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Origins: Election Ballad of Westerhou' (Burns)

10 Jun 07 - 03:03 PM (#2073029)
Subject: Origins: Election Ballad of Westerhou' (Burns)
From: chico

What does this song mean? Who are johnstones? Me no get it.


    D         
The Laddies by the banks o' Nith
    Em                A
Wad trust his Grace wi a', Jamie;
But he'll sair them, as he sair'd the King
      G            D
Turn tail and rin awa', Jamie.

D                A
Up and waur them a', Jamie,
Up and waur them a';
    G                  D
The Johnstones hae the guidin o't,
    G               D
Ye turncoat Whigs, awa'!

The day he stude his country's friend,
Or gied her faes a claw, Jamie,
Or frae puir man a blessin wan,
That day the Duke ne'er saw, Jamie.

But wha is he, his country's boast
Like him there is na twa, Jamie;
There's no a callent tents the kye,
But kens o' Westerha', Jamie.

To end the wark, here's Whistlebirk,
Lang may his whistle blaw, Jamie;
And Maxwell true, o' sterling blue;
And we'll be Johnstones a', Jamie.


10 Jun 07 - 03:27 PM (#2073051)
Subject: RE: Origins: Election Ballad of Westerhou' (Burns)
From: Peace

It's by Robert Burns. You'll need a Scot to translate for you, Chico.


10 Jun 07 - 05:07 PM (#2073123)
Subject: RE: Origins: Election Ballad of Westerhou' (Burns)
From: GUEST,Auldtimer

This song was written before the election of Sir James Johnston of Weaterhall the Tory candidate to represent the Dumfries Burughs.

Jonstons - a supporter of the aforementioned Sir James, or Jamie as he is called in the song.


10 Jun 07 - 07:03 PM (#2073203)
Subject: RE: Origins: Election Ballad of Westerhou' (Burns)
From: masato sakurai

From James C. Dick, The Songs of Robert Burns (1903), p. 453:

No. 261. The laddies by the banks o' Nith. In The Spirit of British Song, 1826, ii. 53, and Cunningham's Burns, 1834, entitled 'Election Ballad for Westerha'.' In this second election ballad of 1789, the poet openly sympathizes with the Tory candidate. The Duke of Queensberry is held up to derision. Burns had a very poor opinion of the character of the Whig candidate, the son of his landlord. He is not named in the ballad but he is described in a letter to Graham of Fintry as 'a youth by no means above mediocrity in his abilities, and is said to have a huckster lust for shillings, pennies and farthings.' For a Note on the tune Up and waur them a' Willie; or, Up and warn a', see No. 283.


10 Jun 07 - 08:02 PM (#2073247)
Subject: RE: Origins: Election Ballad of Westerhou' (Burns)
From: masato sakurai

This song is in the DT as UP AN WAUN THEM A JAMIE.