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Lyr Add: Daft Jamie (ballad about Burke & Hare)

Jack Campin 25 Feb 99 - 05:26 PM
Jim Dixon 30 Sep 09 - 10:34 PM
Jim Carroll 01 Oct 09 - 03:11 AM
Jack Blandiver 01 Oct 09 - 03:48 AM
eddie1 01 Oct 09 - 04:00 AM
Jack Campin 01 Oct 09 - 08:02 AM
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Subject: What is this Burke and Hare ballad parodying?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 Feb 99 - 05:26 PM

Anyone recognize the pattern this is based on?

"Daft Jamie", from Four New Songs, pub. J. McNairn, Newton Stewart (1829, presumably)

O! dark was the midnight when Hare fled away,
Not a star in the sky gave him one cheering ray,
But still now and then, would the blue lightnings glare,
And some strange cries assail him, like shrieks of despair

Over vale, over hill, I will watch thee for ill,
I will haunt all thy wanderings and follow thee still.


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Subject: Lyr Add: DAFT JAMIE (ballad about Burke & Hare)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Sep 09 - 10:34 PM

I can't answer Jack Campin's question, but here is the whole ballad.

(By the way, Jack still posts at Mudcat, though we seldom cross paths.)

From The History of Burke and Hare and of the Resurrectionist Times by George MacGregor (Glasgow: Thomas D. Morison, 1884), page 296:


DAFT JAMIE.

The following is a chap-book version of the ballad quoted at pp. 205-6.

1. O! dark was the midnight when Hare fled away,
Not a star in the sky gave him one cheering ray,
But still now and then, would the blue lightnings glare,
And some strange cries assail'd him, like shrieks of despair.

CHORUS: Over vale, over hill, I will watch thee for ill;
I will haunt all thy wanderings and follow thee still.

2. But, lo! as the savage ran down the wild glen,
For no place did he fear like the dwellings of men,
Where the heath lay before him all dismal and bare,
The ghost of Daft Jamie appeared to him there.

3. I am come, said the shade, from the land of the dead,
Though there is for Jamie no grass-covered bed,
Yet I'm come to remind you of deeds that are past,
And to tell you that justice will find you at last,

4. O! Hare, thou hast been a dark demon of blood,
But vengeance shall chase thee o'er field and o'er flood;
Though you fly away from the dwellings of men,
The shades of thy victims shall rise in thy den.

5. When night falls on the world, O! how can you sleep,
In your dreams do you ne'er see my poor mother weep?
Sadly she wept; but, O! long shall she mourn,
E'er poor wandering Jamie from the grave shall return.

6. From the grave, did I say, and though calm is the bed
Where slumber is dreamless, the home of the dead,
Where friends may lament, there sorrow may be,
Yet no grave rises as green as the world for me.

7. O! Hare, go to shelter thy fugitive head,
In some land that is not of the living or dead;
For the living against thee may justly combine,
And the dead must despise such a spirit as thine.

8. O! Hare fly away, but this world cannot be
The place of abode to a demon like thee,
There is gall in your heart—poison is in your breath,
And the glare of your eyes is as fearful as death.

9. When the blue lightnings flash'd through the glen, and it shone,
And there rose a wild cry, and there heaved a deep groan,
A§ the Ghost of the innocent boy disappear'd,
But his shrieks down the glen, in the night breeze were heard.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Daft Jamie (ballad about Burke & Hare)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 03:11 AM

This one has a more singable feel to it IMO
Jim Carroll

Burke And Hare

William Burke it is my name
I stand condemned alone.
I left my native Ireland
In the county of Tyrone.
And o'er to Scotland I did sail,
Employment for to find;
No thought of cruel murder
Was then into my mind.

At Edinburgh trade was slack,
No work there could I find;
And so I took the road again,
To Glasgow was inclined;
But stopping at the West-port
To find refreshment there,
0 cursed be the evil hour
I met with William Hare!

With flattering words he greeted me
And said good fortune smiled;
He treated me to food and drink
And I was soon beguiled;
He said:"There's riches to be had,
And fortune's to be made,
For atomists have need of us.
So join me in that trade.

Hare he kept a lodging-house
Therein a man had died,
His death went unreported
And of burial was denied
We put the dead man in a cart
And through the streets did ride.
And Robert Knox,the atomist,
The dead man he did buy.

To rob the new dug graves by night
It was not our intent;
To be taken by the nightwatch
Or by spies was not our bent.
The plan belonged to William Hare
And so the plot was laid,
He said that "murder's safer
Than the resurrection trade."

Two women they were in the plot
The wife of William Hare,
The other called McDougal,
And travellers they did sanre;
They lured them to the lodging house
And when they'd drunken deep,
Hare and me, we smothered them
As they lay fast asleep.

At first in fear and dread I was
But later grew more bold,
In nine short months we killed fifteen
And then their bodies sold.
The doctors did not question us,
But quickly paid our fee,
The price they paid,it prospered us,
Both William Hare and me.

But soon our crimes they were found out
In jail we were confined,
And cruel guilt it tore my heart
And much despairs my mind;
And Hare, who first ensnared me
And led me far astray
Has turned King's evidence on me
And sworn my life away


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Daft Jamie (ballad about Burke & Hare)
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 03:48 AM

Daft Jamie was portrayed to be superb effect by Aubrey Woods in The Greed of William Hart (1948, though it feels much older!) featuring the master of the grand guignol himself, Tod Slaughter as the eponymous anti-hero and Henry Oscar as his vile sidekick, Mr Moore. Hart and Moore are, of course, Burke and Hare, their names being changed on the insistence of the censors whereupon the enraged production team set about the sacrilege of dubbing their precious movie with the names of Hart and Moore (and Dr. Cox for the equally notorious Dr. Knox). Needless to say they made this as obvious and incongruous as possible resulting in some of the most inspired and often hilarious dialogue in the history of British cinema. It's also rumoured that this dubbing took up the budget set aside for the musical soundtrack, which is, as a consequence, conspicuous by its absence. Daft Jamie remains unscathed however in this classic period piece which is one of the three films I invariably watch in preparation whenever I have cause to visit Auld Reekie - the others being Greyfriar's Bobby (1961) and Trainspotting (1996).

I wonder, are there any clips on YouTube? Alas not! But there are some choice clips of Tod Slaughter, including this Pathe Newsreel feature: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUuCGQbUORY

What a fine start to October!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Daft Jamie (ballad about Burke & Hare)
From: eddie1
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 04:00 AM

Thanks to Tattie Bogle from the thread on Edinburgh songs

THE SACK 'EM UP BOYS
Chorus
Up the Close and doon the stair,
But and ben wi' Burke and Hare,
Burke's the butcher,
Hare's the thief,
Knox the boy who buys the beef.

Hurry doon the Castle Wynd,
Look before and look behind,
There they wait tae tak yer life
And sell ye fur the surgeon's knife….

Auld or young or dark or fair,
It maks na mind tae Burke and Hare,
While Dr Knox peys oot the tin,
They'll sack 'em up and bring them
in….

Reekie's rows are dark and drear,
Reekie's vennels reek wi' fear,
Mind yersel gaun doon the stair,
Fur fear ye meet wi' Burke and Hare…

Eddie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Daft Jamie (ballad about Burke & Hare)
From: Jack Campin
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 08:02 AM

I think I have all of those in the "Embro, Embro" stuff on my website...
http://www.campin.me.uk/Embro/Webrelease/Embro/13law/13law.htm

But doesn't anybody recognize what that song was pastiching?


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