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Lyr Req: Bonny George Campbell (Brian Peters)

DigiTrad:
BONNIE GEORGE CAMPBELL
JAMES CAMPBELL


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(origins) Origins: Bonnie George Campbell-other versions (36)
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Song from Lemony Snicket Movie (15)
Lyr Req: George Campbell (Gibb Todd) (2)
Lyr Req: Sir Gavin Grimbold (7)
Lyr Req: 'George Campbell': NOT Child #210 (10)


Roberto 02 Oct 04 - 10:30 AM
Mary Humphreys 02 Oct 04 - 11:17 AM
GUEST,Guest 02 Oct 04 - 02:23 PM
GUEST,Guest 02 Oct 04 - 02:26 PM
Jim McLean 02 Oct 04 - 02:57 PM
Malcolm Douglas 02 Oct 04 - 03:22 PM
Roberto 02 Oct 04 - 03:39 PM
Jim McLean 02 Oct 04 - 04:29 PM
Reiver 2 03 Oct 04 - 12:32 AM
Malcolm Douglas 03 Oct 04 - 12:18 PM
Reiver 2 03 Oct 04 - 12:24 PM
GUEST,Brian Peters 04 Oct 04 - 01:17 PM
Roberto 04 Oct 04 - 01:49 PM
Jim McLean 04 Oct 04 - 06:03 PM
Malcolm Douglas 04 Oct 04 - 06:22 PM
Jim McLean 05 Oct 04 - 04:29 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 05 Oct 04 - 03:17 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: brian peters' bonny george campbell
From: Roberto
Date: 02 Oct 04 - 10:30 AM

Bonny George Campbell (Child #210), as sung by Brian Peters on Brian Peters and Gordon Tyrrall, Clear the Road, Harbourtown HARCD 031, 1996. I can't get two/three words in the 4th stanza, which was given to Peters by Anne Alderson, as reported on the booklet. Another problem is on the third stanza: in the Scots versions, "my bairn is to big" should mean "my barn is to build", but here in an English text, I think it should be intended as "my barn is too big": am I right or wrong? Please, help correct and complete this text. Thanks. Roberto

High upon Highland, low upon Tay
Bonnie George Campbell rode out on a day
Saddled and bridled, so bonnie rode he
Home came his good horse, but never came he

Saddled and booted and bridled rode he
A plume to his helmet, a sword at his knee
But home came his saddle all bloody to see
Home came his good horse but never came he

Down came his old mother grievin' full sore
Out came his bonnie wife tearin' her hair -
Me meadow is green and me corn is unshorn
Me barn is too big and me baby is unborn

Over the hill rode MacDonald the red
And tied to his saddle young Campbell was dead
Blood from the oaken (?) ... ... to the ground
Revenged – cried MacDonald –Revenged for my son

High upon Highland, low upon Tay
Bonnie George Campbell rode out on a day
Saddled and bridled, so bonnie rode he
Home came his good horse, but never came he


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: brian peters' bonny george campbell
From: Mary Humphreys
Date: 02 Oct 04 - 11:17 AM

Child has, in his Version A from Herd's MSS:
    'My house is unbigged
    my barn's unbeen,
    My corn's unshorn
    my meadow grows green'
'unbigged' means not built.
In Brian Peters's version it may be' My barn is to bigg', as you suggest.
The fourth verse has no equivalent in Child. Perhaps Bronson has some versions that were incorporated?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: brian peters' bonny george campbell
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 02 Oct 04 - 02:23 PM

I always understood it to be 'my barley's too big' - ie it had been left too long unharvested.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: brian peters' bonny george campbell
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 02 Oct 04 - 02:26 PM

Should it be 'my barn is tae build'?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: brian peters' bonny george campbell
From: Jim McLean
Date: 02 Oct 04 - 02:57 PM

There are a few mistakes in your version, Renaldo, possibly due to the attempt at Anglicising it. Laigh upon Hielands, not low, My barn is to bigg, my barn is still to be built, but toom cam his saddle, not home came his saddle, toom means empty. Greetin' fu' sair, not grievin full sore. And it's not 'me' meadow or 'me' anything as the word is 'my'. The verse about McDonald I think is spurious.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: brian peters' bonny george campbell
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 02 Oct 04 - 03:22 PM

Only one text has "unbigged," and Mary has already quoted it and given its meaning. The word was already fairly archaic by the 19th century, and when R A Smith printed a set with music (The Scotish Minstrel, 1820-4, V, 50), the line read "My barn is to build, and my baby's unborn." (Bronson, III, 290) In the second edition, he dropped the line altogether.

Not something to fret much over, then; any more than it is worthwhile agonising about whether "to" should be spelled "tae" in a Scottish text. If Brian sang "me (sic) barn is too big" I'd be quite surprised; but he has a sense of humour, so I suppose it's possible.

As to that last verse, Bronson prints five tunes, four with (some) text; but nothing like that. A few sets have been published since then, but I expect that Anne Alderson wrote the verse herself.

All we can do is speculate. The best person to answer your questions would be Brian, whose new email address can be found at  http://www.harbourtownrecords.com/petersnews.htm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: brian peters' bonny george campbell
From: Roberto
Date: 02 Oct 04 - 03:39 PM

To Jim McLean.
1. Thank you for your help
2. I'm Roberto, not Renaldo
3. Don't compare my text to the Scots one, but to what actually Brian Peters sings, in English


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: brian peters' bonny george campbell
From: Jim McLean
Date: 02 Oct 04 - 04:29 PM

Sorry Roberto, I'm just back from a week in Hungary and a bit tired. What I meant was the version you printed. Regards,
Jim


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Subject: ADD Version: bonny george campbell^^^
From: Reiver 2
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 12:32 AM

I have only a 3 verse version. It is from "The Fireside Book of Folk Songs" edited by Mildred Bradford Boni, and has this note: "This version of the ballad is found in "The Scottish Minstrel" (edited by) R. A. Smith, 1820-24."

BONNIE GEORGE CAMPBELL

Hie upon hielands and laigh upon Tay,
Bonnie George Campbell rode out on a day.
He saddled, he bridled, and gallant rode he
Oh, hame cam his guid horse, but never cam he.

Out cam his mother, dear, greeting fu sair      (greeting = weeping)
And out cam his bonnie bryde riving her hair.
The meadow lies green, the corn is unshorn,
But bonnie George Campbell will never return.

Saddled and bridled and booted rode he,
A plume in his helmet, a sword at his knee,
But toom cam his saddle all bloody to see,
Oh, hame cam his guid horse, but never cam he.

Interesting that some Scots dialect is used (cam for come and hame for home for example, but it stays with to instead of tae and out instead of oot). Obviously this is not the Anglicized version that Brian Peters sang, so it won't help as far as the original inquiry is concerned. I thought it was worth posting as another version, however.

Reiver 2
    ^^^ (nice to have this version, but too close to the DT version to warrant harvesting)
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: brian peters' bonny george campbell
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 12:18 PM

Scots spelling isn't standardised, so there are rarely single "correct" forms. "To" and "tae" are both commonly used, for instance.

The text above (slightly altered) is from the second edition of Smith's Scotish Minstrel (he spelled it that way, though people who refer to his book frequently "correct" it), and Child prints it as his example C (Child, IV, 143). Bronson prints the tune, while expressing vague doubts: "Where it came from one cannot say, or even whether R. A. Smith arbitrarily set it to the words." (Bronson, III, 290).

Smith originally printed it as follows:

Hie upon Hielands, and laigh upon Tay,
Bonnie George Campbell rode out on a day;
He saddled, he bridled, and gallant rode he,
And hame cam his guid horse, but never cam he.

Out cam his mother dear, greeting fu' sair,
And out cam his bonnie bryde riving her hair,
"My meadow lies green, and my corn is unshorn,
My barn is to build, and my baby's unborn."

(Bronson, III, 290)

The other two texts with tunes in Bronson are American, from Bascom Lamar Lunsford and Frank Proffitt. There is a further tune from Scotland, with no words given. The Proffitt set is in the DT (see links above). The other DT set was taken from a record by Jean Redpath, and contains errors of transcription.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: brian peters' bonny george campbell
From: Reiver 2
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 12:24 PM

Thanks, Malcolm. As usual you are a helpful, authoritative voice.

Reiver 2


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: brian peters' bonny george campbell
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 01:17 PM

I do indeed sing an Anglicised version, which Anne Alderson scribbled down on a beermat at the legendary Collingwood folk club, Thornaby on Tees, during the 1980s. I never bothered doing a collation job on it, and have sung exactly these words ever since. I agree with Jim McLean that the McDonald verse is not traditional, but who added it I don't know. I've always been reticent about singing it in Scotland!
Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: brian peters' bonny george campbell
From: Roberto
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 01:49 PM

With the help of Brian Peters, whom I thank very much, the lines I couldn't get in the fourth stanza in his recording of Bonny George Campbell are: "blood from the open wound flowed to the ground". I remind that an explanatory stanza accusing the MacDonalds is also in Duncan Williamson's recording of the ballad ("For a band of MacDonald's he met on his way / For they took him and they hung him and they strang him to a tree / So hame came his good horse but never came he"). Also in this case, the stanza seems to have been added later. R


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: brian peters' bonny george campbell
From: Jim McLean
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 06:03 PM

Dear all, this is an open apology! The spurious verse about the McDonalds had been ringing bells for a few days so I searched through a compilation of one hundred songs I had put together in 1964 for publication by Scott Solomon. Under 'Bonnie George Campbell' I found verse 4:

Ower the howe rade MacDonald the Reid,
An tied tae his saddle was Campbell's black heid;
The blood frae its open mooth ran tae the grun'.
"Revenge!" cried MacDonald, "Revenge for my son!"

So I guesse I'm the culprit for such a dreadful verse!
Apologies again, I can only put it down to youthful ignorance.
Jim McLean


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: brian peters' bonny george campbell
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 06:22 PM

It's a big man who would own up to something like that.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: brian peters' bonny george campbell
From: Jim McLean
Date: 05 Oct 04 - 04:29 AM

Thanks, Malcom! In those days (late fifties onwards)I did 'things like that' to lots of songs. Some, I think, were successfull like the second half of Tbbie Dunbar which have filtered their way into the folk scene, It was over forty years ago and I forget some of them but they crop up now and again.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: brian peters' bonny george campbell
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 05 Oct 04 - 03:17 PM

Thanks for that info, Jim, at least I learned something useful by eavesdropping on this thresd.
Cheers
Brian


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