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Origin: Killiecrankie

DigiTrad:
KILLIECRANKIE


Related thread:
Killiecrankie:Anyone play it? (56)


Charcloth 23 Dec 00 - 05:19 PM
Malcolm Douglas 23 Dec 00 - 08:46 PM
Jimmy C 23 Dec 00 - 10:47 PM
Charcloth 23 Dec 00 - 11:18 PM
Fiolar 24 Dec 00 - 05:26 AM
John Nolan 24 Dec 00 - 07:15 AM
GUEST,Murray on Saltspring 25 Dec 00 - 04:29 AM
Charcloth 25 Dec 00 - 09:41 AM
GUEST,John McElwain 25 Jul 02 - 12:18 PM
CET 02 Apr 08 - 06:53 PM
GUEST,Billy 02 Apr 08 - 08:56 PM
Rapparee 02 Apr 08 - 09:59 PM
mg 03 Apr 08 - 12:30 PM
CET 03 Apr 08 - 04:44 PM
GUEST,Ian Green 12 Jun 08 - 07:17 PM
trevek 13 Jun 08 - 05:01 PM
GUEST,GUEST --- Jim Neil 21 Aug 08 - 02:23 PM
RobbieWilson 21 Aug 08 - 07:47 PM
goatfell 22 Aug 08 - 04:14 AM
CET 22 Aug 08 - 11:42 AM
GUEST 23 Aug 08 - 04:08 AM
GUEST 23 Aug 08 - 07:30 AM
GUEST,Jack 08 Apr 13 - 02:39 PM
Allan Conn 09 Apr 13 - 03:14 AM
Keith A of Hertford 09 Apr 13 - 04:01 AM
Scabby Douglas 09 Apr 13 - 06:35 AM
GUEST,HughM 09 Apr 13 - 07:49 AM
Lighter 09 Apr 13 - 05:32 PM
Allan Conn 09 Apr 13 - 06:43 PM
Allan Conn 09 Apr 13 - 06:50 PM
Lighter 09 Apr 13 - 09:33 PM
GUEST,Allan Conn 10 Apr 13 - 02:08 AM
Lighter 10 Apr 13 - 11:46 AM
Allan Conn 10 Apr 13 - 04:43 PM
Allan Conn 10 Apr 13 - 05:11 PM
Lighter 01 Jun 13 - 11:12 PM
GUEST,Allan Conn 02 Jun 13 - 04:30 AM
Tattie Bogle 02 Jun 13 - 04:59 AM
GUEST 02 Jun 13 - 01:51 PM
GUEST,Lady Ancebelle 02 Jun 13 - 02:21 PM
Lighter 03 Jun 13 - 05:16 PM
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Subject: background on Killiecrankie
From: Charcloth
Date: 23 Dec 00 - 05:19 PM

I have been listening to the Corries do "Killiecrankie" and allthough I roughly know what the song is about I really can't tell you by the words maybe I just don't know enough Scottish history or Scotts words . Any way could one of you fine folks explain the different verses to me I would greatly appreciate it


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Subject: RE: background on Killiecrankie
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 23 Dec 00 - 08:46 PM

You could do worse (for a start) than have a look at this discussion from last year:  Killiecrankie:Anyone play it?  which contains some useful background information.

Malcolm


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Subject: Lyr Add: KILLIECRANKIE
From: Jimmy C
Date: 23 Dec 00 - 10:47 PM

Charcloth: This is a little of what I have on the song, it's by no means complete, I got this off the Internet somewhere, just can't remember where. I believe there may have been more information there as well. Maybe some Scot can decipher words like Brankie-o, Cantie-o, bauld pitchur, Furr, Clavers. I hope this helps.

KILLIECRANKIE

Whaur hae ye been sae braw, lad?
Whaur hae ye been sae brankie-o?
Whaur hae ye been sae braw, lad?
Cam' ye by Killiecrankie-o?

  An' ye had been whaur I hae been
  Ye wadna been sae cantie-o
  An' ye had seen what I hae seen
  On the braes o' Killiecrankie-o

I fought at land, I fought at sea
At hame I fought my auntie-o
But I met the Devil and Dundee
On the braes o' Killiecrankie-o

The bauld pitcur fell in a furr
And Clavers gat a crankie-o
Or I had fed an Athol gled
On the braes o' Killiecrankie-o

Oh fie, MacKay, What gart ye lie
I' the brush ayont the brankie-o?
Ye'd better kiss'd King Willie's loff
Than come tae Killiecrankie-o

  It's nae shame, it's nae shame
  It's nae shame to shank ye-o
  There's sour slaes on Athol braes
  And the de'ils at Killiecrankie-o

Refers to battle in 1689, where winner, Graham of Claverhouse (Bonnie Dundee) was slain, ending Jacobite hopes. Printed in Buchan and Hall's The Scottish Folksinger. Recorded by Ewan MacColl.

SOF


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Subject: RE: background on Killiecrankie
From: Charcloth
Date: 23 Dec 00 - 11:18 PM

thanks folks but thus far I still am puzzled perhaps if I lay out the references that bamboozle me some one can help me go "duh". In the 1st verse who is he refering to as dressing guadily (brankie). Next who was the "bold pitcur" & what was his fate. Last who was MacKay & what did he do? Thanks again


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Subject: RE: background on Killiecrankie
From: Fiolar
Date: 24 Dec 00 - 05:26 AM

MacKay was General Hugh Mackay (c1640 - 1692). He served under Monmouth in Europe and later transferred his allegience to William of Orange. He was recalled to England in 1685 to fight against Monmouth in the rebellion of that year. He then returned to Europe and in 1688 returned to England with William. He was made commander-in-chief of the Williamite forces in Scotland and marched against Claverhouse (Bonnie Dundee). Although the winners at Killiecrankie, the Jacobites lost the charasmatic Dundee and later suffered a defeat at Cromdale. See the ballad, The Haughs of Cromdale. MacKay after a period of service in Ireland was killed in the Netherlands. M


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Subject: RE: background on Killiecrankie
From: John Nolan
Date: 24 Dec 00 - 07:15 AM

gled = a bird like a kite or a buzzard; or a rapacious, greedy person


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Subject: RE: background on Killiecrankie
From: GUEST,Murray on Saltspring
Date: 25 Dec 00 - 04:29 AM

The song is addressed to a soldier, asked why he's all kitted out and where he's been. Pitcur, who fell in a furr, was Haliburton of Pitcur [a fine old Pictish place-name], fighting on Dundee's side, who fell in a drainage ditch. The speaker is evidently on the other side, that of Mackay. This song, to a great traditional tune of maybe the same date as the battle, is not completely folk, because it was certainly fiddled with by Burns.


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Subject: RE: background on Killiecrankie
From: Charcloth
Date: 25 Dec 00 - 09:41 AM

Thank you Murray & Fiolar you helped quite a bit. Merry Christmas to you


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Subject: RE: background on Killiecrankie
From: GUEST,John McElwain
Date: 25 Jul 02 - 12:18 PM

As to the rest of the terms in question:

"brankie-o" - refers to a spruce tree, meaning that the young soldier that the veteran is talking to appears strong and hearty.

"cantie-o" - means light-hearted or merry. The veteran is annoyed with the young man's flippant attitude and demeanor.

"furr" - furrow. [See explanation above by GUEST.Murray on Saltspring]

"Clavers" - the name given Bonnie Dundee by his enemies, usually "Bluidy Clavers." It is short for Claverhouse. John Graham was lord of Claverhouse before being created Viscount Dundee by James VII.


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Subject: RE: background on Killiecrankie
From: CET
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 06:53 PM

Just a few words that still escape me:

It's nae shame to shank ye-o
There's sour slaes on Athol braes

Can anyone help?


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Subject: RE: background on Killiecrankie
From: GUEST,Billy
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 08:56 PM

Shank is a leg and to shank-it is to run away.
Slaes are SLOES - the fruit of the Blackthorn. Very bitter and used to make sloe gin. (It could also be an allegory to those who were on the losing side).


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Subject: RE: background on Killiecrankie
From: Rapparee
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 09:59 PM

I don't see anything to indicate that a veteran is talking, but rather that someone is asking about Killiecrankie and someone who has been there is responding.
----------------------
Whaur hae ye been sae braw, lad? (Where have you been so fine, lad?
Whaur hae ye been sae brankie-o? (Where have you been so gay?
Whaur hae ye been sae braw, lad? (Where have you been so fine, lad?
Cam' ye by Killiecrankie-o? (Did you come by Killiecrankie?

An' ye had been whaur I hae been (If you had been where I have been
Ye wadna been sae cantie-o   (You would not be so cheerful/happy
An' ye had seen what I hae seen (If you had seen what I have seen
On the braes o' Killiecrankie-o (On the slopes/hills of Killiecrankie

I fought at land, I fought at sea
At hame I fought my auntie-o    (At home I fought my aunt
But I met the Devil and Dundee
On the braes o' Killiecrankie-o

The bauld pitcur fell in a furr
And Clavers gat a crankie-o (And Clavers got a insecure/unsteady
Or I had fed an Athol gled
On the braes o' Killiecrankie-o

Oh fie, MacKay, What gart ye lie (Oh fie, McKay, What made you lie
I' the brush ayont the brankie-o? (In the brush among the gay?
Ye'd better kiss'd King Willie's loff (loof=palm of the hand
Than come tae Killiecrankie-o
-------------
The translations come from our own Mudcat Cafe Scots' Glossary. "Gay" of course refers to "carefree".

There may or may not be a clue as to the identity of the responder in the line about "at home I fought my aunt."


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Subject: RE: background on Killiecrankie
From: mg
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 12:30 PM

http://youtube.com/watch?v=fdQhefFBY4E

There you go. I have Obamamania over this guy....mg


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Subject: RE: background on Killiecrankie
From: CET
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 04:44 PM

Rapaire's interpretation is reasonable, but I think the whole poem is a recitation by a soldier who has fought at Killiecrankie. He begins by asking someone(evidently a younger man) why he (the younger man) is so cheerful and well turned out: Did you come from Killiecrankie?
The narrator goes on to say in effect "If you had gone through what I did, you wouldn't be so damn cheerful because I've just met the Devil and Dundee at Killiecrankie." Hence, the story is told by an older man who has survived the battle of Killiecrankie.


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Subject: RE: background on Killiecrankie
From: GUEST,Ian Green
Date: 12 Jun 08 - 07:17 PM

Rapaires version is slightly different form my understanding and
the words as tinkered with by Robert Burns which say "And Clavers gat a Clankie - O. Clearly this seems to refer to John Graham of Claverhouse. Clankie (as opposed to Crankie) mean a sharp blow which seems to mean that Clavers received a sharp blow. This may describe his death. Just to make things more obscure, the word "Clavers" also means idle talk or rumour and it was just this which allegedly caused the lack of faith in King James and brought about the state of affairs by which he was exiled. Of course had there been no idle rumour , there would have been no conflict (until something else caused it)


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Subject: RE: background on Killiecrankie
From: trevek
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 05:01 PM

wikipedia is always useful (and occasionally accurate!).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Killiecrankie

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braes_o%27_Killiecrankie


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Subject: RE: Origin: Killiecrankie
From: GUEST,GUEST --- Jim Neil
Date: 21 Aug 08 - 02:23 PM

The part that puzzles me is why he should fight his auntie! Could it be a nickname for Mary II who was joint ruler with William III or could it be a reference to the way in which families were divided and fought against each other? Anybody got any other ideas?


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Subject: RE: Origin: Killiecrankie
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 21 Aug 08 - 07:47 PM

ye widna been sae brankieo I had always thaught was a reference to branks, a kind of scolds bride device I saw in an Edinburgh museum


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Subject: RE: Origin: Killiecrankie
From: goatfell
Date: 22 Aug 08 - 04:14 AM

aye and the battle lasted for 10 mins


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Subject: RE: Origin: Killiecrankie
From: CET
Date: 22 Aug 08 - 11:42 AM

I think the bit about the auntie is just a joke, i.e. he's such a fightin' fool that he even manages to fight his auntie when he's not away fighting battles on land and sea.

In any case, the narrator of the song fought against Bonnie Dundee, and on the side of William and Mary.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Killiecrankie
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Aug 08 - 04:08 AM

Could be, CET.   And 'auntie' is such a handy word for rhyming purposes. I'm told that Burns used it quite a lot ---- in fact, he might have written that verse.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Killiecrankie
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Aug 08 - 07:30 AM

It was actually William II of Scotland, III of England


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Subject: RE: Origin: Killiecrankie
From: GUEST,Jack
Date: 08 Apr 13 - 02:39 PM

In April 1689 John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee or "Bonnie Dundee", raised the standard of James VII on the hill Dundee Law, in the city of Dundee, Scotland. His support came from the Catholic Highland Clans (mostly from Clans Cameron, Donald, Stuart and McLean) and became known as the "Jacobites" including Hallyburton of Pitcur. Coming from Inverness over the Corrieyairack and Drumochter Passes, he had raided Perth on 10 May 1689.

Hugh McKay was commander-in-chief of the Government forces in Scotland known as the "Covenanters" or less commonly "Williamites" for their support of William III of Orange. They marched against the Jacobites. His forces largely came from the Scottish Lowlands but also included professional Highland soldiers who fought against their close relatives (a possible solution for the "Auntie" question).

On 26 July 1689, although they were outnumbered 2 to 1, the Jacobites ambushed the Covenanter army of 4000 men under General Hugh McKay at the Pass of Killiecrankie which is a very narrow and steeply sided mountain pass between Blair Atholl and Pitlochry, in Perthshire. The Jacobites overwhelmed the Covenanters and their victory was absolute, however Dundee had been mortally wounded in the initial charge down the hillside. He could direct the battle and learn of his victory but died soon after. The Jacobites had no leader capable of replacing him and were later defeated at the Battle of Dunkeld. The first Jacobite Uprising ended on 1 May 1690.

I grew up understanding brankie to be a reference to violence (perhaps an extension of the military comparison to a spruce tree being taken yet a step farther from the original). With that in mind you see a slightly different scene with the phrase "Whaur hae ye been sae brankie-o" being a reference to the soldier being covered in blood/gore. For "Or I had fed an Atholl/Athole gled" I've heard a variety of interpretations, gled being a type of bird feeding on corpses or by colloquialism a type of person with a variety of motives and atholl referencing Blair Atholl at one end of Killiecrankie or Athole being an old name for Perthshire. As far as the Auntie bit, while it could be a reference to Mary or the fact that he may have encountered close relatives on the battlefield my personal belief is that Burn's simply inserted it as a euphemism like saying "I've fought everyone". With all that in mind the translation I was taught from childhood goes as follows:

Whaur hae ye been sae braw, lad?   Where have you been, fine lad?
Whaur hae ye been sae brankie-o?    Where have you been so violently?
Whaur hae ye been sae braw, lad?    Where have you been, fine lad?
Cam' ye by Killiecrankie-o?         Did you come from Killicrankie?

Aye an' ye had been whaur I hae been Aye and if you'd been where I've
Ye wadna been sae cantie-o          Ye wouldn't be so cheerful [been
Aye an' ye had seen what I hae seen Aye and if you'd seen what I've
On the braes o' Killiecrankie-o    On the hills of Killiecrankie[seen

I fought at land, I fought at sea I fought at home I fought at sea
At hame I fought my auntie-o       At home I fought my auntie
But I met the Devil and Dundee    But I met the Devil and Dundee
On the braes o' Killiecrankie-o    On the hills of Killiecrankie

The bauld Pitcur fell in a furr    The bold Pitcur fell in a furrow
And Clavers gat a clankie-o       And Claverhouse got knocked
Or I had fed an Athol gled         Or I had fed and Atholl/Athole gled
On the braes o' Killiecrankie-o    On the hills of Killicrankie

Oh fie, MacKay, What gart ye lie Oh fie MacKay, what made you lie
I' the brush ayont the brankie-o? In the brush beyond the battle?
Ye'd better kiss'd King Willie's loff[It would've been better if you'd
                                             kissed King Williams hand
Than come tae Killiecrankie-o    than come to Killicrankie

It's nae shame, no it's nae shame It's no shame, no it's no shame
It's nae shame to shank ye-o      It's no shame to flee
There's sour slaes on Athol braes There's sour sloes on Atholl/Athole
And the de'ils at Killiecrankie-o And the devils at Killicrankie[hills


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Subject: RE: Origin: Killiecrankie
From: Allan Conn
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 03:14 AM

"His support came from the Catholic Highland Clans (mostly from Clans Cameron, Donald, Stuart and McLean) and became known as the "Jacobites" including Hallyburton of Pitcur."

I'm not sure about the make up of the army itself at Killiecrankie but the idea that Dundee's support in general came from Catholics isn't really true. Allan Macinnes (Professor of History at Aberdeen Uni) in his "Clanship, Commerce and the House of Stuart" lists 50 separate clans who were significant enough to be able to act on their own. Of these only 6 are listed as Catholics. He lists 28 clans who supported Dundee's rising. Like all of the Jacobite Rebellions in Scotland the bulk of the Jacobites were Episcopalians. That is Scottish Anglicans. It was aligned to the long struggle between the Episcopalians and Presbyterians as to the nature of the Church of Scotland and the relationship between said church and state.

The 6 classed as Catholic did all come out. That is the MacDonalds of Glengarry, ClanRanald, and Keppoch; as well as McNeil of Barra; Chisholm of Strathglass and the Gordons.

The McGregors came out and are described as mixed Episcopalian and Catholic. There were another 5 clans were described as being mixed Presbyterian/Episcopalian/Catholic in their religious affiliations and 4 of these came out. That is the MacDonalds of Sleat. The MacDonnells of Antrim, the Camerons and the Frasers of Lovet. Clan Grant were divided politically as well as religiously.

There is another 17 clans who came out and 9 of these are described as Episcopalians. This includes the McLeans of Duart and the McLeans of Ardgour as well as the Stewarts of Appin. Another 9 are described as mixed Episcopalian/Presbyterian.

None of the clans described as Presbyterian came out which is of course maybe understandable as both Dundee and James VII himself had been heavily involved in the persecution of the Presbyterians.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Killiecrankie
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 04:01 AM

A serious story of dramatic events rendered comic by the image of a man battling his auntie.
There must be a lost meaning.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Killiecrankie
From: Scabby Douglas
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 06:35 AM

"A serious story of dramatic events rendered comic by the image of a man battling his auntie."

But it's not entirely serious, even if you omit the reference to the auntie. There's real sarcastic mockery in line "Fie, MacKay..." and dark humour in the description of how "bold Pitcur" ends up in a ditch.

Furthermore, using words that have to rhyme with "Killiecrankie" does impart an unavoidable bounce and jauntiness to the narrative.

To me, it's in a similar vein to "Cam Ye Oer Frae France?" and "Johnnie Cope" which sardonically commemorate and satirise undeniably serious, even grim, events.

It's a very Scottish thing to do...


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Subject: RE: Origin: Killiecrankie
From: GUEST,HughM
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 07:49 AM

I thought the bush was "ayont(beyond)the bankie-o".


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Subject: RE: Origin: Killiecrankie
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 05:32 PM

What is the evidence that *any* of the words are older than Burns?


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Subject: RE: Origin: Killiecrankie
From: Allan Conn
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 06:43 PM

"I thought the bush was "ayont(beyond)the bankie-o".

Brankie-o as far as I know. That's certainly what I sing just about every week and that is what the Corries sing. Interestingly though in the "Complete Illustrated Poems, Songs and Ballads of Robert Burns" the last two verses (ie the Fye mackay and the Nae Shame verses) are missing. Don't know if these are later non-Burns verses or if he had these in some versions of his?


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Subject: RE: Origin: Killiecrankie
From: Allan Conn
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 06:50 PM

"I grew up understanding brankie to be a reference to violence"

I think the word has two different meanings in this song. In the Fie Mackay verse I think you are right - but in the first verse it has a completely different meaning. The Chambers Scots Dictionary gives the meaning as being "vain, puffed up, to prance".

Basically the narrator is a Hanovarian soldier who in the aftermath of the battle meets another Hanovarian soldier who hasn't been at the battle. He is saying that he wouldn't be so vain, or in the chorus so cantie (ie cheerful) if he had been at Killiecrankie.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Killiecrankie
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 09:33 PM

The "Concise Scots Dictionary," published by Aberdeen University Press, defines the adjective "brankie" as an 18th century word meaning "finely or showily dressed."

"Whare hae ye been sae braw, lad?" means "Where have you been looking so splendid, lad?" The "lad" is one of William of Orange's uniformed soldiers.

"Or I had fed an Athole gled" means "Otherwise I'd have fed an Atholl kite (or buzzard)." In other words, "if Pitcur and Claverhouse ("Bonnie Dundee") hadn't been killed by a blow, I'd have been dead myself."

"Ayont the bankie, O" makes sense, but it is almost always printed "brankie-o," which seems not to. It could be a typo influenced by the first, and genuine, "brankie, O" and copied over and over.

The version from Burns in 1790 lacks the final two stanzas. They were added by the poet James Hogg when he printed the song in 1819.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Killiecrankie
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 02:08 AM

The CSD actually gives three definitions for the word 'brank'. The 2nd definition is "bear oneself proudly, prance, strut" and the 3rd one is "dress in finery". So both these definitions would fit in with Burn's usage in verse one.

However the 1st definition it gives for the word is "behave violently or without restraint" which would fit in with Hogg's (thanks Lighter for bringing the Shepherd's contribution to light) description of the battle in his verse. I think it far more likely that Hogg uses the word in the sense that Jack suggests that it just being a typo mistake. It just one of those words which has two completely different meanings. I always thought it a bit lazy of Burns to use it twice to mean completely different things - but if the second instance was added later by Hogg then that explains it. Hogg was a wee bit lazy or unimaginative.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Killiecrankie
From: Lighter
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 11:46 AM

But the first "brankie" in the song is an adjective, not a verb or a noun. That makes all the difference.

Conceivably, Hogg used it as a noun in the the Mackay stanza with a meaning like "violent strife," but there seems to be no trace of anyone else ever doing so. Whatever the truth of it, "bankie" seems to make clearer sense.

James Currie's 1800 edition of Burns's songs and poems defines "brankie" as "gaudy, spruce." That's the only sense in the Oxford English Dictionary as well, which quotes Burns alone - which is curious if the word had ever been common.

The OED has nothing on the noun "brankie." Nor does Jamieson's "Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language" (1808).

Even bankie ("a little bank of earth") appears to have been coined specifically for the purpose of finding yet another rhyme for "Killiecrankie"! If Hogg was daring enough, I suppose he could have turned the obsolete 15th Century verb "brankie" into a noun meaning "violent strife," with Mackay hiding in a bush "ayont" it, but the evidence of the leading Scots dictionaries suggests that even in 1819 few readers would have known what he meant.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Killiecrankie
From: Allan Conn
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 04:43 PM

This first brankie is an adjective but I don't see what the issue is with that. The second use looks like the same word but has a totally different meaning. There are lots of words like that. For instance the word 'bank' can be a noun meaning either a high street savings bank, or a piece of sloping ground, or it can be a verb in the sense of a plane banking over. There is nothing unusual about words having multiple meanings. Why should Scots words be any different. Jamieson came from my neck of the woods and no doubt did a great job but his work was not of the scope of the Scottish National Dictionary which was 70 years in the making and the CSD is a abbreviated version of that. It dates the use of "brank" as to act violently from the early 15thC. So they are not just dating that from the works of Hogg being typed incorrectly. To me it is simply saying "what makes you hide in the brush beyond the fight". I see no reason to suppose that everyone has been singing an incorrect word from a typo for the past couple of centuries. Saying that there is no reason that someone couldn't sing 'bankie-o' if they wanted!!


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Subject: RE: Origin: Killiecrankie
From: Allan Conn
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 05:11 PM

Sorry ignore the my neck of the woods bit. I was thinking James Murray and his dictionary. Point still stands though. The SND (and the related DOST)was a far bigger project than any of these earlier Scots dictionaries


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Subject: RE: Origin: Killiecrankie
From: Lighter
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 11:12 PM

The SND has "brank" as a 15th century verb. But Hogg's printed "brankie" was a noun in the 19th - a noun that, as far as I can discover, appears nowhere outside of this song and discussions of it. That would be rather curious if it were authentic.

Of course words can have more than one meaning. But the genuine to "brank" and the suspicious "brankie" are two different words (spelled and pronounced differently) besides being two different parts of speech. They have different meanings. Think of English "mug" (a bloke) and "muggy" (humid). One cannot deduce the meaning of either one just from looking at the spelling and meaning of the other.

Much the same goes for "brank" and "brankie." "To behave violently" is not the same idea as "a battle." The ideas are not interchangeable - though they would obviously be related *if* "brankie" were real.

But would Hogg use a word that none of his readers who was less than 400 years old would understand?

I believe people sing "brankie" instead of "bankie" because most of them are afraid to change the received lyrics. Non-Scots are unlikely even to think of "bankie," a natural coinage in Scots but not in other forms of English. (It's too bad that "bankie" doesn't appear anywhere else either, but at least it fits the context with no distortion of meaning or grammar.)

Of the two choices available, only "bankie" makes sense in Hogg's line. Perfect sense, in fact. (This is the kind of interpretation that editors of Shakespeare have to do all the time: the earliest printings of the plays are often a mess of misprints and apparently imaginary words.)

Of course, if anyone can find even *one* clear example of "brankie" used before James Hogg as a real noun meaning "strife or battle" or anything like it, I will happily change my opinion.

Because then the mystery will have been solved.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Killiecrankie
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 02 Jun 13 - 04:30 AM

Well without scouring through every early Scots book for something that may not exist in print anyway can you show early use of "bankie" as you suggest it? As you are the one who is trying to change the words of the lyric then surely the onus is on yourself. As for words being verbs and nouns again I see no problem with that. even in English the word 'battle' itself can be used as both. Of course there is nothing wrong with changing words in existing songs just that if you do use 'bankie' instead of 'brankie' then you're going to get people commenting on it!


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Subject: RE: Origin: Killiecrankie
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 02 Jun 13 - 04:59 AM

From a Burns-themed session this last January - "we don't know any Burns songs, so we'll do you a Corries' song" - they sang Killiecrankie! ( OK, may have been tinkered with, but in the Complete Works as has been said above, and yes to "brankie").

And please, please, please. (08.04.13..) ......never BURN'S....if you feel the need for an apostrophe, put it after the man's surname which is BURNS or BURNES not BURN.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Killiecrankie
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jun 13 - 01:51 PM

http://bettylou.zzruss.com/corries.htm

For chords to this and other Corries Songs


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Subject: RE: Origin: Killiecrankie
From: GUEST,Lady Ancebelle
Date: 02 Jun 13 - 02:21 PM

Aye, as brave as he was beautiful.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Killiecrankie
From: Lighter
Date: 03 Jun 13 - 05:16 PM

Burns seems to have been inspired by two songs on one broadside sheet in the National Library of Scotland: "Killychrankie" [sic] and "An Answer to Killychrankie." Neither bears any real resemblance to Burns's poem, but "Killychrankie" contains the words "Clinkim Clankim" (i.e., "wham bang") and observes that the Williamites thought the "Devil was there."

The "Answer" mentions that "Pitcur fell in a furr."

Other than these, no trace anywhere of a song that Burns could have "interfered with." The evidence shows that the song "Killiecrankie" was written by Robert Burns and extended by James Hogg.

I've searched the very comprehensive data banks of Early English Books and Eighteenth Century Collections without success for *any* use before Burns and Hogg of "brankie" or "bankie" in *any* sense. (Both collections include the available Scots works in the NLS, the British Library, the NY Public, etc.)

Burns himself may have coined the adjective "brankie" on the model of "brank." (A very similar line in a supposed "old song" mentioned by Hogg & Motherwell in 1834 has "vauntie" instead.)

At least one scholar has described the Scots dialect in Burns's poems as "synthetic" and even "fabricated." (Rather like Shakespeare's approach to English.) I don't know to what extent that judgment might apply to Hogg's language.


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