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Subject: RE: Lyric req: The Gabalundi(?) Man
From: Frank in the swamps
Date: 19 Jun 97 - 06:36 AM

You'll find variants in Sam Henry's "Songs of the People" under "The Rambling Suilor" and "A Beggarman Cam' Ower the Lea." Also Ewan MacColl published it in "Folk Songs & Ballads of Scotland" by Oak publications ( U.S.). Of course, once you start tracking down a Child ballad, you may want to invest in a wheelbarrow just to tote around your references. Good hunting, Frank.

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Subject: RE: Lyric req: The Gabalundi(?) Man
From: Susan of DT
Date: 19 Jun 97 - 08:14 PM

Our Beggar Man (4) is very close to Child's #279 appendix, the Gaberlunyie-man

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Subject: Lyr Add: THE GABERLUNZIE MAN (from Ewan MacColl)
From: Alan of Oz
Date: 19 Jun 97 - 09:22 PM

OK, this may now be redundant, but as I've found the song and scanned it here is the version as printed in the aforementioned Ewan MacColl book.


Child 279 appendix

O, a beggar man cam' ower yon lea,
An' mony a fine tale he told me,
Seekin' oot for charity,
Will ye lodge a beggar man?

CHORUS: Lal lal tee too roo ree.

The nicht was cauld, the carle was wat,
An' doon ayont the ingle he sat,
Then he threw the meal-pock aff'n his back
And aye as he ranted and sang,

"If I were black as l am white,
As the snaw that lies on yonder dyke,
I wad dress mysel' some beggar-like
And awa' wi' you I would gang."

"O lassie, O lassie, you’re far ower young,
And ye hae na the cant o’ the beggin’ tongue,
Ye hae na the cant o' the beggin' tongue
And wi' me ye canna gang."

"I'II bend my back and bow my knee,
And I'II put a black patch on my e'e,
And for a beggar they'll tak' me,
Syne awa' wi' you I will gang."

'Twas then they twa made up the plot,
To rise twa hours before the old folk,
Sae cannily they slipped the lock
And through the fields they ran.

Early neist mornin' the auld wife rose,
An' at her leisure put on her clothes;
Syne to the servant's bed she goes
To speir for the silly puir man.

She gaed to tile bed where the beggar lay,
Thee strae was cauld and he was away,
She clapped her hands and cried, "Welladay,
Is there ony o' oor guid gear gane?"

Some ran to the coffer, some ran to the kist
But naethin' was awa; that could be missed,
She danced her lane, cried "Praised be the blest,
I've Iodged an honest old man.

"Since naethin's awa' that we can learn,
The kye are to milk and the milk is to kirn;
Gae but the hoose, lass, and wauken my bairn
And bid her come speedily ben."

The servant gaed where the dochter lay,
But the sheets were cauld and she was away,
And fast to the gudewife she did say:
"She's awa' wi' the beggar man."

"O fye gar ride, O fye gar rin!
And haste ye find they traitors again,
For she'll be brunt and he'll be slain,
The wearifu' beggar man."

Some rode on horseback, some ran on foot,
A' but the auld wife and she wasna fit,
She hobbled aboot frae hip to hip
An' aye as she cursed and banned.

.Meanwhile far oot ower yon lea,
Fu' snug in a glen where nane could see,
The twa wi' muckle sport and glee
Frae a new cheese cut a whang.

When years had passed some twa or three
The same beggar carle cam' ower yon lea,
Saying, "Gudewife, for your courtesie,
Will y lodge a silly, puir man?"

"A beggar, a beggar I'II ne'er lodge again,
l had ae dochter but ane o' my ain,
And awa' wi' a beggar man she's gane
And l dinna ken whence nor where."

"O, yonder she's coinin', ower yong lea
Wi' mony a fine tale unto thee,
An' she's gotten a baby on her knee
And anither yen comin' hame.

"O, yonder she's comin' to your bower,
In silk an' satin wi' mony a flower,"
She's held up her hands and she's blest the hour
That she followed the beggar man.


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Subject: RE: Lyric req: The Gabalundi(?) Man
From: Sheila
Date: 20 Jun 97 - 02:00 PM

I printed up all the different versions of this song, including the Tannahill Weavers' from their webpage. I think the version on the tape I have is by Ceolbeg. It seems to be a conglomerate of several of these versions. I'm sure I have plenty now to work with; Thanks to all who helped!! Now if I can only master that Scottish burr....


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Subject: Gaberlunzie man
From: GUEST,Shona
Date: 29 Apr 01 - 01:42 PM

I was wondering if anyone had the words (or knew where i could get them) of Gaberlunzie Man? Isla St Clair sings it and i'd really like to get a hold of the words so i can sing it at some sessions. thanks! also, if you know of any festivals in the northeast of scotland that would be great! Shona P.S was anyone in the isle of man in april for the festival? if so, did you see the piper? Anton Di'vallia. he is the best piper (apart from gordon duncan!) i have ever heard!

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From: Hillheader
Date: 29 Apr 01 - 03:55 PM

Try this Shona. I admit to copying in from a previous thread.

Click here for lyrics.

Duplicated lyrics replaced with a link. --JoeClone, 8-May-02.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gaberlunzie man
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 29 Apr 01 - 09:05 PM

Shona, you could also try searching the Digital Tradition for it. Just type the word Gaberlunzie into the blue box in the top right hand corner, and see what comes up. Among 8000 songs there should be a few versions of this song. If you'd like to learn more about finding things in the DT and the Forum, read the 'Mudcat FAQ - Newcomers Guide' which always comes up first in the thread list. It's very helpful, and I'm sure you'll enjoy browsing the Mudcat as much as we all do, and will be back often. See you!

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gaberlunzie man
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 29 Apr 01 - 10:56 PM

This is one of those songs that can be found in a great many variant forms.  Francis Child (English and Scottish Popular Ballads) assigned to it his number #279, but allowed other, apparantly related, songs in at #280.  I haven't, so far as I can remember, heard Isla StClair's recording, so I don't know which of many traditional versions she used.  As a rule, I suggest that people try a search for themselves through the "Digitrad and Forum Search" facility on the main Forum page before starting a new thread, but in this case you'd have found that quite difficult to do, as the song is more usually known by other titles.  Here is a list of links which you may find useful:

In the DT (Digital Tradition database):

THE BEGGAR LADDIE  From Folk Songs and Ballads of Scotland, MacColl, with tune.  Wrongly labelled Child #200
THE BEGGAR MAN (2)  As recorded by by Cilla Fisher and Artie Tresize; no original source named or tune given.
THE BEGGAR MAN (4)  Collation, with tune,made from several different traditional and printed versions.  (Stephen Sedley, The Seeds of Love, 1967).
THE JOLLY BEGGAR   Described as "from Sedley, Seeds of Love", the text is nothing of the kind, and appears to be an incomplete transcription from a Planxty record.  Certainly it's the tune they used, which does come from Sedley, and is a Scottish one described by Sedley as "the best known of the Scots melodies", though unfortunately he didn't say where he got it.
THE BEGGARMAN (3)  As recorded by Richard Dyer Bennet, no source named: with tune.
THE BEGGARMAN (6)  No source named or tune given.

In the Forum:

The Gabalundi(?) Man  The text that "davebhoy" has copied-and-pasted comes from this thread.  It was taken from Ewan MacColl's book Folk Songs & Ballads of Scotland.
Beggarman  A discussion of no importance except for this comment from Bruce Olson.
The Jolly Beggerman  Includes 3 texts; (1) quote from a set recorded by Ewan MacColl, (2) transcription from that Planxty record, (3) unattributed "Scottish version".

Entries at the  Traditional Ballad Index:

The Gaberlunzie Man, [Child 279A]
The Jolly Beggar, [Child 279]

See also:

The Beggar-Laddie, [Child 280]

Lesley Nelson's   site:

The Gaberlunzie Man with tune; this is the set printed as an appendix to #279 by Child, quoted from (ulimately) Ramsay's Tea-Table Miscellany of 1724.
Child texts  The two texts given by Child, plus the expurgated The Pollittick Begger-Man
Hi for the Beggar Man With tune; no source given.

At Bruce Olson's site;  Roots of Folk: Old English, Scots, and Irish Songs and Tunes:

The Pollitick Begger-Man. (unexpurgated version)

At the  
Bodleian Library Broadside Collection:

The beggar man Printer and date unknown
The jolly beggar Printer and date unknown
The jolly beggar Printed between 1774 and 1825 by Angus of Newcastle.

There are a number of other versions available in print and on record, even more if you count "covers" of traditional sets recorded by Revival singers.  The big question is, are any of these close to what you were looking for?

A wee plea of my own, now, aimed at everybody; please, when answering a request for song lyrics, DON'T COPY LYRICS FROM OTHER THREADS.  Threads are not deleted here, and remain in the permanent archive; this means that, the next time someone asks about this song, there will be another duplicated set of lyrics which will have to be checked.  It just makes everybody's life a little more difficult than it needs to be.  The best thing you can do is put in a link to the lyrics you've found, or, if you don't know how to do that, just copy-and-paste the URL.  Davebhoy lost the original formatting when pasting, of course; have a look at the FAQ at the top of the Threads list on the main Forum page for useful information on how to post lyrics so that doesn't happen.

I don't for a moment want to discourage anyone from helping out, but I do want them to do it in the most helpful way possible; one that doesn't make it harder for other people to help later on.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gaberlunzie man
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 30 Apr 01 - 01:37 AM

'Gaberlunzie' is a corruption of 'ghiberlaun', Scots Gaelic for 'beggar'. The Irish used to have it, but since almost all Irish beggars were lame they just use 'bacah' = lame = beggar, now. [See tune "Maureen na ghiberlaun" on my website. We've been through this on an old thread, but I don't remember what it was called.

Child put the ballad in an appendix to #279, so it isn't a Child ballad (i.e., not "The Jolly Begar"). A. Ramsay printed it without music in 'Tea Table Miscallany', 1724, and W. Thomson gave it with music in 'Orpheus Caledonius', 1725 and 1733. It also appeared with music in John Walsh's 'The British Musical Miscellany', I, p. 50, 1734, with the note (apparently first found there) that 'tune by James V of Scotland'. In 'The Scots Musical Museum' it's song #226 (vol. 3). John Glen, 'Early Scottish Melodies', p. 134, was of the opinion that the tune was no older than the beginning of the 18th century.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gaberlunzie man
From: Hillheader
Date: 01 May 01 - 02:43 PM

My apologies.

I wanted to post the link to the previous thread but did not know how. I should have looked shouldn't I?

Again apologies


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gaberlunzie man
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 01 May 01 - 06:41 PM

davebhoy, I couldn't work out how to do 'blue clicky things' for a long time. Then Joe Offer showed me how, and I just copied his line into a separate file and cut and paste whenever I need to do one. It wouldn't work here (html), but I'll send you a PM.

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Subject: Lyr Add: The Gaberlunzie Man
Date: 17 Dec 02 - 01:30 AM

Lyr. Add: The Gaberlunzie Man
(Gaberlunzy, Gaberlunyie-Man)

The pauky auld carle came o'er the lee,
Wi many good eens and days to me,
Saying, 'Goodwife, for your courtesie,
Will ye lodge a silly poor old man?'
The night was cauld, the carle was wat,
And down ayont the ingle he sat
My daughter's shoulders he gan to clap,
And cadgily ranted and sang.

'O wow!' quo he, 'were I as free
As first when I saw this country,
How blyth and merry wad I be!
And I wad never think lang.'
He grew eanty, and she grew fain,
But little did her auld minny ken
What thir slee twa togither were sayn,
When wooing they were sa(e) thrang.

'And O!' quo he, 'ann ye were as black,
As eer the crown of your dady's hat,
'T is I wad lay thee by my back,
And awa' wi me thou shoud gang.'
'And O!' quo she, 'ann I were as white
As eer the snaw lay on the dike,
I'd clead me braw, and lady-like,
And awa with thee I'd gang.'

Between the twa was made a plot;
They raise a wee before the cock,
And wyliely they shot the lock,
And fast to the beat are they gane.
Up the morn the auld wife raise,
And at her leasure pat on her claiths;
Syne to the servants bed she gaes,
To speer for the silly poor man.

She gaed to the bed where the beggar lay,
The strae was cauld, he was away;
She clapt her hands, cry'd, 'Waladay!
For some of oour gear will be gane'.
Some ran to coffers, and some to kists,
But nought was stown that coud be mist;
She danc'd her lane, cry'd, 'Praise be blest,
I have lodged a leal poor man!'

'Since nathing's awa, as we can learn,
The kirn'ss to kirn and milk to earn;
Gae butt the house, lass, and waken my bairn,
And bid her come quickly ben.'
The servant gade where the daughter lay,
The sheets were cauld, she was away
And fast to her goodwife can say,
She's aff with the gaberlunyie-man.

'O fy, gar ride, and fy, gar rin,
And hast ye find these traitors agan
For she's be burnt, and be's he slain,
The wearifu gaberlunyie-man.'
Some rade upon horse, some ran a-fit,
The wife was wood and out o'er wit
She coud na gang, nor yet coud she sit,
But ay she cursd and she baud.

Mean time far hind outoer the lee,
Fou snug in a glen, where nane coud see,
The twa, with kindly sport and glee,
Cut frae a new cheese a whang.
The priving was good, it pleasd them baith,
To loe her for ay he gae her his aith;
Quo she, 'To leave thee, I will be laith,
My winsome gaberlunyie-man.'

'O kend my minny I were wi you,
Illfardly wad she crook her mou;
Sic a poor man she'd never trow,
After the gaberlunyie-man.'
'My dear,' quo he, 'ye'r yet oer young,
And ha na learnd the beggar's tongue,
To follow me frae town to town,
And carry the gaberlunyie on.'

'Wi kauk and keel, I'll win your bread,
And spindles whorles for them wha need,
Whilk is a gentil trade indeed,
To carry the gaberlunyie, O.
I'll bow my leg, and crook my knee,
And draw a black clout oer my eye;
A criple or blind they will cae me,
While we shall be merry and sing.'

From Leslie Nelson-Burns, the Contemplator. Gaberlunyie Man
"Said to have been written by James V of Scotland." Ballads were written of his amorous exploits.
The ballad first appeared, however, in 1724 in Ramsay's Tea Table Miscellany. "Child includes the ballad ... as an appendix to Child Ballad # 279 The Jolly Beggar." The tune is "John Highland Man" (Bodleian Library). There are several versions. "A broadside ballad "The Pollitick Beggar-Man" was entered in the Stationers' Register March 12, 1656...and was probably the basis for this Scottish ballad, according to notes with the song in the Contemplator..

Search turned up a couple of threads on apparently modern gaberlunyie songs but no reference to the song quoted here.
Most of the links to Child ballad # 279, "The Jolly Beggar," are included in thread 54733, Origins, Jolly Beggarman (Irish): Jolly Beggarman (Irish)

It seemed difficult to incorporate this song in a previous thread without causing more confusion, hence the new thread. It does not seem to have been posted nor placed in the DT lyrics.
Here are the notes from the Traditional Ballad Index.
-Joe Offer-

Gaberlunzie Man, The [Child 279A]

DESCRIPTION: A beggar comes to a lady's door and begs lodging. That night, he lures her daughter away with him. Later he returns to the lady's door and again begs lodging. The lady says she will never lodge a beggar again. He reveals her daughter, rich and happy
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1724 (Tea-Table Miscellany)
KEYWORDS: begging courting escape money elopement mother children disguise
FOUND IN: Britain(England,North),Scotland)) Ireland Canada(Mar) US(NE)
REFERENCES (7 citations):
Child 279 Appendix, "The Gaberlunyie-Man" (sic) (1 text)
Bronson (279 Appendix), "(The Jolly Beggar/The Gaberlunzie Man)" (49 versions)
Percy/Wheatley II, pp. 67-71, "The Gaberlunyie Man" (1 text)
SHenry H810, p. 269, "A Beggarman Cam' ower the Lea" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ord, pp.375-377, "The Beggar Man" (1 text, 1 tune)
MacSeegTrav 19, "The Gaberlunzie Man" (1 text, 1 tune)
BBI, ZN2346, "The silly poor man came over the lee" (?)

John Strachan, "The Beggarman (The Gaberlunzie Man)" (on FSBBAL2)
Maggie & Sarah Chambers, "The Beggarman (The Gaberlunzie Man)" (on FSB5 [as "The Auld Beggarman"], FSBBAL2)
Togo Crawford, "The Beggarman (The Gaberlunzie Man)" (on FSBBAL2)
Ewan MacColl, "The Beggar Man" (ESFB1, ESFB2)
cf. "The Jolly Beggar" [Child 279]
cf. "The Beggar-Laddie" [Child 280]
cf. "A Great Big Sea Hove in Long Beach" (tune & meter)
Notes: Although this ballad is associated in tradition with James V of Scotland, there is no evidence that he ever sought a woman in this fashion. James V in fact married a noble foreign lady, Mary of Guise-Lorraine.
Wheatley explains "Gaberlunyie" as a compound of "gaber," a wallet, and "lunyie," the loins, i.e. a Gaberlunyie man is one who carries a wallet by his side. The fact that the title vacillates between "Gaberlunyie" and "Gaberlunzie" implies that most singers were less aware of this than the average scholar....
For the relationship between this song and "The Jolly Beggar," see the notes to that song. Due to the degree of cross-fertilization of these ballads, one should be sure to check both songs to find all versions.- RBW
File: C279A

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2002 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Gaberlunzie Man
Date: 17 Dec 02 - 01:44 AM

See note by Bruce O, 17 July 00 in thread 23383" Beggarman Music and more complete notes.

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Subject: ADD Version: The Gaberlunzie Man
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Dec 02 - 02:24 AM

Here's a version from Sam Henry's Songs of the People


Oh, a beggarman cam' ower the lea,
An' he toul tidin's unto me,
He was luckin' for a help an' a charitee,
Wud ye lodge a beggarman?

Wae m' nantanoora-noora-nee,
Wae m' nanta-noora-rtoora-nee,
Wud ye lodge a beggarman?

Oh, the oul' wife wudnae let me stay,
An' the young yin wudnae let me gae,
So Ah throwed m' meal-poke tae the wa',
And I began tae sing.

Early nixt mor[n]in' the oul wife rose,
She missed the beggar and his clothes,
First tae the cupboard an' then tae the chist,
Naethin' ava there could be missed,
Wasn't he the honest oul' man?

When the kettle was boiled an' the breakfast made,
She went to waken the young fair maid,
But ah! a shout the mither gaed,
She's awa' wi' the beggarman.

Now seven long years was passed an' gone,
The beggar he cam' back again,
He was luckin' for a help an' a charitee,
Wud ye lodge a beggarman?

Oh, beggar, Ah'l lodge nane ava,
The last Ah lodged taen mae dauchter awa',
The last Ah lodged taen mae dauchter awa',
On' Ah think you're the very oul' man.
    1.2: toul = told.
    1.3: luckin' = looking.
    3.1: nixt = next.
    3.3: chist = chest.
    3.4: naethin' = nothing.

k: "Gaberlunzie Man," "The Beggarman."
Other titles: "The Auld (Dirty) (Ragged) Beggarman Gaberlunzie)," "The Barley Straw ," "The Beggar Laddie (Man) ," "He Wadna Lie in Barn," "The Jolly Beggar."

Source: George Graham (Cross Lane, Coleraine)from his grandfather, Joe Wilson (Roddenfoot, Ballymoney) from his grandfather (Ballymoney).
3 June 1939
I had to do a lot of looking to figure out what k: meant in the notes - it designates the titles Peter Kennedy gives to the song. Go figure.

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Subject: ADD Version: Remember the Barley Straw
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Dec 02 - 02:49 AM

In Peter Kennedy's Folksongs of Britain and Ireland, the primary title of the song is "Remember the Barley Straw." It's cross-indexed as "Beggar Man" or "Gaberlunzie Man."


1. So it's of a jolly old farmer, lived in the West Count-e-rie
He had the finest daughter, that ever my eyes did see
He had a lovely daughter, so comely kind and free
And many a gallant nobleman, they sought her comp-a-nie

2. 'Tis of a rich young squire, was living at close by
And he vowed he wouldn't be easy, until he'd had a try
So he dressed himself as a tinker, and travelled on his way
Until he came to the farmer's house, was standing at close by

3. O have you got any kettles, any pots or pans to mend
Or have you got any lodgings, my being a single man?
O no, replied this pretty fair maid, not thinking any harm
O you can stay with us all night, if you sleep in our old barn

4. So after tea was over, she went to make his bed
The tinker following after, which stole her maidenhead
The tinker being nimble, jumped up and barred the door
And she slept all night in the tinker's arms, amongst the barley straw

5. Now since you've slept with me all night, don't think me none the worse
He put his hand in his pocket, and pulled out a heavy purse
Here's fifty pound I will give you, to pay the nurse's fee
And if ever I come this way again, fair maid, I'll marry thee

6. So now you cannot marry me, pray tell to me your name
Likewise your occupation, and where and whence you came
He whispered softly in her ear: O call me Davie Shaw
And if ever I come this way again, remember the barley straw

7. Now six months being over, and nine months being come
This pretty little fair maid was the mother of a son
The old man cried: O daughter dear, who has done you this harm?
I'm afraid it was the old tinker that slept in our old barn

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Gaberlunzie Man
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Dec 02 - 02:53 AM

I think the first set of lyrics Q posted is the version from Child, #279-Appendix.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Gaberlunzie Man
Date: 17 Dec 02 - 02:18 PM

Yes, lyrics I posted are noted in Contemplator as those of Child 279 Appendix.
Ramsay's Tea Table Miscellany, 1724, in which The Gaberlunzie Man first appeared, is known in only two copies, one at Yale, the other at the Huntington Library in California. However, it had gone through 14 editions by 1876 (Glasgow, E. Forrester). This is a two-volume set. Anyone have it?
This research library has many rare books of songs. Their catalogue is on line at Huntington

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Date: 19 Dec 02 - 10:51 PM


Who got the love of a pretty maid,
And on her Cittern sweetly plaid;
At last she flung her Milkpail over the well
And bid the De'l take the Milk-pail,
Maiden-head and all.

Tune is, There was a Jovial Beggar.

There was a jovial Beggar-man, a begging he was bound,
And he did seek his living in Country and in Town.
With a long staff and a patcht coat, he pranc'd along the pad,
And by report of many a one, he was a proper lad;
His cheeks were like the crimson rose, his forehead smooth and high,
And he was the bravest Beggar-man that ever I saw with eye.

He came unto a Farmer's gate, and for an Alms did crave,
The Maid did like the Beggar-man, and good relief she gave;
She took him by the Lilly hand, and set him to the fire,
Which was as well, as tongue could tell, or heart of man desire.


A curious mess of firmaty for him she did provide,
With a lovely cup of nut-brown Ale, and Sugar-sops beside;
When he thus found the Maiden's love, and got so good a prize,
It made his instrument to move, and spirits for to rise.


Sweet-heart give me some lodging, that I all night may stay,
Or else give me my answer, that I may go to that way;
The Maid went to the Hay-mow and fetcht a bottle of hay,
And laid it behind the Parlor-door, on which the Beggar-man lay;


Resolve me, said the maiden, if that you will or can,
For I do verily believe, thou art a Gentleman;
In truth then said the Beggar, my Parents they are poor,
And I do seek my living each day from door to door;


'Tis pitty said the Maiden fair, that such a lively lad,
Should be a Beggars only heir, a Fortune poor and bad,
I wish that my condition were of the same degree,
Then hand in hand I'de quickly wend throughout the World with thee;


When he perceiv'd the maiden's mind, and that her heart was his,
He did embrace her in his arms, and sweetly did her kiss,
And with one free and joynt consent he prickt her master-vein,
And liking well this lesson new, he struck it up again;

In lovely sport and merriment the night away they spent,
In Venus game for their delight, and both their hearts content;
A Beggar-man was mettle proof, in shooting he did not miss,
And every time he toucht the mark, she sweetly did him kiss;


Betimes in the morning then, As soon as it was day,
He left the Damosel fast asleep, and nimbly budg'd away,
When he from her an hour was gone, the Damosel did wake,
And seeing the Beggar-man not there, her heart began to ack;


Then did she sigh and wring her hands, the tears did trickling pour,
For loosing her virginity, and Virgin's maiden flower;
When twenty weeks were come & gone, her heart was something sad,
Because she found herself with Bairn, and does not know the Dad;


There is, I see, no remedy, for what is past and gone,
And many a one that laughs at me, may do as I have done;
Then she did take her Milk pail, and flung it over the well,
O the Devil may go with my Milk-pail, my Maiden head and all;


You Maidens fair, where e're you are, keep up your store and goods,
For when that some have got their wills, they'l leave you in the suds,
Let no man tempt you nor entice, be not too fond and coy,
But soon agree to loyalty, your freedom to enjoy;


F. Coles, T. Vere, J. Wright and J. Clarke, printers, ca. 1674-1679.

Tune direction- "There was a Jovial Beggar-man," from the ballad opera "Sylvia," Air # 6, 1731 B552 in Olson.
Source of Child # 279, "The Jolly Beggar." Several songs in the British Isles about wandering beggars and vagabonds tell this story, this 17th century version being the oldest known.

Copied from Scarce Songs 1 in Section 2, Bruce Olson's Website. Olson Index page

Some versions of the song are in Mudcat DT. A version of the Jolly Beggar, as sung by Willie Mathieson, was posted by Abby Sale in thread 14627: Jolly Beggar .
"The Pollitick Beggar-Man" is put here because this thread has the most material.
As noted in postings above, the Irish songs ("Gaberlunzie Man," etc.), perhaps should be separated from "The Jolly Beggar" and this song, which belong to the Child # 279 group.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Gaberlunzie Man
From: Abby Sale
Date: 08 Apr 07 - 11:59 AM

This has long, long been my favorite ballad and one of the first I ever learned. From MacColl. I liked it even more when I learned how Scots tend to sing it.Eg, Enoch Kent.

Now, I'll be singing it this Tuesday since James V (Scotland) was born Apr 10, 1512 (d.12/14/1542). Of course, I know that neither did he write it, nor is it about him and it likely predates him all together - but so what? Happy Jim's birthday this Tuesday.

A question re the verse (similar to above):

Meanwhile far oot ower yon lea,
Fu' snug in a glen where nane could see,
The twa wi' muckle sport and glee
Frae a new cheese cut a whang.   [slice]

What's that last line mean? Well, the meaning's obvious from context but has anyone a notion how it's derived?

BTW, as to it's placement in "The Canon," even Bronson finds it "difficult to guess why" it was placed at 279 Appendix, textually or musically. It's much closer to 280.

The 'z' in Gaberlunzie seems to just be a misprint for a` 'y'. Not uncommon to have (and carry forward) misprints in them days. They didn't often use Spellchek.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Gaberlunzie Man
From: masato sakurai
Date: 08 Apr 07 - 12:30 PM

See Two ancient Scottish poems; the Gaberlunzie-man and Christ's kirk on the green. With notes and observations by John Callander (1782) at Internet Archive.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Gaberlunzie Man
From: Abby Sale
Date: 08 Apr 07 - 10:06 PM

Good book, masato. Never seen that book before. Good page-flip thingy, too. It doesn't appear to address the phrase, though. Jumps from 'frae' to 'whang' as far as I see.

I'm now thinking the phrase boils down to 'they dispensed with her maidenhead.'

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Gaberlunzie Man
From: GUEST,Scotus (minus cookie)
Date: 08 Apr 07 - 10:57 PM

Weel Abby, I think yer jist 'on the money' there!

Child explained that the 'z' in gaberlunzie was silent as it was representing a redundant letter in the ancient Scots alphabet which wasn't pronounced (go figger!). You can see other examples of this in present day Scots placenames and family names (Menzies for instance - think of the US jazz bassist Charlie Mingus - that's how it's pronounced!).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Gaberlunzie Man
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 09 Apr 07 - 01:27 AM

Not in any 'ancient Scots' alphabet as such (where did Child comment on it? I don't recall seeing that); perhaps what you remember is a comment to the effect that when Old English adopted the Latin alphabet for writing, it used (mostly) the Irish forms of the Latin letters, which were conveniently available from religious centres in Northumbria and, as time went on, from missionaries at all good shops.

The character in question is 'yogh', a form of the 'g' symbol. I (and others) have explained it in other discussions here, but it resembled a tailed z. As an initial spirant it was pronounced more or less as 'y'; as a medial or final spirant it represented a sort of gutteral sound approaching 'gh'; in glossaries of medieval English it is usually placed (alphabetically speaking) between g and h.

The character gradually fell out of use -rather later in Scotland than in England- and was usually substituted with z (sometimes y) in print transcriptions from older sources. In later Middle English it gradually lost its phonetic value in orthography. It is a very underprivileged character, having, so far as I can tell, no html code to represent it. This seems rather unfair, besides being a nuisance for medievalists with websites.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Gaberlunzie Man
From: Abby Sale
Date: 09 Apr 07 - 10:33 AM

Would you know where the long s goes alphabetically? I've wondered that for years since I first saw Herd's glossary. Although it didn't seem to ever start a word. And in some songs, the same word might be used once with it +s then as 'ss'.

Yer right there, Jack. We lived in Edinburgh about three years before we could say Menzies Book Store without pausing and thinking about it first.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gaberlunzie man
From: GUEST,Scott
Date: 05 May 12 - 12:16 PM

Does anyone the Gaberlunzie version of this song?...Starts thus: "the Gaberlunzie came o'er the hill....". ...?

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