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Origin: Bonnie Bessie Logan

08 Nov 15 - 07:42 AM (#3749214)
Subject: Folklore: Bonnie Bessie Logan
From: GUEST,Tommy O'mallet

I have looked high and low on the Internet to try and nail down a date of origin for the song "Bonnie Bessie Logan". Does anyone have a guess as to what year this sing is originally from?


08 Nov 15 - 07:58 AM (#3749215)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Bonnie Bessie Logan
From: Megan L

have not been able to narrow it down much but apparently it appeared in one of the volumes of poetry written by Alexander Anderson who was born in 1845 and died in 1909

Songs of Labour,(1873)
Two Angels (1875)
Songs of the Rail (1878)
Ballads and Sonnets (1879)


08 Nov 15 - 08:19 AM (#3749220)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Bonnie Bessie Logan
From: GUEST

Thank You


08 Nov 15 - 08:24 AM (#3749222)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Bonnie Bessie Logan
From: GUEST,Heres the why

I don't play many popular songs. some of the old songs I cover become known and enjoyed by some of the listeners. I get a kick out of introducing songs from centuries past. Some of the Bobby Burns songs being a good example. It occurred to me I had no idea how old Bonnie Bessie Logan is. Thanks Again Megan L


08 Nov 15 - 08:42 AM (#3749227)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Bonnie Bessie Logan
From: GUEST,Sol

Please, please don't call him "'Bobbie"
It's Robert or Rabbie.


08 Nov 15 - 08:48 AM (#3749229)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Bonnie Bessie Logan
From: Steve Gardham

It can't be that old because it doesn't feature in any of the old Scottish collections of traditional songs even as late as the Greig-Duncan Collection. My old mate, Ian Jock Manuel used to sing it and I therefore assume he got it from the repertoires of the likes of the Robertsons or the Stewarts, travellers. It might also be worth checking Harry Lauder's repertoire.


08 Nov 15 - 08:59 AM (#3749233)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Bonnie Bessie Logan
From: Megan L

a little more research and I found indexes for songs of the rail and ballads and sonnets and it does not appear in either of them though it does appear in the index of a volume of his works, many previously unpublished, which was published by his friends in 1912 3years after his death.

Thank you for asking about this song it has set me on an interesting study of a fascinating man.


08 Nov 15 - 09:44 AM (#3749241)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Bonnie Bessie Logan
From: Reinhard

These are A.L. Lloyd's sleeve notes from Ian Manuel's album:

Scotland has been specially prolific in lyrical songs that lie close to folk tradition but are nonetheless the compositions of educated author, whether amateur or professional, anonymous or known. This is one such, with stylised rural poetry set to a good tune that, brisked up, has also served as a march and has been adapted for one or two music hall ditties. Ian Manuel learnt it from the singing of the good Aberdeenshire singer John Mearns.


08 Nov 15 - 10:14 AM (#3749245)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Bonnie Bessie Logan
From: Reinhard

And John Mearns recorded Bonnie Bessie Logan for an EP on the Scottish Records label called "Folk-Songs of the North-East", probably in 1960-65. The sleeve notes said:

"Little is known of Bonnie Bessie Logan. This version was taken down from an old lady in Montrose by John Mearns himself. The lady, who was eighty, said that she heard her mother sing it sixty or seventy years before."

... which would make the song at least a hundred years old.


08 Nov 15 - 11:47 AM (#3749271)
Subject: RE: Origin: Bonnie Bessie Logan
From: GUEST,#

From pp 115-6 at

https://archive.org/stream/laterpoemsofalex00ande/laterpoemsofalex00ande_djvu.txt

BONNIE BESSIE LOGAN.

O, BONNIE Bessie Logan

Is dainty, young, and fair;
The very wind that's blawin'.

It lingers in her hair.
Sae lichtsome is her footstep

As she comes o'er the lea ;
But bonnie Bessie Logan

Is owre young for me.

O, bonnie Bessie Logan,
The lads are at the stile,

Or half-way up the loanin'
To catch your winsome smile;

1 fain wad be amang them,
If sic a thing could be,

But bonnie Bessie Logan
Is owre young for me.

O, bonnie Bessie Logan,

I saw you late yestreen ;
A rose was on your bosom,

And love was in your een.
I doot the lad that pu'd it

Is sure to win his plea,
For bonnie Bessie Logan


08 Nov 15 - 02:36 PM (#3749312)
Subject: RE: Origin: Bonnie Bessie Logan
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar

Very interesting information. Been wondering about the song for years. Tune is also used for Hullo Patsy Fagan, music hall song. Alex Campbell sang a version.


08 Nov 15 - 06:07 PM (#3749337)
Subject: RE: Origin: Bonnie Bessie Logan
From: GUEST,Ewan

Meant to say Alex sang Bessie Logan.


08 Nov 15 - 06:58 PM (#3749356)
Subject: RE: Origin: Bonnie Bessie Logan
From: GUEST,leeneia

You can hear how it goes on this YouTube video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYUBcCa7OPg