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Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily

DigiTrad:
BANKS OF SICILY
BANKS OF SICILY (2)


Related threads:
Chord Req: Farewell to Sicily / Banks of Sicily (8)
Chord Req: 51st Highland / Banks Of Sicily (7)
Lyr Req: 51st Highland Division Farewell To Sicily (22)


Keith A of Hertford 28 Feb 02 - 03:03 PM
Jeri 28 Feb 02 - 03:44 PM
Malcolm Douglas 28 Feb 02 - 03:49 PM
Irish sergeant 28 Feb 02 - 04:10 PM
Scabby Douglas 28 Feb 02 - 04:30 PM
Jeri 28 Feb 02 - 06:59 PM
little john cameron 28 Feb 02 - 08:12 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 28 Feb 02 - 11:00 PM
GUEST,Keith A at work 01 Mar 02 - 05:22 AM
mack/misophist 01 Mar 02 - 10:23 AM
GUEST,Hector(Selkie) 01 Mar 02 - 11:12 AM
little john cameron 01 Mar 02 - 05:47 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 01 Mar 02 - 06:30 PM
Manitas_at_home 01 Mar 02 - 09:05 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 01 Mar 02 - 10:33 PM
Scabby Douglas 02 Mar 02 - 06:17 AM
jacko@nz 02 Mar 02 - 08:03 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 02 Mar 02 - 08:44 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 02 Mar 02 - 08:52 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 02 Mar 02 - 08:58 PM
Keith A of Hertford 03 Mar 02 - 08:00 AM
Keith A of Hertford 03 Mar 02 - 11:48 AM
Ferrara 03 Mar 02 - 08:33 PM
GUEST,ParaHandy 06 Jan 04 - 02:57 PM
GUEST,Lighter 06 Jan 04 - 03:19 PM
GUEST,Santa 06 Jan 04 - 04:30 PM
akenaton 06 Jan 04 - 04:50 PM
dick greenhaus 07 Jan 04 - 01:04 AM
Dave Hanson 07 Jan 04 - 05:04 AM
Jim McLean 07 Jan 04 - 05:46 AM
GUEST,Santa 07 Jan 04 - 06:28 AM
An Pluiméir Ceolmhar 07 Jan 04 - 06:39 AM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Jan 04 - 06:54 AM
GUEST,Santa 07 Jan 04 - 07:11 AM
Dave Hanson 07 Jan 04 - 07:28 AM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Jan 04 - 07:37 AM
Jim McLean 07 Jan 04 - 08:37 AM
Jim McLean 07 Jan 04 - 09:51 AM
Dave Hanson 08 Jan 04 - 05:20 AM
Jim McLean 08 Jan 04 - 11:13 AM
GUEST,daveham 22 May 08 - 07:09 AM
Jack Blandiver 22 May 08 - 07:18 AM
GUEST,Dave MacKenzie 22 May 08 - 07:20 PM
Bill D 22 May 08 - 09:23 PM
GUEST,chaos_crafter 30 Jul 08 - 10:32 PM
GUEST,Chaos_crafter 30 Jul 08 - 10:48 PM
Dave Hanson 31 Jul 08 - 03:09 AM
George Papavgeris 31 Jul 08 - 06:00 AM
hannahma 27 Jul 09 - 03:25 AM
Selkie1 27 Jul 09 - 05:44 AM
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Subject: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 28 Feb 02 - 03:03 PM

Many have been moved by this song even without knowing quite what all the expressons mean.The emotion is somehow communicated .
I offer here a glossary of dialect terms given in the "Modern Folk Ballads" edition of "Pocket Poets"
In this anthology, the word "bastards" is used where "swaddies" appears in the DT version.

pipie=pipe major; dozie=sleepy; fey=acting in a strange manner, as if having a presentiment of something out of the ordinary,or of death; unco=strange, unusual; chaulmers=rooms; kyles=straights; smoor the wiles=obliterate your fascination(literally,'smother'); drummie=drum major; beezed=polished (beezin= spit and polish); shielin=hut; byres and bothies=cow sheds and cottages; shebeens=boozers, drinking dens.

I sometimes anglicise verse two thusly-

The drumie he's polished the drummie he gleams,
He cannot be seen for his webbings bright sheen,
He's beazed himself up for a foto of him,
To leave with his lola his dearie.

I would then give "all the bricht chaulmers are eerie" as "The buildings stand empty and eerie"

Hope this is of some use to someone, somewhere.
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: Jeri
Date: 28 Feb 02 - 03:44 PM

The way I've heard the verse is:
The drummie is polisht, the drummie is braw
He cannae be seen for his wabbin ava
He's beezed himsell up for a photie an aa
Tae leave wi his Lola, his dearie

As to the line "aa the bricht chaumers are eerie," I'd always imagined the eerieness was because there were these brightly-lit rooms that were once full of people, sound and activity, and now the rooms still looked the same but were srangely silent and abandoned. One might have imagined ghosts when they looked in - perhaps not the ghosts of people, but of a time passed by.


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 28 Feb 02 - 03:49 PM

"Eerie" in Scots usage also means dreary, dismal, dull, gloomy; which I think makes better sense here.


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 28 Feb 02 - 04:10 PM

I have to agree Malcolm. Especially if you understand the feelings that Hamish Henderson was trying to convey in the song. I sing the song on occasion but the lyrics I have are anglicized. Have to did up the Scots version Kindest regards, Neil


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: Scabby Douglas
Date: 28 Feb 02 - 04:30 PM

Hmm..

I think that like others I have a problem with the notion of the words being Englished.. It's quite evident that Hamish Henderson took very great care in choosing the words and phrases in English and in Scots to make the impression and convey the emotion he wanted.

I think that it's a song that doesn't Anglicise easily or well. A lot of Scots songs can be transformed fairly easily - change "weel" to "well", "hame" to "home" and so on... I don't think this one is as douce...

To transform this one, you really have to set about it with a hammer, as Keith (in my opinion) has done. It ends up a different song, (which might be OK), but it's still a different song...

Cheers

Steven


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: Jeri
Date: 28 Feb 02 - 06:59 PM

I agree Malcolm - it makes more sense. You still wind up with the incongruity of the brightly lit room feeling dreary and gloomy. I didn't know the different meaning of "eerie" in Scots, so I learned something. Thanks, Malcolm.

Someone in our local session sings the Clancy Brothers' anglicized version. In my opinion, a lot of the emotion that's in it the way Henderson's wrote it is just thrown away. What I feel when hearing Henderson's words is he seems torn between feeling joy at leaving and leaving a place and people he cared for, and it's the contradictions in the song that make it what it is. The anglicised verion sounds like it's more focused on simply leaving. I believe the line about the chaumers being eerie is necessary to convey the contradictory feelings.

Keith, I should have said this in my first post, but thanks for providing the translations. There have been quite a few questions here on the meaning of words in that song, so it'll be quite helpful. Also, I learn that the words mean and then forget because I don't have occasion to use words like "smoor" very often.

In case anyone's wondering:
The original and The (an) anglicized version.


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: little john cameron
Date: 28 Feb 02 - 08:12 PM

Geez!! Gies a bre'k an' leave the sang alane.If ye cannae dae the richt words dinnae be ballsin it up wi' ither anes.Like wis said,the man pit a lot o' thocht intae it an' here ye go knackerin it.ljc(scunnered)


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Feb 02 - 11:00 PM

Kyle - a strait or channel, not a straight.


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: GUEST,Keith A at work
Date: 01 Mar 02 - 05:22 AM

I agree with everyone, including scabbie doug Steven.
English certainly has not any equivalent for "Fey"
The theme of strangeness in verse 1 I thought allowed for either meaning of eerie.
I usually sing the original, but I am aware it is largely incomprehensible in a Hertford pub.
Dicho, thanks for correcting my spelling.
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: mack/misophist
Date: 01 Mar 02 - 10:23 AM

Fey origionally meant "touched by the Fey" i.e. strange, otherworldly. In WW I it came to mean "doomed or fated to die" possibly because of the strange moods seen in those who had given up expecting to live.


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: GUEST,Hector(Selkie)
Date: 01 Mar 02 - 11:12 AM

Best not to translate (I think) from the Scots.Before singing this song I try to give a brief glossary of key words .e.g.I describe bricht chaumers lit.empty rooms,as the deserted barracks etc.Lallans dialect is so descriptive,for instance,this from one of my own compositions. When cranreuch cauld has gar'd the gimmers,coorie doon ahint the wa' an ye hae tholed the brattlin burn an'winter win's that ruin a' then ye maun haud tae me my love,an frae yer een I'll dicht the tears and in the cruivy o'my heart,i'll mak ye safe an'smoor the fears. etc.


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: little john cameron
Date: 01 Mar 02 - 05:47 PM

Braw lines Hector.Gies the rest.Ah presume it maun be a sang?Whaur dae ye bide? ljc


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Mar 02 - 06:30 PM

"Fey" is quite widespread in the USA and Canada, quite possibly because there is no real substitute. Because it is an old, old word, it has several meanings now, which are usually clear from the context of the writing or speaking.
Webster's Collegiate has quite a write-up. Part of it: Before 12th Century. Chiefly Scot. 1a. fated to die 1b. marked by a forboding of death or calamity; 2a able to see into the future 2b marked by otherworldly air or attitude. 2c crazy or touched; 3a precious 3b unconventional
I take it the Scottish use is mostly that listed under 1; in the States, 2b seems to be most common although 1a and 1b are not uncommon.


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 01 Mar 02 - 09:05 PM

English certainly does have an equivalent for "fey" - it's "fey"!

It's certainly in my vocabulary and you'll find it often enough in Malory (though usually spelt differently) and, as pointed out, Webster's describes it as *Chiefly* Scots.

I think I would agree that meanings 2b & 3b are more usual in England than 1a or 1b which agree with Keith's glossary but I think that meaning 2c is probably more appropriate to the song.


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Mar 02 - 10:33 PM

Hard to get two people to agree, let alone three or more. I go along with Keith for the meaning of the word fey in the song. One of the best songs from the wars-
Scabbie Doug, I haven't heard the word douce since my visit to Scotland. I don't think it is used over here, except possibly in the Maritimes of Canada.


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: Scabby Douglas
Date: 02 Mar 02 - 06:17 AM

Which was kinda my point...

douce - gentle, manageable, kind - obviously from the French "sweet" - but a word used in Scots to convey a certain meaning... which may not match exactly any single word in another language.

And "Farewell to Sicily" doesn't appear to be that kind of song (to me).

Cheers

Steven


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: jacko@nz
Date: 02 Mar 02 - 08:03 PM

I'm with LJC on this. The song does not translate into standard english at all well.

Dozie in scotland used to mean stupid, probably still does. So the pipie is being stupid and acting peculiarly. He surely is for he is not coming to the piss-up tonight.

I always understood the bricht chaumers to refer to the flames billowing out of the still burning bombed out buildings, an eerie sight under a strange grey sky

Missing from the glossary is an entry for ha', as in sheiling an ha'. Farm cottages and the farm house

Any publication that confuses swaddies with bastards is very suspect

Jack


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Mar 02 - 08:44 PM

Dozie- In this song, I would take it that the piper is "not with it," can't keep his mind on things, uncommunicative because of fey thoughts. Not stupid, which is another meaning of doze, but not the one indicated here.


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Mar 02 - 08:52 PM

Hamish Henderson is known because of this song and one or two others, but he is a scholar, folklorist and author who fought in WWII. he should be better known. See henderson


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Mar 02 - 08:58 PM

Here's an overdone analysis from Dick Gaughan's website: Farewell


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 03 Mar 02 - 08:00 AM

Jack, The Pocket Poets gives an early version of the song.(see below) When it moved from barrack to concert hall, in 40s-50s Britain 'bastards' could not be sung. I prefer swaddies.
PP does give an explanation of dozie. I did not include it because it seemed obvious.It is- sleepy,'idle', inefficient (Army slang).
In the editor's introduction, (1966) he says" Henderson's soldiers' songs.....were tremendously popular with the troops, and have since become part of the common song. Many versions of Farewell To Sicily still circulate, and in a letter to me the author refers to the one he 'usually' now sings. ....(I have included, at the author's request, an early version of the Sicily ballad, though again with some small alterations by him.)"
Just to state my positiion again, I am not a Scot I like the song, I occasionally sing it and usually sing version 2 from the DT. I do not think version 1 is a worthy version.
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 03 Mar 02 - 11:48 AM

I've just noticed a typo or mistake in the DT 'original' version, ie version 2. The line should be,

There's nae HAME can smoor the wiles o' ye.
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: Ferrara
Date: 03 Mar 02 - 08:33 PM

Thanks, Keith, for the glossary. Have been able to find some of the meanings over the years, but had to depend on the overall context for the rest.

I've sung this for 10 or 15 years. Heard Ed Miller sing it and I loved it. He was kind enough to write out the words for me on the back of a pink flyer of some sort. Still have it that way in my notebooks, too lazy to transcribe it....

There are strong opinions on either side, concerning the wisdom of either retaining or translating Scottish dialects. Bill and I lean toward retaining it whenever possible. I compromise on some songs, but have never changed a word of this into English. I just feel it would lose so much.

My father taught me songs in his Italian dialect (more or less Neopolitan). He insisted they didn't sound as good in Italian, much less in English. The Italians have a saying: "Tradittore, Traduttore," (sp.?) which means, "Translator, Betrayer." See, you can tell how much it loses by being put into English just from the sound, can't you? :-)

Rita F


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: GUEST,ParaHandy
Date: 06 Jan 04 - 02:57 PM

What makes this song so special to me is that it comes directly from his own experiences as a soldier with the 51st Highlanders. The poignancy of leaving a place that has been both harsh with war yet friendly and welcoming as well is beautifully captured.

The tune is maybe second only to Roslin Castle in my list of sad melodies.


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 06 Jan 04 - 03:19 PM

The tune is a slow version of a standard pipe march, "Farewell to the Creeks." Played at speed, it's a rouser. In Ken Burns's "Civil War" series for PBS, the equally rousing "Dixie" was frequently played in a mournful tempo and to similar effect.


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: GUEST,Santa
Date: 06 Jan 04 - 04:30 PM

Thanks for the above: I've been wondering for years who the "brick charmers" were. However, as the division is now leaving after some considerable time in Sicily, I doubt that the buildings would still be burning.


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: akenaton
Date: 06 Jan 04 - 04:50 PM

Im a great lover of "braid scots",and Hamish was one of the best exponents. However, Iv always felt the popularity of the song ,was due in no small measure to the old pipe tune "Farewell to the creeks"
that Hamish set his words to.


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 01:04 AM

For what it's worth, here are the words published by Hamish Henderson in his "Ballads of World War II"

THE HIGHLAND DIVISION'S FAREWELL TO SICILY

The pipie is dozie, the pipie is fey,
He wullnae come roon for his vino the day.
The sky ower Messina is antrin an' grey
And a' the bricht chaulmers are eerie.

Then fare weel ye banks o' Sicily
Fare ye weel ye valley an' shaw.
There's nae Jock will mourn the kyles o' ye
Puir bliddy bastards are weary.

And fare weel ye banks o' Sicily
Fare ye weel ye valley an' shaw.
There's nae hame can smoor the wiles o' ye
Puir bliddy bastards are weary.

Then doon the stair and line the waterside
Wait your turn, the ferry's awa.
Then doon the stair and line the waterside
A' the bricht chaulmers are eerie,


The drummie is polisht, the drummie is braw
He cannae he seen for his webhin ava.
He's beezed himsel up for a photo an' a
Tae leave wi his Lola, his dearie.

Then fare weel ye dives o' Sicily
(Fare ye weel ye shieling an' ha')
And fare weel ye byres and bothies
Whaur kind signorinas were cheerie.

And fare well ye dives o' Sicily
(Fare ye weel ye shieling an' ha')
We'll a' mind shebeens and bothies
Whaur Jock made a date wi' his dearie.

Then tune the pipes and drub the tenor drum
(Leave your kit this side o' the wa')
Then tune the pipes and drub the tenor drum—
A' the bricht chaulmers are eerie.

(Tune " Farewell to the Creeks," a well-known Gordon Pipe March).


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 05:04 AM

In that great anthology, The Scottish Folksinger, Peter Hall and the late Norman Buchan MP describe Hamish's song 'The Freedom Come All Ye' as " a noble use of Scottish dialect, I think this also applies to 51st Highland Devisions Farewell to Sicily.
In his book Modern Folk Ballads Charles Causley says that Hamish sent him the words to Farewell to sicily which used the word ' bastards ' rather than swaddies, this being his earlier version of the song.
eric


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: Jim McLean
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 05:46 AM

I have heard Hamish singing 'bastards' but never 'swaddies'. There is an excellent CD, A tribute to Hamish henderson' just issued by Greentrax Records and Hamish sings this song on it and, again, says 'bastards' (although with a rather nevous chuckle after it). One word puzzles me, though. He sings 'puir' (poor) as 'pyure'. He, and others, always sang (sing) this as 'pair', the Scottish pronunciation of 'poor'. I always understood the spelling of puir to indicate to English readers that there was no long oo sound in Lowland Scottish speech.


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: GUEST,Santa
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 06:28 AM

I've not heard Hamish, but surely the alternative word is "squaddies" not "swaddies". A squaddie is a member of a squad, and is one current word for a soldier. I don't know how old the term is, though I don't think it recent. I recall Pete Rodger singing it as "squaddies" with the Blackpool Taverners in the mid-70s. However, I think that in WW2 a "swad" was a sandwich, had at your break, as in "tea and a swad".


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: An Pluiméir Ceolmhar
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 06:39 AM

I think that's "tea and a wad", Santa.


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 06:54 AM

Swaddy is a perfectly good word for soldier or militiaman. Etymology uncertain, but perhaps Scandinavian.

And Dick; you OCR'd that text, didn't you? Human beings don't make those kinds of typo...


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: GUEST,Santa
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 07:11 AM

Yes, I was on my way to correct myself...you beat me to it - tea and a wad it was.

Wasn't a swabbie a sailor swabbing i.e. cleaning the deck?


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 07:28 AM

Hamish wrote ' swaddies ' just dialect for the English term 'squaddie ' ie a member of a squad etc.
eric


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 07:37 AM

No. As I said, it's a separate word in its own right; not Scottish in particular, I think, though it probably continued in use there longer. The slang term Squaddy is only just getting into dictionaries, and I wouldn't be surprised if it arose by analogy with the older term, though we'd need somebody with bigger dictionaries than I have to confirm -or otherwise- that thought.


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: Jim McLean
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 08:37 AM

'Swaddies' can be found in 19th century American literature and also appears in The Trooper Cut Down In His Prime where it it defined as an English slang term for a soldier. I agree that it is not a particularly Scottish word as the Scottish word 'swad' means a swede or a turnip. Hamish didn't write 'swaddies'; he wrote (and sang) 'bastards'. I think 'polite' company may have replaced his original word.


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: Jim McLean
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 09:51 AM

According to Encarta: Swaddie (solder) [Early 19th century. Formed from a dialectal word used as an insult for a country person, of uncertain origin: perhaps from a Scandinavian source.]
The word 'swedebashers' is used as a derogatory term for farmers/peasants in the UK. Could there be a link?


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 08 Jan 04 - 05:20 AM

Hamish did use both bastards and swaddies, as I said earlier he sent
Charles Causley the words fo his book Modern Folk Ballads which contained the Bastards line and said this was his earlier version, the later version used ' swaddies '
eric


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: Jim McLean
Date: 08 Jan 04 - 11:13 AM

OK Eric, I knew Hamish well and he always sang 'bastards'. As you say, later on but only in 'proper' company, he sang 'swaddies'. When he was pissed (which was quite often) or in the house, he always sang 'bastards'. If you get the chance listen to him singing on the Greentrax CD. I know he was a great scholar and writer but I always got the feeling he learnt Lowland Scottish as he learned German, as a foreign language because when he sings Fareweel etc., he says 'water' not 'waater' and 'mourn' not 'murn'. He almost sounds like an Englishman singing Scottish .... not, however, in my opinion, as bad as McColl.
Jim


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: GUEST,daveham
Date: 22 May 08 - 07:09 AM

What an education !
may i say that while agreeing with the sentiment of Scabby Douglas i.e. that "anglicising this great song is like taking a hammer to it."
I say that to do justice to Hamish and to all others who have associations, particularly the squaddies(my dad for one), the anglicised version will spread the word better.
However, my original search was to find the song version by the Macalmans. Who knows where I can find it. They did it on the Wally White ? show on Radio 2 ? about 30 years ago.


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 22 May 08 - 07:18 AM

I love this song more than word can say, but every time I try singing it I start crying.

Nice to know Hamish sang bastards; I got mine off Clive Powell, who got it off Hamish, and Clive sings swaddies as he would of course because that's the kind of guy Clive is!


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: GUEST,Dave MacKenzie
Date: 22 May 08 - 07:20 PM

I seem to remember reading somewhere that swaddies is the original form from one of the Indian languages, and that squaddies was a later form by association with the English "squad".

It's a long time ago, but I can hear Hamish singing bastards with that intonation of his, but I also remember swaddies.

As for antrin, the only other place I can recall coming across it is in MacDiarmid's "Watergaw".


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: Bill D
Date: 22 May 08 - 09:23 PM

on this   page there are 8 McAlmans albums, but not that song. Perhaps they never recorded it.


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: GUEST,chaos_crafter
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 10:32 PM

Another way of looking at "A' the bricht chaulmers are eerie" would be "all the bright chambers are darkened"
In other words all the rooms that once were full of light and joy are now dark and abandoned as their tenants depart.
All the lights are going out.


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: GUEST,Chaos_crafter
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 10:48 PM

Oh FWIW, I've strongly on the don't anglicise side in that part of the debate.
The song is beautiful in its original form. The reason (to me at least) for translating is to learn to understand it better and to better interpret other songs in the same dialect.

I'd love it if someone put it down in original form with the translation along-side for reference though.


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 03:09 AM

In my humble opinion it's better not to sing it than to destroy it's character by anglicising the words, the beautiful Scots dialect confers more than just the literal meaning of words.

eric


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 06:00 AM

GUEST, daveham

The McCalmans DID record the song on the album "Side by Side" (Transatlantic TRA 346, 1977), whose tracklist is:

Side One: Side By Side By Side (sondheim); Romeo and Juliet (Stan Kelly); Dancing Days (John Connolly/Bill Meek); Bellman's Song (Bill Meek); The Chair at the Table (unknown); Hornpipe; Farewell to Sicily (Henderson)
Side Two: Sheriff Muir; Loving Hanne; German Lairdie; Standing In the Rain (Sydney Carter); Broadside Man (John Connolly); Bound to Go; Side By Side (H Woods)

And yes, I own the vinyl, but I am not selling...:-)


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: hannahma
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 03:25 AM

(lurker timidly raises hand)
I first heard the song on some folkie record, probably the Chad Mitchell Trio. Eventually I came to love the real thing. Maybe Anglicising the Scots song is "taking a hammer to it" but at least it introduces people to a great tradition, and as they develop,they come to learn and love the Scots language. Those who record and sing in Scots should consider posting a "translation" on the liner notes, etc. for beginners.
    I notice that although only one of my grandparents was Scottish, I could instantly understand most Scots dialect (Burns,etc) from a young age... think it's passed down in the blood?


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Subject: RE: Word meanings in Banks Of Sicily
From: Selkie1
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 05:44 AM

No, It's down to intelligent listening,guesswork and a good ear.but I doubt that you would understand "most Scots dialect" as most Scots dont! Henderson,like Burns before him, borrowed dialect words from other regions of Scotland if they fitted better, or enhanced the picture.On occasions, Burns even modified words to suit a line. In one of my own dialect songs,"Lallans Love" (Wildgoose Records WGS346 CD "Ingleneuk") the first line is, "When cranreuch cauld,has gar'd the gimmers coorie doon ahint the wa'" Now cranreuch, (hoar frost,Scots gael.) is not an Ayrshire word,but it does fit the line I think. The Auld,Scotch,dialect has died out in most areas,but a few try to keep it alive. I recall my brother being informed at our village school in the 50's that his "bits (shoes) were a' glaur" (mud) I don't think that many Culton weans, would understand that now.


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