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Origins: Gaelic Verse in Burning of Auchindoun

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BURNING OF AUCHINDOUN


Related threads:
Background to Burning of Auchindoun (22)
Chord Req: Burning of Auchindoun (4)


Fi 04 Nov 03 - 03:32 PM
Jim McLean 04 Nov 03 - 04:27 PM
Malcolm Douglas 04 Nov 03 - 04:37 PM
GUEST 05 Nov 03 - 09:13 AM
Jim McLean 05 Nov 03 - 09:21 AM
GUEST,Davetnova 05 Nov 03 - 09:46 AM
GUEST 05 Nov 03 - 10:22 AM
Kevin Sheils 05 Nov 03 - 10:48 AM
Fi 05 Nov 03 - 02:42 PM
Susanne (skw) 05 Nov 03 - 05:57 PM
GUEST,Agnieszka Szmur³o 31 May 04 - 07:58 AM
GUEST,James 31 May 04 - 08:05 AM
Scabby Douglas 31 May 04 - 06:58 PM
Uncle_DaveO 31 May 04 - 09:11 PM
GUEST,S Chapman 19 Sep 05 - 06:18 AM
Malcolm Douglas 19 Sep 05 - 10:56 AM
GUEST 02 Jul 08 - 11:32 PM
pavane 03 Jul 08 - 07:52 AM
pavane 03 Jul 08 - 07:56 AM
Scabby Douglas 03 Jul 08 - 07:58 PM
Malcolm Douglas 04 Jul 08 - 01:48 AM
pavane 04 Jul 08 - 03:56 AM
Big Tim 04 Jul 08 - 01:29 PM
GUEST,Nóra 21 Jul 08 - 09:36 AM
GUEST,Cece Borjeson 11 Apr 11 - 10:19 PM
GUEST,Reynardine 29 Aug 18 - 11:40 PM
Jim Carroll 30 Aug 18 - 02:44 AM
Jack Campin 30 Aug 18 - 03:48 AM
Thompson 30 Aug 18 - 04:49 PM
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Subject: Origins: Gaelic Verse in Burning of Auchindoun
From: Fi
Date: 04 Nov 03 - 03:32 PM

Hi there, I've been singing a version of the Burning of Auchindoun which has a first and last verse as follows:
"When will my love come to me
Over land and over sea
Will he be the one for me
Oh decko decko dandy
Halamachadoo hoo-ra-bhi
Oh hoo-rabha-hi-na, hoo-rabha hin
Halamachadoo hoo-ra-bhi
Oh decko decko dandy"
Does anyone know the origins of this verse? Is the middle bit Gaelic? If so, what does it mean? Also, in the main verse, there are two old English words, Crouse, which means courage and crawing... anyone know a meaning for crawing? The lines are:
"Crawing, crawing, for a' your crouse a'crawin'
Ye burnt your crop an' tint your wings an hour before the dawning"
I can't quite make sense of these last lines in context with the rest of the song.
Thanks
Fiona


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Verse in Burning of Auchindoun
From: Jim McLean
Date: 04 Nov 03 - 04:27 PM

I've never heard any Gaelic verses to this song and I understand from the only two verses I know that Willie MacIntosh decided to burn Huntly's house, Auchendoun, irrespective as to what might happen to him. Someone (McIntosh?) is saying '..for all your bold boasting, you've burnt your crop and lost your wing ..', using a bird as an analogy. I suppose because McIntosh hated Huntly so much he's revelling in revenge? I don't know the story behind this song but I'm sure someone will post it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Verse in Burning of Auchindoun
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 04 Nov 03 - 04:37 PM

That extra bit doesn't belong to Willie MacIntosh (Auchindoun) at all, but was grafted onto it by some band called Gallowglass, of whom I know nothing (there seem to have been several groups or bands by that name). According to the Cantaria website, they got it off a record made by another obscure group, The Wallace Clan. No useful information is given, but the lyric is quoted. It looks to be a children's song, and has a different tune. The Burning of Auchindoun tune was popularised by Ewan MacColl, who reckoned to have got it from his father, William Miller.

Not Gaelic as such, I think, but Gaelic-style vocables (meaningless syllables used in singing).

"Crawing" is the same word as "crowing".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Verse in Burning of Auchindoun
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Nov 03 - 09:13 AM

Gallowglass..I have never heard of the band..but I love the word..dosen't it mean a spy or a traitor..if it does, it seems an odd name for a band.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Verse in Burning of Auchindoun
From: Jim McLean
Date: 05 Nov 03 - 09:21 AM

Guest, don't you mean 'grass' as in snake in the grass. I suspect Gallowglass is a fictional word as glas is a colour in Gaelic.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Verse in Burning of Auchindoun
From: GUEST,Davetnova
Date: 05 Nov 03 - 09:46 AM

Gallowglass comes from the gaelic galloglaigh (meaning foreign soldier) they were Scots/Irish mercenaries in 10th /11th century


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Verse in Burning of Auchindoun
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Nov 03 - 10:22 AM

Thank you, when I was at school I read a book by that title and have always thought it a grand word. Thanks again for clarifying the meaning.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Verse in Burning of Auchindoun
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 05 Nov 03 - 10:48 AM

There is a tune, often recorded, called "The Gallowglass" I think it's a jig, haven't got a copy to hand.

Also a NE England tune called "The Gallowglass Rant" recorded by Willie Taylor, Joe Hutton and Will Atkinson available on the Voice of the People series. I don't know if it's a variant of the jig.

There was also a well known Gallowglass Ceilidh Band in my youth.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Verse in Burning of Auchindoun
From: Fi
Date: 05 Nov 03 - 02:42 PM

Thanks to all. I got the version of the song from Cantaria and it seemed like a graft with some Gaelic sounding vocables... my suspicions confirmed, just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something. The graft makes it into a more substantial song and the whole works well with a bit of bodhran backing. Anyway, thanks for the contributions. I haven't managed to find anything about the band either.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Verse in Burning of Auchindoun
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 05 Nov 03 - 05:57 PM

A little more background in My Songbook, including a link to another Mudcat thread, Background to Burning of Auchendoun


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Subject: Burning of Auchindoun chords
From: GUEST,Agnieszka Szmur³o
Date: 31 May 04 - 07:58 AM

Hi Everyone, I'm from Poland, and I'm searching the web for 'Burning of Auchindoun' chords. I've already found notes.
Can you help me?
Plese, I'll be grateful (:


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Verse in Burning of Auchindoun
From: GUEST,James
Date: 31 May 04 - 08:05 AM

I do believe that Gallowglass is a real word and that it does mean spy or traitor.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Verse in Burning of Auchindoun
From: Scabby Douglas
Date: 31 May 04 - 06:58 PM

I Googled for Gallowglass and this came up...

I remembered it as being connected with Gaelic mercenaries, but couldn't be sure.

The above site has a lot of information, some of which I would take with a large pich of salt, but it was only one amongst many that came back with the same general definition.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Verse in Burning of Auchindoun
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 31 May 04 - 09:11 PM

"Ye've brunt yer crop"

"brunt" means "burned", which doesn't take much imagination when you're dealing with arson.

"crop". If you're crowing, you must be a rooster. A chicken/rooster has a crop as part of its digestive system.

"and tint yer wings" "tint" is not color, as in English. "Tint" here is "lost"

Looks like the rooster has inhaled fire and burned his stomach, and burned off his wings, "an oor before the dawnin'"

For all his crowse (coarse) crawin' (crowing), the rooster got his comeuppance.

David Oesterreich

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Verse in Burning of Auchindoun
From: GUEST,S Chapman
Date: 19 Sep 05 - 06:18 AM

The graft section of the song (Hullamacakoo etc) comes from a song called the Island Spinning Song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Verse in Burning of Auchindoun
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 19 Sep 05 - 10:56 AM

Thank you. Island Spinning Song appeared in Hugh S Roberton's Songs of the Isles (Curwen, 1950) with an English text by Roberton from "original Gaelic words by Angus Robertson". The tune was described as "traditional Gaelic tune from Donalda MacLeod".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Verse in Burning of Auchindoun
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 11:32 PM

This has always been my understanding of the text with all of the written phonetic accent (to my Standard american english ears) removed, but not the slang.

As I came in by Fiddichside, on a May morning
I spied Willie MacIntosh an hour before the dawning

Turn again, turn again, turn again, I bid you
If you burn Auchindoun, Huntly he will head you

Head me or hang me, that shall never fear me
I will burn Auchindoun thought the life leaves me

As I came in by Auchindoun on a may morning
Auchindoun was in a blaze, an hour before the dawning

Cawing, cawing, for all your crows cawing
you burnt your crop and tint your wings an hour before the dawning


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Verse in Burning of Auchindoun
From: pavane
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 07:52 AM


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Verse in Burning of Auchindoun
From: pavane
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 07:56 AM

It seems to have lost my typing.
Here we go again:

I always thought it was ?taen't (Taken to?) your wings, i.e. flew away. Seems to make more sense to me, if you had just burned the place down.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Verse in Burning of Auchindoun
From: Scabby Douglas
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 07:58 PM

Hmm - I think that "tint" makes more sense and is much more likely than "taen't". I've never come across a contraction like the one you propose, pavane.

And "tint" in Scots, which is the language of the song, means "lost".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Verse in Burning of Auchindoun
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 01:48 AM

That particular form of words is found only in the set published by Ewan MacColl. I don't have a copy of his Scotland Sings, but it's possible that there is some explanation given there. Bronson (III, 164) prints the MacColl tune with the comment 'Latterly, Ewan MacColl has recorded the ballad with a tune learned from his father and a text from Child's B, or Finlay [Scottish Historical and Romantic Ballads, 1808].'

MacColl frequently expanded fragments learned from his father from print sources, and that is the case here. 'Learned from the singer's father in a fragmentary form and collated with verses from Child's texts' (sleeve notes, The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, IV, Riverside RLP 12-628 (A1)). Most of the text is as quoted by Child from Finlay, but compare the final verse from Child/Finlay:

Crawing, crawing,
For my crowse crawing,
I lost the best feather i my wing
For my crowse crawing.

Whether MacColl's form of it was just as his father sang it or whether it was his own re-write, I wouldn't know. It's possible that he made some further comment on the subject elsewhere. The word is certainly 'tint' (lost), though.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Verse in Burning of Auchindoun
From: pavane
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 03:56 AM

Fair enough, then


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Verse in Burning of Auchindoun
From: Big Tim
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 01:29 PM

Gallowglass is a word that I learned in early childhood as it is mentioned in 'Clan Connell War Song' (aka 'O'Donnell Abu'). The tune was popular in the 40s and 50s as a signature tune on Radio Eireann. The Gallowglass were mercenary soldiers in Ireland from the Scottish Western Islands and Argyll.

It is defined in the Dictionary Of Hiberno-English as,

'galloglas, noun, a mercenary of Scottish or Hiberno-Norse origin; a heavily armed soldier in a chief's retinue. From the Irish 'gallóglach; gall = foreigner, óglach = army.

There's a well known ceili band called Gallowglass.

(sorry I don't know anything about the Auchindoun song!)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Verse in Burning of Auchindoun
From: GUEST,Nóra
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 09:36 AM

There is a town called Huntly right next to Auchindoon, so I would surmise it it more than a revenge story. If the town is named after the man he must have been a big landowner, if the other way around he must have been a lord, either way, it smacks of rebellion rather than personal grudge.

I would be most interested in the full story if anyone has it.

Gallowglasses, by the way, were neither traitor nor spy, they were simply trying to earn a living in a dangerous trade, as poor people have been doing for thousands of years!

We learned extensively about them in primary school history class as they played a huge part in shaping Irish history.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Verse in Burning of Auchindoun
From: GUEST,Cece Borjeson
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 10:19 PM

HISTORY OF THE SONG: In 1592, the Earl of Huntley lured the Earl of Murray to his castle on pretenses, in order to slay him as a traitor to the crown. Murray's people (Clan Chattan, with whom Willie MacIntosh was aligned) declared they would seek revenge up Huntley for Murray's death. In the ensuring battle, 60 men of Clan Chattan were slain.

Crows were a feared symbol of war, and would feast upon the dead after a battle. Legend has it that some Celtic warriors went into battle with grain in their pockets for use in the event of a large-scale slaughter ... when burial was not possible, the grain would be sown and the crops would engulf the carrion.

Some highly ritualized Celtic burial mounds have been unearthed containing parts of chariots, battle gear, drink and food, toques and valuables for use in the afterlife. One unearthed ancient Celtic battle helmet featured a crow atop it, with hinged wings that would "flap" as the wearer sped toward his enemy - making the warrior appear most fierce and unearthly - quite a frightening sight. Some Celtic lore purports that warriors were known to exacerbate their own battle wounds, to make themselves look more courageous. What a strange and wonderful culture.

My duo has been singing this 2-verse ballad for many years. The disonant harmonies are a real show-stopper, and will bring conversation noise in a performance space to pin-dropping silence. You can check out some MP3s of our tunes at www.ceceandruth.com
Posted Cece Borjeson


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Verse in Burning of Auchindoun
From: GUEST,Reynardine
Date: 29 Aug 18 - 11:40 PM

My understanding was that a galloglas was a big, heavily-armed shock troop.

In tbe main, CeCe Borjeson's explanation is the correct one. Barley was often carried as food by Gaelic fighters. If a man so provisioned were left to rot on open ground, or were too shallowly buried, the grain would often grow and indicate wbere his bones were. Hence, "The Wind that Shakes the Barley".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Verse in Burning of Auchindoun
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Aug 18 - 02:44 AM

GALLOWGLASSES
They feature regularly in songs about the early Irish rebellions, particularly THIS
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Verse in Burning of Auchindoun
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Aug 18 - 03:48 AM

I can't recall the details, but the burning of Auchindoun was one of a series of battles in a long-running vendetta. The destruction of Corgarff Castle (subject of a beautiful fiddle tune by Scott Skinner) was another one.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Verse in Burning of Auchindoun
From: Thompson
Date: 30 Aug 18 - 04:49 PM

Gallowglass is from gall (foreign) oghlaigh (youth), and means troops from abroad - I suppose mercenaries really. I've never heard it used for a spy or a traitor in Ireland.


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