To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
6 messages

Origins: Borderland (the Archie Fisher version)

01 Jul 17 - 09:09 PM (#3863808)
Subject: Origins: Borderland (the Archie Fisher version)
From: Darren Raleigh

Hello again. I know, I've been away.
But I'm back to working on Borderland, the one I heard Archie Fisher sing. Anyway, I want to get the background for the song right and I recall reading somewhere that the song is taken from a poem written by a homeless poet - I can sure see that being true from the lyrics - and I'd like to know who that inspired person was, so I can get his name in the background information about the song.

Do you know the name I'm looking for?


01 Jul 17 - 09:55 PM (#3863814)
Subject: RE: Origins: Borderland (the Archie Fisher version)

Nothing to suggest on authorship...I had a guess the arrangement was in Open G

01 Jul 17 - 11:16 PM (#3863819)
Subject: RE: Origins: Borderland (the Archie Fisher version)
From: Reinhard

Archie Fisher's liner notes of his album "Off the Map" say:

"My own setting of the poem by "The Tramp Bard of the Borders" Roger Quinn. I see most of the places mentioned in the song every day when I am home, and it's all true."

02 Jul 17 - 02:39 AM (#3863828)
Subject: RE: Origins: Borderland (the Archie Fisher version)
From: Joe Offer

Anybody have lyrics to post?

03 Jul 17 - 02:40 AM (#3863977)
Subject: RE: Origins: Borderland (the Archie Fisher version)
From: Allan Conn

This is a cut and paste from the Diary of Dr J S Muir of Selkirk which is on the Heritage Hub

"*** Roger Quinn appears to have been Roger Quin, poet, concertinist and flute player, born Dumfries, 1850, to a family of 12 children. Married to Elizabeth Lynch. Sometime railway clerk in Dumfries, later in Galashiels and Glasgow busking for his keep with a flute and concertina. He gave recitations of his own work and a leading light in the amateur dramatics in Galashiels. He lived later in a cottage at the Yair near Selkirk and when his health finally failed he was living in a charity old folks home in Dumfries. Living, aged 62, widowed clerk, in lodgings in South Port (1911 census), perhaps having fallen on hard times. Died Dumfries, 31 July 1925, aged 77, and noted as 'railway clerk' and widower of Elizabeth Lynch" [source: A Scottish Musical Miscellany from, Statutory BMDs and 1911 Census]

And this is a photo with a link to Archie singing and to a Peebles woman reciting.

And a cut and paste of the lyrics found online - so sorry if any errors

From the moorlands and the meadows
to this city of the shadows
Where I wander old and lonely
comes a call I understand
In clear soft notes enthralling
it is calling ever calling
'Tis the spirit of the open
from the dear old borderland.

For this grim huge city daunts me
it's wail of sorrow haunts me,
A nameless figure tossed amidst
the human serf that beats,
Forever and forever in a frenzy of endeavor
All along the cruel barriers
of its never ending streets.

But I'll leave it in the morning
slip away without a warning
Save a handclasp from the friend
that knows the call that leads me on
in the city's clang and clatter,
one old man the less won't matter
And no one here will say my name
or care that I am gone.

By Caddonfoot I'll linger
it has charms to stay the singer
And from the bridge a painter's dream
of beauty there I'll see
But I'll leave it all behind me
when the purple evening shadows find me
past the vines of Clovenfords
to haunted Torwoodlee.

Fair Dryburough and Melrose,
touched by the wizard's spell arose
And Bemerside and Leaderfoot
Elwyn's fairy dene
With the Tweed serenely gliding,
clearly seen and shyly hiding
where Eildons raise their triple crest
to sentinel the scene.

But alas the dream is over
I awake now to discover
The city's rush the bustling crowds
and the din on every hand
But my ears a-softly falling
I can hear the curlews calling
And I know that soon I'll see them
in the dear old borderland.        
Songs list of album: Off the Map (1986)

07 Jul 17 - 12:10 PM (#3864893)
Subject: RE: Origins: Borderland (the Archie Fisher version)
From: Darren Raleigh

That's brilliant! Thanks so much!