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Origin: Donald Where's Your Trousers / ...Troosers

DigiTrad:
DONALD WHAUR'S YER TROOSERS?
DONALD WHERE'S YOUR TROUSERS


Related thread:
Verse in Donald Where's Your Troosers? (5)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Donald Where's Your Troosers?


GUEST,Peter 17 May 18 - 12:37 PM
GUEST,Grishka 05 Dec 10 - 05:58 AM
GUEST 04 Dec 10 - 05:43 PM
GUEST,Pete B 11 Sep 10 - 04:44 PM
MGM·Lion 15 Mar 10 - 11:33 AM
GUEST,JTT 14 Mar 10 - 03:27 PM
Doug Chadwick 14 Mar 10 - 04:23 AM
Doug Chadwick 14 Mar 10 - 04:06 AM
MGM·Lion 14 Mar 10 - 03:47 AM
Jim McLean 13 Mar 10 - 12:25 PM
Charmion 13 Mar 10 - 09:30 AM
BobKnight 13 Mar 10 - 06:31 AM
Jim McLean 13 Mar 10 - 05:13 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 13 Mar 10 - 04:54 AM
GUEST,Iain MacFadyen`s grandaughter 12 Mar 10 - 11:21 PM
Jim McLean 05 Sep 08 - 05:05 AM
GUEST,David T 04 Sep 08 - 11:49 PM
Jim McLean 26 Aug 08 - 06:16 AM
Jim Dixon 25 Aug 08 - 11:36 PM
Rowan 24 Aug 08 - 10:38 PM
GUEST,Jeff 24 Aug 08 - 10:33 PM
GUEST,Jeff, 24 Aug 08 - 10:28 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 24 Aug 08 - 09:55 PM
GUEST,Dave MacKenzie 24 Aug 08 - 08:09 PM
Lighter 24 Aug 08 - 08:02 PM
Malcolm Douglas 24 Aug 08 - 05:42 PM
Jim McLean 24 Aug 08 - 04:33 PM
Malcolm Douglas 24 Aug 08 - 03:20 PM
Lighter 24 Aug 08 - 02:27 PM
Jim McLean 24 Aug 08 - 01:18 PM
Malcolm Douglas 24 Aug 08 - 12:43 PM
Jim McLean 24 Aug 08 - 12:11 PM
Jim McLean 24 Aug 08 - 12:03 PM
GUEST,Jeff 24 Aug 08 - 08:03 AM
Effsee 23 Aug 08 - 10:12 PM
Murray MacLeod 23 Aug 08 - 07:39 PM
GUEST,Dave MacKenzie 23 Aug 08 - 07:34 PM
Murray MacLeod 23 Aug 08 - 06:53 PM
GUEST,Dave MacKenzie 23 Aug 08 - 06:44 PM
Jack Campin 23 Aug 08 - 06:23 PM
Bee 23 Aug 08 - 08:56 AM
goatfell 23 Aug 08 - 07:32 AM
GUEST,blind at first sight 22 Aug 08 - 02:49 PM
GUEST,Boab 24 Mar 04 - 04:04 AM
Murray MacLeod 23 Mar 04 - 07:44 PM
GUEST 23 Mar 04 - 07:36 PM
GUEST,Jeff, Aberdeen ( Scotland) 25 Jan 04 - 06:58 AM
Reiver 2 10 Oct 03 - 08:49 PM
GUEST,Julia 28 Sep 03 - 09:45 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Sep 03 - 01:50 AM
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Subject: RE: Origin: Donald Where's Your Trousers / ...Troosers
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 17 May 18 - 12:37 PM

Very late here BUT after much research, it is from ievan polkka

Ieva's Polka was written by a couplet writer active in 1920-1930 by the name of Eino Kettunen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yh9i0PAjck watch here :)


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Subject: RE: Origin: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 05:58 AM

A lovely song. Now I understand why Donald Duck (*1934, allegedly descending from McDucks) wears no such clothing: he dropped the kilt.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 05:43 PM

i watched QI and they talked about the nineteenth century cabre tosser donald dinnie who also tried high jumping, he failed the first two times then took hes kilt off for his third attempt i was qoindering if this is where the origin of "donald wheres your troosers" comes from


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Subject: RE: Origin: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: GUEST,Pete B
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 04:44 PM

When I was a boy(early 1950s) we had a record of it by Harry Lauder. Definitely pre Andy Stewart.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Mar 10 - 11:33 AM

"Bert Lloyd told me that he based his tune for 'Jack Orion' on 'Donald Where's Your Troosers'." === Burl 25 sep 03

=================

Anyone else recognise a resemblance also to The Blackleg Miner? ~~ another song alleged more than once on threads relating to it to have been at least much influenced by Bert's creative input ~~ which seems to me much closer than Jack Orion to Donald's Troosers. Which, the question always arises, will have influenced which? ~ if indeed there was any such influence.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 03:27 PM

Trousers are plural for the same reason scissors are - their double (and probably duplicitous) nature.

Pearse was shot on May 3, not May 4.

This sent me looking for the Proclaimers and Letter from America, with its plangent list of the highland homelands emptying of emigrants, and its video image of the Bible in Gaedhlig, the bottle of whisky and the fiddle in the emigrant's bag fingered over by the Customs man.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 04:23 AM

Oops! I don't know how that got submitted without my text in place, but here we go for a second try.

Just for interest, the Cubs and Brownies of the Grimsby Gang Show, Junior Gang, sang this song on stage last weekend in a musical sketch about the Loch Ness Monster. The audience of around 900, over 3 shows, clapped along with great enthusiasm.


DC


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Subject: RE: Origin: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 04:06 AM


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Subject: RE: Origin: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 03:47 AM

Returning to topic of singularity or plurality of nouns trousers, trews, &c ~~ is not a sort of analogy provided by the similarly 'dually-single' cutting implements scissors and shears?


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Subject: RE: Origin: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: Jim McLean
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 12:25 PM

I agree with all that, Charmion, but to clarify, all I was saying was that there is another songwriter whose name is Neil Grant .. a different person of course.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: Charmion
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 09:30 AM

Note for Jim McLean: Look up, but not very far up ...

Subject: RE: Origin: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: GUEST,Iain MacFadyen`s grandaughter - PM
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 11:21 PM

I can confirm that Iain MacFadyen and Neil Grant were the same person and he composed `Donald Where`s your trousers`and `The Scottish Soldier`.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: BobKnight
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 06:31 AM

Guest Jeff, Aberdeen wrote that 'Andy would be "dirlin" in his grave."

Sorry Jeff, but 'dirlin' means vibrating/stinging/throbbing. What you mean is, "birlin," which means spinning.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: Jim McLean
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 05:13 AM

Iain McFadyen's grandaughter, thanks for confirming my post of 24th August 2008. However, it should be noted there is another songwriter of a similar genre who is called Neil Grant.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 04:54 AM

The tune of "The Scottish Soldier" is a Tyrolean folksong adapted by Rossini and arranged for the pipes (as "The Green Hills of Tyrol") in the mid-19th century.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: GUEST,Iain MacFadyen`s grandaughter
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 11:21 PM

I can confirm that Iain MacFadyen and Neil Grant were the same person and he composed `Donald Where`s your trousers`and `The Scottish Soldier`.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: Jim McLean
Date: 05 Sep 08 - 05:05 AM

Andy Stewart wrote the words and Neil Grant wrote the music based on a trad tune.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: GUEST,David T
Date: 04 Sep 08 - 11:49 PM

Jim,
I have tried to follow this thread but still don't know that I have a clear answer. Did Stewart write "Donald Where's Your Troosers" or simply adapt an older song? You would seem to be in an ideal position to know. Yes?
Thanks
David T


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Subject: RE: Origin: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: Jim McLean
Date: 26 Aug 08 - 06:16 AM

Jim, you just beat me to it. I checked MacFadyen's pen names from a list I have of songs we wrote together and 'Grant' was a first name. Neil was a chap the same age as myself who also wrote for Andy. We adapted trad tunes and wrote what I would consider garbage now but such was the allure of having your songs sung on the telly by Andy Stewart that it was all seen as a bit tongue in cheek (nearly 50 years ago). Neil also wrote a song called 'Dr Finlay' which gave Stewart a platform for his impersonations. I remeber writing something to the tune 'The Hielan' Chorus' about Dr. Barbara Moor who walked from John o' Groats to Lands End. It was known, surprisingly enough, as the 'Walkin' Chorus'!!


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 25 Aug 08 - 11:36 PM

According to the National Library of Australia:

DONALD WHERE'S YOUR TROOSERS?
Words, Andy Stewart. Music, Neil Grant.
Melbourne: D. Davis & Co., c1960.


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: Rowan
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 10:38 PM

I can't add to the 'gen' on the song but, in Oz, the word "trouser" is not used as a (singular) noun as the name for the garment, but as a verb; "to trouser" something (usually money or valuables) is "to pocket" it, often with the allusion that the action is illegal or disreputable.

And, while the Oz slang "strides" and "duds" are both still used (as per Helen's post of almost exactly 10 years ago), older males often use the word "daks". I gather (from the Recitations anyone? thread, which includes the text of the Ballad of Idwal Slabs)) that "Daks" was a brand of trews made in the UK.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: GUEST,Jeff
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 10:33 PM

Oops! Not only the wrong Dave Mackenzie, but I double posted by accident, too. Not having a good day :-) Well, it was worth a shot as I've lost touch w/him and wanted to express my appreciation for his treatment of me many years ago. Maybe googlesearch would be the way to go. Thanks, anyway Dave Mac 2. jeff


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: GUEST,Jeff,
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 10:28 PM


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 09:55 PM

But in Gaelic two is singular, not plural. Plural is three or more.
    A'bhiel thu tuigsinn?


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: GUEST,Dave MacKenzie
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 08:09 PM

Sorry Jeff, the nearest I've been to Chicago is watching the Bears play the Cowboys at Wembley.

I was of course talking about my father's use of the Beurla. A trouser, of course, has two legs.


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: Lighter
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 08:02 PM

Even though we know the name of the melodist, the *tune* remains a "folk tune" in form and connections. (Except for copyright purposes, of course.)

This is not to slight, in the least, the interest or importance of Jim's info. It's just to emphasize my perspective. Gershwin's tunes, for example, are not "folk tunes." (Or, to cover myself, weren't.)


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 05:42 PM

Fair enough, then; thanks for clearing that up. That sort of insider information is what is needed when questions like this arise; and now we know that it comes from actual knowledge rather than speculation. I confess that I'm a little surprised; but that's nothing new: the obvious answer isn't always the right one.


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: Jim McLean
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 04:33 PM

Malcolm, unfortunately both 'writers' are dead but I can put my hand on my heart and say MacFadyen 'wrote' the tune from Oro and Stewart'wrote' the words. I was privy to their company and actually wrote for Andy Stewart myself. I wrote a song for him on his regular TV show, in Scotland.


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 03:20 PM

If pressed, I'd have gone with Jack on 'Highland Harry', I think; though really I'd have expected 'Donald' to be pastiche with no particular specific model. 'Common concensus' is often no more than 'general assumption' and people do make all sorts of claims here without backing them up; but if Jim has inside information that the rest of us aren't privy to (the Iain Macfadyen connection, say) then that may put a different face on things. Beside the generic structure, the actual melodies aren't close enough to trace one directly to the other unless the link is confirmed (as here, perhaps, if Jim's recollection is accurate) by means other than musical ones.


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: Lighter
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 02:27 PM

I'm with Malcolm on this. All three tunes have similarities, but that doesn't prove anything about a line of descent. Have been (like Jim) familiar with all three for years, but never made the connection myself.

OTOH, "Jack Orion," as mentioned elsewhere, is very similar to "Donal."

"Sailor" and "Oro" prove that "Donal" is in every material way a "recent folk tune." Except for copyright purposes of course.


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: Jim McLean
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 01:18 PM

The Oro se do tune was well known in the fifties and later in the folk song circles at least in the West of Scotland, and at the time Andy Stewart was singing 'on the telly' it was the common concensus among 'folkies' that his tune was based on the Oro se tune. I think I'm right in saying that the co-writer, Grant, was in actual fact Iain Macfadyen, the boss of BBC Scotland at the time, and a good friend of mine who knew the Oro song well. He was also co-writer of 'The Scottish Soldier' also based on a trad tune. Iain wasn't a musician but the collaboration was pecuniary, sharing credits, and tunes were usually just suggestions. Malcolm, you mentioned more likely candidates than'An Durd Fainne'. Which ones, out of interest?


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 12:43 PM

Yes, it's been mentioned before; by you, as it happens, in thread  Same Tune? Drunken Sailor/Oro se do. I still can't agree with you, though. Those tunes (and 'Johnny Cope', 'Highland Harry' and many others) are based on a very simple and common progression -'passamezzo antico', according to the Fiddler's Companion site- and it isn't necessary for them to be related in any linear sense in order to account for their similarity in sound. Andy Stewart may just have produced an effective pastiche of a pipe march; or, if he consciously based it on an existing tune, there are more likely candidates than 'An Durd Fainne'.


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: Jim McLean
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 12:11 PM

PS it's in the Mudcat under Oro! Se Do Bheatha Bhaile


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: Jim McLean
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 12:03 PM

I'm sure this was mentioned before but the tune is... let me quote from a McPeake Family sleeve notes on a Topic LP, 12T 87....

An Durd Fainne: The tune is relatively old, being a Jacobite air from the 1690s, but the words are fairly recent, written in 1909 by Patrick Pearse who, seven years later, was for a brief period the President of the Provisional Government of Ireland before he was shot by the British in May4th, 1916. The chorus, which is adapted to that of the Jacobite song, says: Welcome to our victorious army. Somr day Ireland will be free of foreigners.

In the late 50s, Thurso Berwick wrote a song called 'Lucky Wee Prince Chairlie' to the same air.


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: GUEST,Jeff
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 08:03 AM

If Guest Dave MacKenzie is the Dave MacKenzie of Chicago past and Nashville present, please contact Dean Milano @ Deanguy@ameritech.net as he's doing a book on the Chicago music scene of the 60's and 70's. He needs pictures and stories. You were one of most important singer-songwriters/blues player of that era. Your kindnesses to me, personally during that time I've never forgotten or had the opportunity to thank you for properly and wish to now, though it's a bit of a thread hi-jack. Thank you, Dave. You were/are a class guy and generous w/your time/knowledge to a scared young man.

Apologies to the OP for the diversion, but Mr. MacKenzie had a profound effect on my life though he was/is unaware...'til now. Sincerely, Jeff Jones


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: Effsee
Date: 23 Aug 08 - 10:12 PM

Dave MacKenzie, if your father was a Gaelic speaker , he would have owned "an truish". Not being a Gaelic speaker, I don't know if that is prural or singular. It's obviously the root of the word "trews", so would possibly suggest prural.


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 23 Aug 08 - 07:39 PM

did he have a separate trouser for each leg, Dave ?

I quite fancy the idea of having a right trouser and a left trouser, not necessarily in matching colours ...


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: GUEST,Dave MacKenzie
Date: 23 Aug 08 - 07:34 PM

My father, being a Gaelic speaker owned a trouser (actually several), but I don't think I can remember him ever using the plural form.


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 23 Aug 08 - 06:53 PM

it has often puzzled me, on the occasions when such things come to mind, why "trousers" should be a plural noun in the first place.

after all, nobody with the possible exception of Long John Silver has ever owned "a trouser" , have they ?

the usage has also , curiously, emigrated across the pond, where men wear "pants" instead of trousers, but still in the plural.

I would hazard a guess that this usage is a unique quirk of linguistics, but am as always prepared to be proved wrong.


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: GUEST,Dave MacKenzie
Date: 23 Aug 08 - 06:44 PM

In English, of course one would say "Donald, where are your trousers?": However in Scots the rules of grammar different, and "Donald, whaur's yer troosers?" is correct. There's also the added problem that if you spell words phonetically in Scots, you often come out with the standard English spelling, eg night, laugh, plough.


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Aug 08 - 06:23 PM

I believe the closest traditional antecedent to the tune is "Highland Harry", not "Johnnie Cope".

"Highland Harry" is late 18th century. Beethoven arranged it at Thomson's instigation, which may be why it ended up only slightly modified as the main theme of Schubert's "Quartettsatz" in C minor. It got around.


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: Bee
Date: 23 Aug 08 - 08:56 AM

Was my Dad's favourite song for a long time - one of a very few he actually tried to sing.


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: goatfell
Date: 23 Aug 08 - 07:32 AM

It's Donald Whaur's yer Troosers?

and it was written by Andy Stewart and Grant and it is not Scotland the brave which was written by Cliff Hanley


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: GUEST,blind at first sight
Date: 22 Aug 08 - 02:49 PM

you know, i love this song, the irish rovers do a brilliant version, although i always imagine groundskeeper willy from the simpsons doing this song :)


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 24 Mar 04 - 04:04 AM

Anyway---shouldn't the title be "Donald, where ARE your trousers"?
[In a flippant mode tonight-----]


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 23 Mar 04 - 07:44 PM

..............."My father had his own bagpipe band "...........

Are we graced here on Mudcat by the presence of the heir to the Duke of Atholl ?

just in case we are, may I direct your Grace to this thread on Tunes of Glory, where you will find not only the full lyrics to the second song about which you enquire, but also the guitar chords.

It just gets better and better doesn't it .....


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Mar 04 - 07:36 PM

This is fantastic! My father had his own bagpipe band and played the pipes for 40 years. Due to advancing age and health issues, he has recently retired from it, and is struggling with the loss of his beloved music and band performing.

I am writing a story for him to celebrate his life of bagpipes but am having difficulty finding the lyrics to a few traditional songs that I am referencing in my story. I was at my wit's end to find the lyrics to "Donald," a song I frequently heard during my childhood when my parents played their Andy Stewart records. I searched the Internet till I found this site and here it is!

Thank you all for your intersting commentary.

By the way, I am also looking for the lyrics to:

"Oh, I'm a Scottish fiddler. I fiddle all the day....... Oh, I'll just keep on fiddlin' till the day I die." Andy Stewart sang this, too.

"When the pipes and singing and the kilts are swinging, and the ....the old pipe band.....Hear them ring, hear them sing! They're off....the old pipe band." Traditional filk song.

If anyone has any ideas, please let me know!


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: GUEST,Jeff, Aberdeen ( Scotland)
Date: 25 Jan 04 - 06:58 AM

and i thocht this was just a funny old song.......i never imagined it would provoke so much intelligent discourse and intellectual disection.....

i`m sure Andy will be "dirlin` in his grave" and chortling all the way to the great ceileidh in the sky at the thought of so many people taking so much time to discuss a daft song about a laddie in a kilt.....


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: Reiver 2
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 08:49 PM

Only during the scenes where he was swimming, Julia! :-)

Reiver 2


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: GUEST,Julia
Date: 28 Sep 03 - 09:45 PM

I thought a "dipthong" was what Tarzan wore swimming...
HE certainly didn't wear troosers, or trousers!


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Subject: RE: Donald Where's Your Trousers
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Sep 03 - 01:50 AM

There are several songs called "Highland Laddie," but one has the verse:

If I were at free to chuse
To be the wealthiest lowland lady,
I'd take young Donald without trews,
With bonnet blue and belted plaidy (pladdy).

(Bodleian Library, several copies, two with old fonts where the s looks like an f- prob. close to 1800)

Perhaps the lyricist of "Donald....." knew this old song.


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