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Origins: Where is Cowdenknowes?

DigiTrad:
BROOM O' THE COWDENKNOWES (BALLAD VERSION)
BROOM OF THE COWDENKNOWES


Related threads:
Chords/Tune Req: the broom of the cowden knowes (32)
Broom o' the Cowdenknowes on Youtube (6)
Tech: Zen Digi Trad Broom of the Cowedenknowes (10)
Lyr Req: Broom of Cowdenknowes (10)
Lyr Req: Broom o' the Cowden Knowes (7)
Lyr Req: The Broom o' the Cowdenknowes (13)
Need Help w/ Cowden Knowes (25)


nutty 10 Jun 02 - 05:55 PM
GUEST,MCP 11 Jun 02 - 04:49 AM
masato sakurai 11 Jun 02 - 05:01 AM
GUEST,MC Fat 11 Jun 02 - 05:08 AM
Malcolm Douglas 11 Jun 02 - 10:12 AM
nutty 11 Jun 02 - 01:40 PM
Kernow John 11 Jun 02 - 05:26 PM
Peter T. 04 Aug 03 - 10:31 AM
GUEST 04 Aug 03 - 10:52 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 04 Aug 03 - 10:56 AM
VIN 04 Aug 03 - 11:00 AM
Peter T. 04 Aug 03 - 11:27 AM
The O'Meara 04 Aug 03 - 12:09 PM
GUEST,Guest 04 Aug 03 - 12:17 PM
yrlancslad 04 Aug 03 - 11:03 PM
Billy the Bus 04 Aug 03 - 11:57 PM
zanderfish3 (inactive) 05 Aug 03 - 06:27 AM
Scabby Douglas 05 Aug 03 - 06:29 AM
greg stephens 05 Aug 03 - 06:55 AM
GUEST,Russ 05 Aug 03 - 07:50 AM
greg stephens 05 Aug 03 - 08:13 AM
Big Tim 05 Aug 03 - 10:11 AM
Scabby Douglas 05 Aug 03 - 11:45 AM
An Pluiméir Ceolmhar 05 Aug 03 - 11:52 AM
Malcolm Douglas 05 Aug 03 - 12:17 PM
IanC 05 Aug 03 - 12:25 PM
greg stephens 05 Aug 03 - 12:30 PM
IanC 05 Aug 03 - 12:34 PM
Malcolm Douglas 05 Aug 03 - 01:06 PM
greg stephens 05 Aug 03 - 01:11 PM
Malcolm Douglas 05 Aug 03 - 01:49 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 16 Aug 03 - 07:25 PM
Malcolm Douglas 16 Aug 03 - 08:19 PM
GUEST,Mark Harden of CowdenKnowes, yr 31 Oct 03 - 04:51 PM
nutty 01 Nov 03 - 03:12 AM
Little Robyn 01 Nov 03 - 07:35 PM
Little Robyn 01 Nov 03 - 08:01 PM
GUEST,Mark Harden of CowdenKnowes, yr 03 Nov 03 - 09:18 AM
Celtaddict 03 Nov 03 - 11:48 AM
GUEST,Doug. Coll. The Inner Hebrides. 30 Mar 04 - 07:26 PM
GUEST,Doug. Coll. The Inner Hebrides. 30 Mar 04 - 07:27 PM
The Fooles Troupe 30 Mar 04 - 08:32 PM
GUEST,R 24 Jan 14 - 12:56 PM
Bill D 24 Jan 14 - 02:07 PM
Bill D 24 Jan 14 - 02:13 PM
Joe Offer 28 Apr 16 - 04:32 PM
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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Broom of Cowdencowes
From: nutty
Date: 10 Jun 02 - 05:55 PM

This interesting document ...... circa 1670 comes from my part of the world (the North of England) re-opening the debate as to whether this is really a Scottish song although it does state that the Broom of Cowdon knowes is a Scottish tune.

Any comment Malcolm??
THE LOVELY NORTHERN LASS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Broom of Cowdencowes
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 04:49 AM

Simpson The British Broadside Ballad And Its Music quotes versions of the tune from The Dancing Master (1651) and other C17th and C18th sources.

He quotes a song 1656-1659 "Ho, the Broome, The Bonny, bonny Broome" in BM Ms and goes on to state "perhaps the earliest ballad that can be associated with the tune is "The New Broome", beginning "Poore Coridon did sometime sit" (Pepys, also Roxburgh, without tune direction, but with smilar stanza pattern and chorus).

The ballad you give "The lovely Northern Lass", beginning "Through Liddersdale as lately I went" ("To a pleasant Sctoch tune called "The broom of Cowdon knowes") was entered in the Stationers' Register in 1632 according to Simpson.

However, re your Scotch origin, Simpson says "Chappell (PMOT...), anxious to minimize the Scotch element in early balladry, is probably correct here in insisting that the tune is called Scotch because of the subject matter of the ballad. All the evidence points to the British origin of the tune, for it appears exclusively in English publications until the first quarter of the eighteenth century"

Child on the other hand speaks rather deprecatingly of the English ballad (which he gives as an appendix) "The Scottish ballad could not have been developed from a story of this description. On the other hand, it is scarecely to be believed that the author of the English ditty, if he had known of the Scottish ballad, would have dropped all the interesting particulars. It is possible that he may have just heard about it, but much more likely that he knew only the burden and built his very slight tale on that"

Bronson says of the ballad "When this ballad first began to be recorded, in the second half of the eighteenth century, it had, apparently, no refrain or burden...Nevertheless, it is clear that the musical tradition of the ballad in integral with that of the old song-tune which is intimately associated with this burden from its first appearance in the middle of the seventeenth century"

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Broom of Cowdencowes
From: masato sakurai
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 05:01 AM

For the Playford version, click on The Dancing Master, 1651-1728: An Illustrated Compendium, by Robert M. Keller. Title is "Broom:The Bonny Bonny Broom"; to get the image of the music, click on "Play0970".

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Broom of Cowdencowes
From: GUEST,MC Fat
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 05:08 AM

The version that Mary Black sings is the 'composite' version from Archie Fisher. If you look in Childs Border Ballads there are about umpteen versions. Archie appears to have taken the best bits and welded them together. It's Archie's version that has become the standard one thats sung.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Broom of Cowdencowes
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 10:12 AM

I should have gone into more detail, but I was in a bit of a hurry and had quite forgotten about the "Liddesdale" broadside, which is listed at Bodleian Library Broadsides as having been printed between 1663 and 1674 for F. Coles, T. Vere, and J. Wright of London. I personally have an open mind on the question of origins, here, -I don't know enough about this song to have an informed opinion- but the matter has been discussed in an earlier thread (where I believe Nutty and Bruce disagreed about it), where a lot of relevant information was also given.

Perhaps I ought to have said Anglo-Scottish; I just didn't want anyone going away with the impression that the song was Irish!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Broom of Cowdencowes
From: nutty
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 01:40 PM

The difference lies in the broadside wording Malcolm ..... it is not "Liddesdale" (which is an area of Scotland) but "Liddersdale" which together with the mention of Danby Forest places the action in the North of England ---- thats the way I read it but I would accept that the song be considered Anglo/Scottish


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Broom of Cowdenknowes
From: Kernow John
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 05:26 PM

Thanks to all who have contributed. It's when I read a thread like this I know why I keep Mudcat on my favorites(sic) list.
John


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Subject: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: Peter T.
Date: 04 Aug 03 - 10:31 AM

The song of course is "Broom O' the Cowdenknowes" -- but where is it (if it is a where and not a who?) Somewhere in Scotland....? Any information one can tuck away about it? yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Aug 03 - 10:52 AM

And what's a fain; or how do you fain?
And why is ewes pronouned yows?


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 04 Aug 03 - 10:56 AM

The answer is in the Forum. For Peter T's question, see Broom o' the Cowden Yowes

For the rest of the questions from ANONYMOUS GUEST, look in some of the other threads. (See Lyrics and Knowledge Search up near the top)


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: VIN
Date: 04 Aug 03 - 11:00 AM

Here's a bit of info on it which may heip:-

The Broom of the Cowdenknowes" is performed by Andy M. Stewart

Notes from Andy: Easily traceable back to the early seventeenth century where it appears in a small collection as "The Lovely Northerne Lass." Allan Ramsay also published a version in his "Tea Table Miscellany", during the 1720s. It is a moving tale of love, banishment and exile, supported by a very beautiful melody. Cowdenknowes is in Berwickshire, near to the village of Earlston, a place much associated with the 13th century poet and prophet, "Thomas The Rhymer". I got this song years ago, from my friend and neighbour, Archie Fisher.

Also:-
This song started life as a ballad about a shepherdess who encountered a gentleman passing on horseback. The song became popular across Scotland and England towards the end of the reign of James l & VI, and the earliest publication date found is 1651. There are many versions of the ballad, indicating its great popularity, but the underlying story is consistent: she and the gentleman had an instant attraction to each other, and spent some time enjoying each other's company. The gentleman continued on his journey, leaving the shepherdess expecting a child. Just before the child was due to be born, the mystery man returned, declaring himself to be a wealthy Laird, and married her.
The Iyrical version of the song is usually sung from the shepherdess' perspective. The Laird took the shepherdess far from her "ain country" and she became very homesick. The version given here swaps the gender, making a banished shepherd the subject, but the yearning for the "bonnie broom" remains.
The broom, a tall shrub which blooms with spikes of small golden flowers, once grew abundantly on hillsides of the Scottish Borders.
Cowdenknowes is a Scottish estate on the east bank of the river Leader Water, 32 miles southeast of Edinburgh. The original tower house built by the Homes of Cowdenknowes in the 15th century is still occupied.


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: Peter T.
Date: 04 Aug 03 - 11:27 AM

Thanks. yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: The O'Meara
Date: 04 Aug 03 - 12:09 PM

"Fain" appears in a lot of old Scottish songs, and it seems to mean "If I had my 'druthers..." Not sure about ewes and yowes, Scots-English remains a mystery to me. Maybe it's pronounced that way so it will rhyme with Cowdenknowes.

O'Meara


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 04 Aug 03 - 12:17 PM

"The Lovely Northern Lass" was entered in the Stationers' Register in 1632. Search on 'Broom' in the broadside ballad index at www.erols.com/olsonw and you will find that the tune of it was used for several other broadside ballads of the 1630s.


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: yrlancslad
Date: 04 Aug 03 - 11:03 PM

Fain in Lancashire means pleased, as in' Ahm reet fain fert see thi.( I'mvery pleased to see you )
Yowes is northern speak for ewes.


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 04 Aug 03 - 11:57 PM

"Yowes" was a very common pronunciation for ewes in southern NZ up to just a few years back. There's a stil a strong Scots language influence from immigrants from 1840-60 here.

Cheers - Sam


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: zanderfish3 (inactive)
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 06:27 AM

You should check out ' Minstrelsy Of The Scottish Borders ' by Sir Walter Scott for the full version and history. It's a very very long song.


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: Scabby Douglas
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 06:29 AM

"Broom o The Cowdenknowes" is not the only song to use "yowes", and I can assure you it's not just pronounced that way to rhyme.

"Ca' the Yowes tae The Knowes"
"The Yowie Wi' The Crookit Horn"

are just two, off the top of my head.


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: greg stephens
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 06:55 AM

Northern English ways are often classified as Scottish, but I can assure everyone that the "yowe" pronunciation is by no means confined to Scotland. The language varied gradually as you moved from the south of England to Shetland, as you would expect, not particularly related to political borders which tend to be aristocrat-led quite modern developments. Hundreds of words,phrases, and customs often thought of as "Scottish" are really more properly to be described as "northern".
Saying "yowe" instead of "ewe", saying "yon kirk" instead of "that church", different ways of celebrating new year, saying "heed" instead of "hed" for the thing on top of your shoulders,and a whole host of things that I remember standing out when I moved from the south to the north in the sixties(and that was to north Lancashire, by no means to the borders).


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 07:50 AM

Greg,
The "Yowe" pronunciation isn't even confined to the UK. Old rural West Virginians still use it. Lots of old time musicians in the states are familiar with the pronunciation because of the tune "Horny Ewe" (sometimes rendered "Horny-O").


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: greg stephens
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 08:13 AM

Thanks,Russ.I would imagine back in the early days of this song, the word was pronounced Yowe even in southern England, but I'm not 100% sure of that.
   On the subject of "fain": this is one of a small collection of English words that mean their own opposite. Fain can mean "want to do something" as well as "not want to do something". The most quoted example of this type of word is "cleave", which means "stick together" or "separate". Or "ravel", which used to mean "tangle" as well as " untangle".


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: Big Tim
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 10:11 AM

"Ewes" is also pronounced "yows" in Donegal. My father would never have dreamt of saying "ewes": that was for for posh people and English people.


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: Scabby Douglas
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 11:45 AM

Yeah... another "own-opposite" word is "twine" - which can mean to cling closely together, or to sparate or become separated...


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: An Pluiméir Ceolmhar
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 11:52 AM

The Yowe pronunciation is still common in Ireland, and it's not just a "northern" thing, it's more an archaic hangover. "Show" is often spelt "Shew" in older texts (uincluding some 20th century maths textbooks that were available in second-hand bookshops when I was a kid. Also, the correct pronunciation for Shrewsbury is, I'm told, Shrowsbury.


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 12:17 PM

Just so. It's merely that the older pronounciation has held on longer in those areas furthest from London, from where changes in pronounciation often emanate (the long "a" in words like bath, for instance, began as a London fashion derived from Cockney usage). This is often misunderstood by people whose only contact with non-standard English comes from books, and as a result there are quite a lot of songs in the DT which are marked as "Scottish" when they are nothing of the kind; apparently because they contain words like "lassie" and so on.


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: IanC
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 12:25 PM

Malcolm

As a matter of interest, are you stating that as fact or as your opinion?

;-)


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: greg stephens
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 12:30 PM

Now. now, IanC. Smiling face symbol or not, that's fighting talk!
    I'm with malcolm on this. It's very irritating when people from London and America and places like that assume you're Scottish if you say bairns or lassies or yowes.


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: IanC
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 12:34 PM

Greg

No disagreement with that. It's also somewhat annoying when people make the assumption that we should all speak "Northern" and that, despite 1500 years of history, Southern English pronunciation is just a "cockney fashion".

:-(


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 01:06 PM

My example wasn't an assumption, but a matter of linguistic history. I have no opinion as to whether such things are good or bad; the concept is meaningless, as would be a debate on whether or not evolution is good or bad. I grew up in South London, speaking both Standard English and a south-of-the-river form of Cockney, so I don't think I can be accused of partisanship in this case! Here in Yorkshire, people often think I'm "posh" because I use the long "a" and talk like somebody off the radio.

I took the fact/opinion business as relating to the second part of my post. I can't pretend to know what is going on in other people's minds, but it's certainly the case that there are a good few English songs in the DT which use archaic or dialectal forms and which are marked as Scottish; and that a lot of past threads here contain comments from people who have assumed incorrectly that a song is Scottish, citing the presence of certain words in it as the reason for their belief (The Lyke Wake Dirge is an example). Some of these comments have subsequently been enshrined in the DT, so that part is certainly fact. I can't, of course, be certain that all such mis-attributions have been made on linguistic grounds (that's why I said "apparently"), but there is often no other obvious explanation.

I made a point of distinguishing between fact and opinion in the Three Fishers thread, which I assume Ian had in mind, because I had named a source for my initial comments (quoted there without my original formatting, which impaired their meaning); these were not my personal opinion but a matter of record; I followed them with a value-judgement and a speculation; these were purely my own, or I would have cited an authority.

Phew!


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: greg stephens
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 01:11 PM

Malolm Douglas is a little bit of a William Chappell when it comes to "repossessing" our(?) English melodies stolen by those wicked hairy barbarians north of the border. Bert Lloyd in "Folk Song in England" has a rather neat description of Chappell: "always something of an expansionist in matters of melody". Chappell and Malcolm would undoubtedly claim they are merely trying to counteract the depredations of the expansionists from our neighbours from the land o'the heather: but it's a very difficult area to be sure of anything. (Though I will stick my neck out, and agree that "Any Old Iron" is not a Celtic folksong, whatever it says on the Internet).


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 01:49 PM

As my name may suggest, I have a foot in both camps. For me, it's a question of being as accurate as possible in attributions (not always possible, for sure) and seeing fair play for both sides of the family, so to speak. At the moment, English traditional music is rather the underdog, which is why I place so much emphasis on it.

The story is that what set Chappell off was a Scottish work colleague who never missed an opportunity of sneering at English music, or of insisting that anything decent in it actually came from somewhere else. Chappell certainly disproved that, though it's also true that he was over-zealous in some cases. That's what happens when you react to an unfair situation; the true balance is usually somewhere in the middle.

Today, the marketing boys have built up a whole (rather bogus) "Celtic" edifice which creates more confusion and misunderstanding than it ought, though it does make things a little easier to find in record shops. In the end, I don't see distinctions based on borders on a map as particularly relevant, but while we are stuck with them we may as well try to get it right.


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 16 Aug 03 - 07:25 PM

Found this in a file of text from 1991, which gives:
    This song started life as a ballad about a shepherdess who encountered a gentleman passing on horseback. The song became popular across Scotland and England towards the end of the reign of James l & VI, and the earliest publication date found is 1651. There are many versions of the ballad, indicating its great popularity, but the underlying story is consistent: she and the gentleman had an instant attraction to each other, and spent some time enjoying each other's company. The gentleman continued on his journey, leaving the shepherdess expecting a child. Just before the child was due to be born, the mystery man returned, declaring himself to be a wealthy Laird, and married her.

    The lyrical version of the song is usually sung from the shepherdess' perspective. The Laird took the shepherdess far from her "ain country" and she became very homesick. The version given here swaps the gender, making a banished shepherd the subject, but the yearning for the "bonnie broom" remains.

    The broom, a tall shrub which blooms with spikes of small golden flowers, once grew abundantly on hillsides of the Scottish Borders. Cowdenknowes is a Scottish estate on the east bank of the river Leader Water, 32 miles southeast of Edinburgh. The original tower house built by the Homes of Cowdenknowes in the 15th century is still occupied.


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 16 Aug 03 - 08:19 PM

Vin quoted exactly those comments earlier in this thread. Bruce Olson gives more precise details of the song's history in an earlier discussion (see links above).


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: GUEST,Mark Harden of CowdenKnowes, yr
Date: 31 Oct 03 - 04:51 PM

Mr George Seto is correct but to be more precise CowdenKnowes is just to the south of Earlston in the Scottish Borders. Very little remains of the CowdenKnowes except the old House, the tower is now incorperated into the house as an entrance, the "Cowden", which was a very pretty Bracken type plant was stripped away many years ago and replaced by Turnip farming.


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: nutty
Date: 01 Nov 03 - 03:12 AM

I still find it hard to reconcile the ballad "The lovely Northern Lass" with the modern song "The Broom of CowdonKnowles"
Granted ...the ballad contains the refrain on which the more modern song is based and is sung to, what is referred to as , a pleasant Scottish tune of the same name but of the placenames it refers to ....1)Liddersdale - is in Cumbria and 2) Danby Forest - is in North Yorkshire ..... so I would maintain that this is an English Ballad given a Scottish tune and chorus.


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: Little Robyn
Date: 01 Nov 03 - 07:35 PM

But Liddisdale is on the border. The Newcastleton Folk Festival, near the Cheviots, is in Liddisdale.


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: Little Robyn
Date: 01 Nov 03 - 08:01 PM

And I've found Cowdenknowes on the map!
Take the A68 from Edinburgh, heading south toward Jedburgh. As you go into Earlston, look for the B6356 and that should take you right there.
Or from Northumberland, take the A68 from Corbridge. According to my map, it turns right a few miles before Melrose but the side roads look pretty narrow and winding.
Can I have my lollie now?
Robyn, who didn't see it because I went from Hawick through Selkirk to Glasgow instead. At the time I didn't know it was there.


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: GUEST,Mark Harden of CowdenKnowes, yr
Date: 03 Nov 03 - 09:18 AM

Try going here, http://www.multimap.com/map/browse.cgi?X=358000&Y=638000&width=700&height=400&client=public&gride=357573&gridn=638518&keepicon=false&coordsys=gb&addr1=&addr2=&addr3=&pc=&advanced=&scale=25000&down.x=10&down.y=19


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: Celtaddict
Date: 03 Nov 03 - 11:48 AM

It can indeeda be visited, at least at a bit of a distance.
On a trip to Scotland with Ed Miller, in 2000, we paused on a hillside above Cowden Knowes, and in a meadow below us was a flock of sheep grazing contentedly. The broom was brilliant yellow all around us. There on the bluff, he sang us the song. As he reached the end, a previously unseen sheepdog dashed out, and the sheep of course flocked as iron filings to a magnet, and were marched off to the unseen shepherd. A moment that could not be arranged or bought at any price.


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: GUEST,Doug. Coll. The Inner Hebrides.
Date: 30 Mar 04 - 07:26 PM

Anyone here who said "ewes" instead of "yows" is an incomer.
Which is neither unusual nor disapproved-of.

(Rather an inoffensive post from a Corries fan who has been reading Mudcat, yet not posting, for over a year... :D )


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: GUEST,Doug. Coll. The Inner Hebrides.
Date: 30 Mar 04 - 07:27 PM

"here" of course, meaning the Inner Hebridean island of Coll, and not, Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 30 Mar 04 - 08:32 PM

I dot Cowdenknowes at moment... (sniff)


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: GUEST,R
Date: 24 Jan 14 - 12:56 PM

Your questions are rather silly. The answer is because it is Scottish, ye daft gowk.Get yourself a Scots dictionary.


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Jan 14 - 02:07 PM

Here is a shorter version of the link Mark Harden posted a few years ago, which will take you right near the CowdenKnowes estate. It is on the B6356 road just south of Earlston. In Google Earth you can view the house from ground level, with sheep grazing in the pasture.

http://www.multimap.com/map/browse.cgi?X=358000&Y=638000&width=700&height=400


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Subject: RE: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Jan 14 - 02:13 PM

Well, actually, I think the old house where the tower is, is further to the West, near the Leader Water river. It can only be seen from above.


(The Multimap has a better aerial view than Google)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Where is Cowdenknowes?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Apr 16 - 04:32 PM

Here's the traditional Ballad Index entry of "The Broom of the Cowdenknowes. Note that the Ballad Index says there are two songs with this title and tune, the ballad listed here, and a more lyric piece about a man who must leave home because he fell in love with a girl above his station. I've included the DT lyrics for both songs below.

Broom of Cowdenknows, The [Child 217]

DESCRIPTION: A gentleman sees a pretty (shepherdess), and lies with her (without her leave). She becomes pregnant. Some weeks or months later, the gentleman returns and claims her for his own
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1768 (Percy collection; tune mentioned 1632)
KEYWORDS: seduction pregnancy abandonment return marriage bastard
FOUND IN: Britain(England,Scotland(Aber)) US(NE,So)
REFERENCES (8 citations):
Child 217, "The Broom of Cowdenknows" (15 texts)
Bronson 217, "The Broom of Cowdenknows" (21 versions+1 in addenda)
GreigDuncan4 838, "The Cowdenknowes" (10 texts, 10 tunes plus a single verse on p. 555)
Lyle-Crawfurd2 178, "The Tod Wi the Twinkland Ee" (1 text)
Lyle-Crawfurd1 32, "The Laird of Ochiltree Walls" (1 text, 1 tune); 49, "The Laird o' Ochiltree" (1 text)
BarryEckstormSmyth pp. 293-295, "The Broom of Cowden-Knowes" (1 text plus an excerpt from "Broom (II)," 1 tune) {Bronson's #21}
Moore-Southwest 43, "The Bonny Broom" (1 text, 1 tune)
Whitelaw-Ballads, pp. 288-289, "The Broom of Cowdenknows" (1 text)

Roud #92
RECORDINGS:
Stanley Robertson, "The Ballad of the Ewe Buchts" (on Voice06)
BROADSIDES:
Murray, Mu23-y1:041, "Ewe Buchts," James Lindsay Jr. (Glasgow), 19C
NLScotland, L.C.1270(004), "Ewe Buchts," unknown, n.d. (the site says 1840-1850, but a second ballad on the sheet refers to [Charles Stewart] Parnell, which puts it least thirty years after that); also L.C.Fol.70(2b), "Ewe Buchts," unknown, n.d.

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Wylie Wife of the Hie Toun Hie" [Child 290] (plot)
cf. "The Dainty Doonby" (plot)
cf. "The Sleepy Merchant" (plot)
cf. "The Bonnie Parks o' Kilty" (plot)
cf. "A Nobleman" (plot)
cf. "The Broom o the Cowdenknowes (II - lyric)" (tune & meter)
SAME TUNE:
The New Way of the Broom of Cowden Knowes (Broadside NLScotland, Ry.III.a.10(007), "The New Way of the Broom of Cowden Knowes" ("Hard Fate that I should banisht be, And Rebell called with Scorn, for serving of a Lovely Prince, As e'er yet was born"), unknown, prob. 1716)
The Glasgow Factory Lass (per broadside Murray, Mu23-y1:010, "The Glasgow Factory Lass," unknown (Glasgow), no date)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Laird o Ociltree Wa's
Laird o Lochnie
Ewe Buchts
Bonnie Mary Is to the Ewe Buchts Gane
The Laird o' Youghal Tree Wells
NOTES: Note that this melody is used for two pieces, both called "Broom o' the Cowdenknow(e)s," and both Scottish: The ballad listed here, and a more lyric piece about a man who must leave home because he fell in love with a girl above his station.
Although the texts of this piece are generally quite late, the tune appears much older. BBI ZN2610, "Through Lidderdale as lately I went," registered in 1632, claims a "pleasant Scotch tune, called, The broom of Cowdenknowes" as its melody.
It's ironic to add that the tune you've almost certainly heard for this song (Bronson's #1) is from Playford, without lyrics -- and neither the Playford tune nor any of its immediate relatives in Bronson has a text (Bronson's group Aa includes six tunes; #4 has a single stanza of lyrics, the rest none -- and that stanza in #4 is the lyric version of the song, not the ballad!). - RBW
Last updated in version 3.3
File: C217

Broom o the Cowdenknowes (II - lyric), The

DESCRIPTION: "How blythe each more was I to see My lass come ower the hill, She tripped the burn and ran to me, I met her wi' good will." The singer is exiled for loving the girl (who is above his station?). "To wander by her side again Is a' I crave or care."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1725 (_A Collection of Old Ballads Vol III_, #69)
KEYWORDS: love separation exile
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland)
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Bronson 217, "The Broom of Cowdenknows" (21 versions+1 in addenda; the #4 version belongs here, implying that at least some of #1-#6 also go with this piece)
BarryEckstormSmyth pp. 293-295, "The Broom of Cowden-Knowes" (1 excerpt plus a text and tune from the Child ballad)
DT, COWDENKN*
ADDITIONAL: [Ambrose Phillips?,] A Collection of Old Ballads Vol III, (London, 1725), #44, pp. 236-237, "The Broom of Cowdenknow" [.".. Cowdenknows" in Table of Contents]
James Johnson, Editor, _The Scots Musical Museum_ [1853 edition], volume I, #69, p. 70, "The Broom of Cowdenknows" (1 text, 1 tune)

ST DTcowden (Partial)
Roud #8209
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Broom of Cowdenknows" [Child 217] (tune & meter)
NOTES: Although this song is very popular in folk revival circles (probably because it has the excellent "Cowdenknowes" tune but is short), it is much less popular in tradition than its ballad cousin.
It's interesting to note that the Scots Musical Museum version, which is by far the earliest known to me, is longer than any I've ever heard sung: Eight stanzas plus the chorus. I rather suspect rewriting, because some of the verses are pretty poor. The tune is not quite the same as what we usually hear today.
That the song is even older than that seems nearly certain from the existence of a broadside, NLScotland, Ry .III.a.10(007), "The New Way of the Broom of Cowden Knows," unknown, n.d. Said broadside clearly is based on this song -- the lyric begins "Hard Fate that I should banishet be, And Revell called with Scorn. For serving of a Lovely Prince, As e'er yet was Born. O the Broom, the Bonny Broom, The Broom of Cowding (sic.) knows, I wish his Frinds had Stayed at home, Milking there Dadys Ewes."
There can be no question that this is a Jacobite song. The notes at the NLScotland site suspect it of coming from the 1715 rebellion, probably because it mentions Huntly and his treachery, plus Seaforth. I'd be more inclined to date it to 1746, because 1. It refers to a *prince* (James III was King, in the Jacobite view, in 1715 as well as 1745), and it wishes his friends had stayed at home -- a much more likely sentiment after 1746, when the Highlanders were ruined, than in 1715, when nothing much happened.
Either way, though, the broadside is strong evidence for the existence of the lyric version of "Broom" long before the 1797 publication. - RBW
re A Collection of Old Ballads Vol III: Ambrose Philips, whose name does not appear in the Google Books copy is, according to Google Books, the editor. The New York Public Library catalog says "Compilation usually attributed to Ambrose Philips" - BS
Last updated in version 3.0
File: DTcowden

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The Ballad Index Copyright 2015 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


BROOM O' THE COWDENKNOWES (BALLAD VERSION) (from DT)

There was a troop o' merry gentlemen,
Cam' ridin' between twa knowes,
An' there heard the voice o' a fair bonnie lass,
In the valley, milkin' her yowes.

There's yin o' them has lighted aff his horse,
An' tied it tae a tree,
An' he has gane tae yon yowe-bucht,
Tae see what it might be.
Singin', "O, the broom , the bonnie, bonnie broom,
The broom o' the Cowdenknowes;
Fain wad I be in the nairth country,
Tendin' my faither's yowes."

He's ta'en her by her milk-white hand,
An' by her green gown-sleeve,
An' led her intae a misty bough,
An' speired o' her nae leave.

Sayin, "I've been nairth, an' I've south,
An' I've ridden o'er the downs,
But the bonniest lass that e'er I've seen
Is right here in Cowdenknowes."
O, the broom...

When fifteen weeks had past an' gane,
Fu' fifteen weeks an' three,
This maid grew thick aboot the waist,
An' she longed for his twinklin' ee.

It fell on a day, on a bonnie simmer's day,
As she wauked the hills sae high,
Anither troop o' fine gentlemen
Cam' ridin' o'er the lea.
Singin', O, the broom...

Yin o' them, he stopped an' he said,
"Wha got the babe by thee?"
Weel, first she blushed, but syne she said,
"I hae a fine man at hame."

"Oh, ye lie, ye lie, my bonnie bonnie may!
Aloud I hear ye lie!
Dinna ye mind the bonnie simmer nicht
I lay in the yowe-bucht wi' thee?"
O, the broom...

He's lighted aff his milk-white steed,
An' set this fair maid on,
"Noo ca' your herds, good lady," he said;
"Ye'll ne'er see them again.

"For I am the laird o' Knottingham,
Wi' fifty ploos an' three,
An' let your faither cam' after your sheep,
For tonight my bride ye'll be."
Singin', O, the broom...

-----------------------------------------------------------

Child #217
Roud-92
This is the only ballad version I have heard of this song.
(The lyric text, which is sung to the same tune, is incredibly
common. Ewan MacColl sings another ballad text on "The English
and Scottish Popular Ballads, Volume III," but it uses a
different stanza structure). This is very loosely the version
sung by Dan and Roxanne Keding on Wisconsin Public Radio's
"Simply Folk Sampler," but Jeff Cahill also interpolates some
phrases, and I collated the result with Child's "A" text
to bring back the Scottishness of the original.

For a completely different ballad text for this well-known
and beloved tune, see the "B" text of Child 95. Although
clearly a version of that ballad ("The Maid Freed from the
Gallows," best known in America as "Hangman, Hangman,"),
it has taken over the burden -- and apparently the music --
of "Broom o' the Cowdenknowes." RW

glossary:
aboot: about
aff: off
anither: another
ca': call
cam': came
dinna: do not
fu': full
gane: gone
hae: have
hame: home
intae: into
laird: landowner
may: maid
nairth: north
noo: now
ploos: plows
sae: so
simmer: summer
speired: asked
syne: then
ta'en: taken
tae: to
twa: two
wad: would
wauked: walked
wha: who
yin: one
yowe: ewe

@bastard @pregnancy @Scottish
filename[ COWDENK2
TUNE FILE: COWDENKN
CLICK TO PLAY
TUNE FILE: COWDENKN.2
CLICK TO PLAY
TUNE FILE: COWDENKN.3
CLICK TO PLAY
RW

BROOM OF THE COWDENKNOWES (from DT)

How blithe each morn was I tae see
My lass came o'er the hill
She skipped the burn and ran tae me
I met her with good will.

O the broom, the bonnie, bonnie broom
The broom o the cowdenknowes
Fain would I be in the north country
Herding her father's ewes

We neither herded ewes nor lamb
While the flock near us lay
She gathered in the sheep at night
And cheered me all the day

Hard fate that I should banished be
Gone way o'er hill and moor
Because I loved the fairest lass
That ever yet was born

Adieu, ye cowdenknowes, adieu
Farewell all pleasures there
To wander by her side again
Is all I crave or care

_____
Sing Out.
17th Century Scottish.
Child #217
Roud-92
Recorded by Clutha- Bonny Mildams, Silly Wizard
@Scottish @love @plant @animal
note: Alternate tune COWDENKN.2 is the older version: from Orpheus
Caledoneus, Thomson (1733). COWDENKN.3 from Robert Waltz; variant
on COWDENKN.
filename[ COWDENKN
TUNE FILE: COWDENKN
CLICK TO PLAY
TUNE FILE: COWDENKN.2
CLICK TO PLAY
TUNE FILE: COWDENKN.3
CLICK TO PLAY
SOF


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