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Scarborough Settler's Lament

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SCARBOROUGH SETTLER'S LAMENT


Joe Offer 20 Nov 03 - 05:10 AM
GUEST 20 Nov 03 - 06:58 AM
artbrooks 20 Nov 03 - 08:47 AM
GUEST 24 Nov 03 - 11:26 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Nov 03 - 06:36 PM
Malcolm Douglas 24 Nov 03 - 08:36 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Nov 03 - 09:03 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Nov 03 - 09:04 PM
Malcolm Douglas 24 Nov 03 - 09:45 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Nov 03 - 11:35 PM
GUEST,Wendy M. Grossman 25 Nov 03 - 08:21 AM
Malcolm Douglas 25 Nov 03 - 04:20 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Nov 03 - 06:08 PM
Malcolm Douglas 25 Nov 03 - 07:07 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Nov 03 - 02:26 PM
Malcolm Douglas 26 Nov 03 - 07:25 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Dec 03 - 11:24 PM
Malcolm Douglas 06 Dec 03 - 12:26 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 06 Dec 03 - 02:36 PM
Art Thieme 07 Dec 03 - 11:03 PM
GUEST,Elizabeth block, Toronto 08 Dec 03 - 02:41 PM
GUEST,Guest in Alice 01 Sep 09 - 04:08 AM
Bob the Postman 01 Sep 09 - 08:27 AM
SINSULL 01 Sep 09 - 10:27 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Sep 09 - 12:44 PM
GUEST,Guest in Alice 01 Sep 09 - 07:32 PM
GUEST,Tom Kennedy 19 Oct 14 - 10:36 PM
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Subject: Scarborough Settler's Lament
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Nov 03 - 05:10 AM

Transferred from the Help Forum:

Subject: Scarborough Settler's Lament (additional info
From: Wendy M. Grossman
Date: 19-Nov-03 - 10:02 AM

I happened to look up the lyrics to Scarborough Settler's Lament today (too lazy to go in the other room and look out the book it's in), basically because I wanted to check my memory of the lyrics, since I hadn't sung it in a while.

I'd like to add the following information to its listing.

It was also recorded by Wendy Grossman on Roseville Fair, 1980, and there's an MP3 of it at http://www.pelicancrossing.net/roseville.htm. I learned it from the Fowke book and also from Wendy Price, of Dewsbury, W. Yorkshire, who learned it when she was living in Canada in the 1960s. The settler who wrote the song undeniably came from the Scottish borders because when I performed it in Annan in the late 1970s, the club organizer took me around and showed me all the landmarks in the song.

wg
Any other comments or information on the song? Wendy's Website is quite interesting - take a look.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Scarborough Settler's Lament
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Nov 03 - 06:58 AM

I'd better add another comment. I see I should have reread my own liner notes, because the place was Langholm, not Annan.

wg


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Subject: RE: Scarborough Settler's Lament
From: artbrooks
Date: 20 Nov 03 - 08:47 AM

Wendy, a bit more information on how to get a CD copy...I looked at your website, but couldn't find an e-mail link.


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Subject: RE: Scarborough Settler's Lament
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 11:26 AM

How nice that you're interested.

There isn't an email link as such on the site, but wendyg@ the web site's domain name will reach me. (How protected are these boards from spam harvesters?)

Or wendyg@skeptic.demon.co.uk, or wendyg@cix.compulink.co.uk...

wg


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Subject: RE: Scarborough Settler's Lament
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 06:36 PM

The comments with the lyrics in the DT are largely nonsense. The area around Scarborough, Ontario, was settled by Scots, mostly in the early part of the 19th century, many from Lanarkshire.
It was good land for the taking, suitable for farming and mixed agriculture. Now it is on the east side of and part of the metropolitan area of Toronto and much is paved over.

Scots continued to whine and laud their homeland long after they settled in Canada, although they ran much of the business. Many examples are found in books such as "Selections From Scottish Canadian Poets, coll. by Daniel Clarke and published in 1909. Included are a number of "laments," such as the "Scottish Immigrants Lament."


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Subject: RE: Scarborough Settler's Lament
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 08:36 PM

Howsomever that may be, there are certainly some regrettable errors in the DT file. "banished Swill who view" should be "banished Swiss who views"; "Scotland" should be "Scotia" (its poetic name), and "lang syne" should not be in parentheses, as it does not refer to the well-known song, but means in this context simply "long since" or "long ago".

The Scarborough is clearly the Canadian one, not the one in Yorkshire!


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Subject: RE: Scarborough Settler's Lament
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 09:03 PM

Not to mention the "grassy date."


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Subject: RE: Scarborough Settler's Lament
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 09:04 PM

Banished Swill- I can't stop laughing.


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Subject: RE: Scarborough Settler's Lament
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 09:45 PM

Blimey, I missed that "grassy date". I suspect unchecked OCR, though that wouldn't account for the Scotland/Scotia business.

I know that I sometimes seem very awkward about errors of this kind (and that we all make mistakes), but people really do look to the DT as an authority, so we ought at least to try to deal with the more obvious and ridiculous cock-ups before publishing. I've certainly come across people who were having great difficulty understanding songs they found here, or fitting them to the tunes given, when the reason for their difficulty was that the words were completely wrong and the tune indicated had nothing whatever to do with the song concerned. More is not always better.


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Subject: RE: Scarborough Settler's Lament
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 11:35 PM

The scrambled lyrics in the DT are taken directly from elyrics.net, and are attributed to Stan Rogers (but he would never make those mistakes).

Steve Briggs site, with chords, is the place to find the Stan Rogers lyrics: Scarborough

The differences from the Penguin Book of Canadian Folk Songs are noted, including the Scotland-Scotia change. Lang Syne is put in ' ' in this copy as well. I haven't got the Penguin handy, but it should be used for a 'definitive' DT replacement.


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Subject: Lyr Add: A SCARBOROUGH SETTLER'S LAMENT
From: GUEST,Wendy M. Grossman
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 08:21 AM

I've appended below the lyrics as I've corrected them -- note that I've corrected them to the way *I* sing it -- I'm not Scottish, and I've accordingly Anglicized the words a little bit, though not so much as to destroy the rhymes. However, I would strongly encourage anyone to check either Fowke or my own recording of it -- I'm in the middle of reviving the stuff I used to sing, and you should not trust my memory (as the Annan/Langholm confusion clearly shows). Note, however, that it is Eskdale Pen, not glen.

Stan Rogers, btw, learned the song from my singing of it. AFAIAA until I began singing it in about 1977, no one was. And I recorded it in 1980 using Stan's producer, Paul Mills. I can't remember now whether Stan asked me for the words but if he did I'd have referred him to Fowke. He certainly had a tape of it at one point. Alex Campbell also picked it up from me. But of course the ultimate credit should go to Wendy Price for sitting me down and lecturing me on how I should sing it. (She also put on the same tape a song about Newfoundland refusing to join the Canadian "wolf" which I never learned, though I might now.)

I, too, got a good laugh out of Banished Swill. In fact, my mother was Swiss.

wg
A SCARBOROUGH SETTLER'S LAMENT

Away with Canada's muddy creeks
And Canada's fields of pine
Your land of wheat is a goodly land,
But oh, it is not mine
The heathy hill, the grassy dale.
The daisy spangled lea,
The purling burn and craggy linn --
Auld Scotia's land give me.

Oh, I would like to hear again
The lark on Tinny's hill
And see the wee bit gowany
That blooms beside the rill.
Like banished Swiss who views afar
His Alps with longing e'e.
I gaze upon the morning star
That shines on my country.

No more I'll win by Eskdale Pen
Or Pentland's craggy comb.
The days can ne'er come back again
Of thirty years that's gone,
But fancy oft at midnight hour
Will steal across the sea.
Yestre'en amidst a pleasant dream
I saw my own country.

Each scene that met my view
Brought childhood's joys to mind.
The blackbird sang on Tushey linn
The song he sang lang syne.
But like a dream time flies away
And then the morning came.
And I awoke in Canada,
Three thousand miles from hame.

Sandy Glendinning, 1840
Tune, Edith Fowke?
Penguin Book of Canadian Folk Songs


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SCARBOROUGH SETTLER'S LAMENT
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 04:20 PM

Here is the set as printed by Edith Fowke:


THE SCARBOROUGH SETTLER'S LAMENT

(Words: Sandy Glendenning, c.1870. Tune: William Marshall, c.1781)

Away wi' Canada's muddy creeks and Canada's fields of pine!
Your land of wheat is a goodly land, but ah! it isna mine!
The heathy hill, the grassy dale, the daisy-spangled lea,
The purling burn and craggy linn, auld Scotia's glens, gie me.

Oh, I wad like to hear again the lark on Tinny's hill,
And see the wee bit gowany that blooms beside the rill.
Like banished Swiss who views afar his Alps with longing e'e,
I gaze upon the morning star that shines on my countie.

Nae mair I'll win by Eskdale Pen, or Pentland's craggy cone;
The days can ne'er come back again of thirty years that's gone,
But fancy oft at midnight hour will steal across the sea:
Yestreen amid a pleasant dream I saw the auld countrie.

Each well-known scene that met my view brought childhood's joys to mind,
The blackbird sang on Tushy linn the song he sang lang syne,
But like a dream time flies away, again the morning came,
And I awoke in Canada, three thousand miles 'frae hame'.

The Penguin Book of Canadian Folk Songs. London: Penguin Books, 1973. No. 29. pp.76-77. Reprinted from Edith Fowke & Alan Mills, Canada's Story in Song, Toronto, 1960. pp.94-95.

Edith Fowke commented: "...Sandy Glendenning, who settled in Scarborough (now part of Metropolitan Toronto) in 1840, described his feelings in these verses, setting them to the first part of the old Scots air, Of A' the Airts the Wind Can Blaw. The song had some currency throughout Ontario, elsewhere being called simply A Scottish Settler's Lament. Sheila Bucher, longtime editor of the 'Old Favourites' page in the Family Herald, says her grandmother sang it to the tune of The Irish Emigrant's Lament."

The example printed was not noted from tradition; the text was taken from the 'Old Favourites' page in the Family Herald, and the tune is a simplified form of Of A' the Airts, changed from 4/4 to 6/8 time; in fact this title derives from the first line of the lyric Robert Burns set to it, which he called I love my Jean (Scots Musical Museum, III, 1790, no. 235, pp.244-5); its original title was Miss Admiral Gordon's Strathspey, and it was written by William Marshall, appearing in his Collection of Strathspey Reels, 1781. The tune given in the DT is exactly as in the Penguin collection.

Number 4521 in the Roud Folk Song Index, where only this example is listed at present.


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Subject: RE: Scarborough Settler's Lament
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 06:08 PM

There is a transcription with midi in the Contemplator ("Settler's Lament"). Some words are different, from the Penguin printing; Scottish spellings are absent except for hame, 'banished Swill' is present and Eskdale Pen becomes Eskdale Glen. A comma in front of 'lang syne' indicates the transcriber had Burns in mind. Settler
The version printed supposedly is from the Tannahill Weavers.

Ca. 1870?- seems more likely than 1840 or 1850. Is his first name known? He is not included in "Scottish Canadian Poets, 1909, coll. Daniel Clark. (listed as vol. 1, but I doubt further vols. were published).


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Subject: RE: Scarborough Settler's Lament
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 07:07 PM

The date is just a guess based on the reported date of his arrival in Canada (which some people seem to have mistaken for the date of composition of the song, though Fowke said no such thing; others have then copied the error without checking. Lesley Nelson's notes are largely wrong in this case) and his comment "thirty years that's gone". Logical, but a guess only.

Presumably his first name was Alexander. For what it's worth, the Canadian Census of 1881 records an Alexr Glendening, aged 74, Farmer, of Scottish origin, living at Egremont, Grey South, Ontario. Also, it appears that an Alexander Glendinning, aged 30, was married in 1862 at Brant, Ontario; his father's name was also Alexander Glendinning. This information from the Church of Latter-day Saints online database, which is not always accurate.


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Subject: RE: Scarborough Settler's Lament
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Nov 03 - 02:26 PM

Found a number of Glenden(n)ings or Glendin(n)ings associated with 19th century Ontario in genealogical records- Alexander, William, etc. But nothing to tie any of them to the poem.

"The Family Herald" (Later "F. H. and Weekly Star") once billed itself as Canada's farm weekly. Many short stories, poems, etc were published in addition to farm news. It billed itself at the beginning as "A Domestic magazine of Useful Information and Amusement. Dates (1870?) 1873-1956. Probably a continuation of "Canadian Herald"

Holdings for "Canadian Herald," 1858-1870 at Old Dominion University.

Another paper called the "Canadian Family Herald" started publication in 1851 and probably ceased in 1852.
Is there any indication of the date that the poem was published, and in which Family Herald?


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Subject: RE: Scarborough Settler's Lament
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 26 Nov 03 - 07:25 PM

Roud lists songs appearing in the "Old Favourites" section of the Family Herald & Weekly Star, Montreal. between 1896 and 1959; there were quite a lot. The reference to this song as printed in Canada'a Story in Song states that the text was quoted from The Family Herald, though specifics are not given. There is always the possibility that it is a mistake. Perhaps the notes in that book might help.


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Subject: RE: Scarborough Settler's Lament
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Dec 03 - 11:24 PM

Fouke, Mills and Blume, in Sources, p. 220 of "Canada's Story in Song," say that the poem appeared in the "Family Herald and Weekly Star," Old Favorites section. This places the printing between 1896 and 1959 (see Douglas, above. It could not have been before 1870, when the magazine was first issued).
In the introduction to the music and lyrics, Fouke et al. state that a Miss. Sheila Bucher, editor of the 'Old Favorites' page, remembers her grandmother singing the verses to the tune "The Irish Immigrants Lament." No date in noted. They state that a Scotsman named Sandy Glendenning who settled in Scarborough in 1840 described his feelings in these verses and set the air noted by Malcolm Douglas, above, in the post with the lyrics.
When the lyrics were published, how they came to be attributed to a 'Sandy Glendenning' or when they were sung by Miss. Bucher's grandmother are not specified. Unless there is more information with the printing in the "Family Herald and Weekly Star," the background to this song remains murky.


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Subject: RE: Scarborough Settler's Lament
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 06 Dec 03 - 12:26 PM

Edith Fowke compiled an index of songs printed in the "Old Favourites" series, which appears in The Canadian Journal for Traditional Music, Volume 7, 1979:

"Old Favourites": A Selective Index

The entry is:

A SCARBOROUGH SETTLER'S LAMENT: Away wi' Canada's muddy creeks. Sandy Clandenning. 12/8/31; 23/4/53.

I don't know whether "Clandenning" is as originally printed, or whether it is an uncorrected OCR error (of which there seem to be a great many in the online version of this Journal).


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Subject: RE: Scarborough Settler's Lament
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 06 Dec 03 - 02:36 PM

Thanks, Malcolm. First publication thus seems to be 1931. I should have remembered that that resource is on line.


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Subject: RE: Scarborough Settler's Lament
From: Art Thieme
Date: 07 Dec 03 - 11:03 PM

Links on the long chain is what we are. To me, that's cool as hell. It's a fine song however one does it.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Scarborough Settler's Lament
From: GUEST,Elizabeth block, Toronto
Date: 08 Dec 03 - 02:41 PM

This song is also in "Singing Our History". Probably out of print, but available through the Toronto Public Library system, which is where I found it.
I was confused when I first knew it, because the auld countrie was clearly Scotland, not Scarborough in northern England, and the only Scarborough I know is Toronto's present-day suburb, a.k.a. Scarberia. Then I learned that in the middle of the 19th century they did indeed grow wheat there. They didn't grow it well - it was called "wheat mining" - damaged the land, which wasn't really suitable for wheat - and soon went west where it was suitable. Lovely song.


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Subject: origins : Scarborough Settler's Lament
From: GUEST,Guest in Alice
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 04:08 AM

This song I heard on a recording by Stan Rogers. Does anyone know the story behind it?


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Subject: RE: origins : Scarborough Settler's Lament
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 08:27 AM

I do this one sometimes, having learned it from the singing of Tom Kines on the RCA Victor LP boxed set "Canadian Folk Songs: A Centennial Collection", which is probably where Rogers found it. It is included in Edith Fowke's "Penguin Book of Canadian Folk Songs", where the notes attribute it to a Sandy Glendenning who emigrated from Scotland to Ontario in 1840. The tune is said to be part of "Of A' the Airts the Wind Can Blaw". The notes also allude to at least one singer using a different tune, "The Irish Emigrant's Lament". I don't know if this latter is the same song as "Spancil Hill", but I've always been struck by the similarities between the lyrics of "Spancil" and "Scarborough".


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Subject: RE: origins : Scarborough Settler's Lament
From: SINSULL
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 10:27 AM

I see a parody of this coming from Jacqui with long verses on mosquitoes, ants, fleas, ticks and assorted wildlife of Scarborough, ME.


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Subject: RE: origins : Scarborough Settler's Lament
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 12:44 PM

Scarborough is now part of Toronto, Ontario. A 'wasteland' of the City?


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Subject: RE: origins : Scarborough Settler's Lament
From: GUEST,Guest in Alice
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 07:32 PM

Many thanks to all for your prompt answers.

Cheers


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Subject: RE: Scarborough Settler's Lament
From: GUEST,Tom Kennedy
Date: 19 Oct 14 - 10:36 PM

There is a Tinnis Hill about six miles east of Langholm, and it may be the origin of Tinny's hill. Haven't checked, but pretty sure it will have larks to hear!


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