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Happy! - Apr 10 ('The Gaberlunyie Man')


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Abby Sale 10 Apr 06 - 07:54 AM
Jim McLean 10 Apr 06 - 11:48 AM
GUEST,Guest, Big Tim 10 Apr 06 - 11:50 AM
GUEST,GUest, Big Tim 11 Apr 06 - 02:48 AM
GUEST,Guest, Big Tim 11 Apr 06 - 06:40 AM
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Subject: Happy! - Apr 10 ('The Gaberlunyie Man')
From: Abby Sale
Date: 10 Apr 06 - 07:54 AM

Happy Birthday!

James V (Scotland)

was born


Seems he did dress in mufti and wander out among the peasants and also that he versified. He was widely thought to have written my favorite ballad (no one thought he actually was the subject of it.)

Later writers don't think it had anything to do with him at all.

        A beggar, a beggar cam' o'er yon lea
        He was seeking food for charity
        An' many's the fine tale he tell't to me
        Oh would ye lodge a beggar man?
                Lassie to me tow rooay.

                "The Gaberlunyie Man" (ie "The Beggar Man," Child #279 Appendix)

Among many, Enoch Kent did an awfully nice job on this – about 1965 – first time I learned there were other styles of Scottish ballad singing besides MacColl's.

Notice: This series of the Happy File noncontinues beginning April 16.
Copyright © 2005, Abby Sale - all rights reserved
What are Happy's all about? See Clicky

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Subject: RE: Happy! - Apr 10 ('The Gaberlunyie Man')
From: Jim McLean
Date: 10 Apr 06 - 11:48 AM

Hi, Abby, we tend to say gaberlunzie in Scotland. Enoch is an old friend of mine and I have an EP of this song by him.

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Subject: RE: Happy! - Apr 10 ('The Gaberlunyie Man')
From: GUEST,Guest, Big Tim
Date: 10 Apr 06 - 11:50 AM

Yes, great song Abby.

Gavin Greig gives this as the first verse,

The pawky auld carle cam' owre the lea,
Wi' mony guid-e'ens and guid-days to me,
Says, "Guidwife, for your charity                                 Will ye lodge a beggar man.

He says that the song first appeared in Ramsay's "Tea Table Miscellany" (1724) and has often been attributed to King James the Fifth. You wouldn't get monarchs using language like that today!

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Subject: RE: Happy! - Apr 10 ('The Gaberlunyie Man')
From: GUEST,GUest, Big Tim
Date: 11 Apr 06 - 02:48 AM

According to Chambers Concise Scots Dictionary, the word gaberlunzie (earlier spelling was "gaberlungy" - please amend Mudcat Scots glossary) dates only from the 17th century, which would rule out the King as composer. I will check the (huge) Scottish National Dictionary in the library later today to see if there are any clues there. The word's origins seem to be lost, Chambers stating that they are "obscure".

PS Jim, photos still safe).

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Subject: RE: Happy! - Apr 10 ('The Gaberlunyie Man')
From: GUEST,Guest, Big Tim
Date: 11 Apr 06 - 06:40 AM

The King is back in the frame!

The Scottish National Dictionary says "the word appears to occur first in 1508 as a nickname in the form of 'gabirlenzeis', of obscure origin". Variant spellings given are "gaberlun(y)ie, -loon(z)ie, -loony, -linzie, -lun(j)i". Ramsay (see above) is also quoted as having printed the song in his Tea Table Miscellany. Sir Walter Scott also used the word, in "Antiquary" (1816), "Here or yonder - at the back o' a dyke, in a wreath o' snaw, or in the wame [belly] o' a wave, what signifies how the auld gaberlunzie dies?"

The Dictionary also says that the Gaberlunzie Man was a game. "The players seated in a semi-circle, each went through the motions of playing a different musical instrument, generally with considerable gusto and extravagance. They could choose anything save the fiddle, which was played by the Gaberlunzie Man as he stood at the centre...Suddenly he would change from the fiddle to an instrument of one of the players, who would then immediately take to the fiddle...It must be an old game, for my grandfather told us that his mother (born in 1786) was taught it by her grandfather".

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