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Lyr Req: lang johnnie moir (Child #251)

17 Aug 00 - 05:27 PM (#279795)
Subject: lang johnnie moir
From: GUEST,jucko

Does annybody know the lyric to Lang Johnnie moir, that was recorded by Battlefield Band

17 Aug 00 - 06:57 PM (#279837)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: lang johnnie moir

Don't know the Battlefield bands version, but it's Child ballad #251, and putting '#251' in the Digitrad Lyrics Search box at the upper right of this page will turn up a version.

17 Aug 00 - 07:26 PM (#279848)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: lang johnnie moir
From: Nynia

I take it you mean Davy Steels composition, I'll try to get it for you ASAP if no-one posts in the meantime.

17 Aug 00 - 09:54 PM (#279918)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: lang johnnie moir
From: Jeri

Here's a link to Dick Gaughan's website. The song is Muir and the Master Builder and was written by Brian McNeill.

17 Aug 00 - 10:07 PM (#279928)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: lang johnnie moir
From: Bud Savoie

Ewan MacColl and A.L. Lloyd made a series of six albums of Child ballads in the early 60s, all solo and unaccompanied. Ewan did "Lang Johnnie More," in his inimitable style, and if no one else has the words, I'm sure I can remember them. It's a long ballad.

There lives a lad in Rynie's land And anither at Auchindore, But the bonniest lad amang them a' Was Lang Johnnie More.

That it?

17 Aug 00 - 11:11 PM (#279987)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: lang johnnie moir
From: GUEST,Bruce O.

The version sung by Ewan MacColl (whose recording I have) is #14 of 15 in Bertrand Bronson's 'The Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads'. Many of Bronsons tunes have little or no text, but there are also versions of 27, 38 and 51 verses. {Bronson only gives the 1st verse of MacColl's version)

17 Aug 00 - 11:19 PM (#279997)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: lang johnnie moir
From: GUEST,Bruce O.

Incidently, that collection of MacColl and Lloyd was 8 disks of Child ballads plus a supplemental disk of great British ballads not in Child's collection. I haven't checked Dick Greenhaus's Camsco Music to see if they've been reissued (I still have the vinyl ones).

18 Aug 00 - 03:44 AM (#280100)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: lang johnnie moir
From: GUEST,Scabby Doug (the Cookie Eater)

I think that the Battlefield Band said somewhere that they left out lots of verses from the original version. Never had the guts to go for singing that one. Great song, tho...

I'd suggest one amendment .

The words tell about 3 giants:

Young Johnnie Moir, (from Rhynie) Old Johnie Moir, (from Bennachie) and (in the song ) Jock O' North

who go down to London and give the King's soldiers a right good doin'...

I'd suggest that it should be Jock O' *NOTH*

Tap O' Noth is a hill in the same area (the Garioch/ Strathbogie). And after Bennachie, it's the most noted high point. There are prehistoric ruins there, so if a giant was going to live somewhere, it'd be on Tap O' Noth.



18 Aug 00 - 03:53 AM (#280102)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: lang johnnie moir
From: GUEST,SCabby Doug

Altho' when I think about it - they don't actually say that young Johnnie Moir was from Rhynie...


18 Aug 00 - 07:30 AM (#280136)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: lang johnnie moir
From: Bud Savoie

Good Lord, Bruce! You mean that there is someone else who likes listening to hours of unaccompanied ballads? I don't have the complete set, but only because I couldn't find it.

18 Aug 00 - 04:04 PM (#280407)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: lang johnnie moir
From: GUEST,Bruce O.

Bud, On some of the longer ones of MacColl and Lloyd, one listening satisfied my curiosity. I am not a singer, so didn't try to memorize any of them.

25 Aug 00 - 07:01 AM (#284908)
Subject: Lyr Add: LANG JOHNNY MOIR (from Battlefield Band)
From: Wolfgang

Now this is exactly what Jucko has asked for, taken with very few corrections (I didn't dare to change the three 'fae's into 'frae's without advice frae a Scot) from the Battlefield Band songbook. It is Child #251 as has been said above, but different enough for posting.



There lives a man in Rhynie's land and another in Auchendore,
But the bravest lad amang them a' was lang Johnny Moir.
Young Johnny was an airy blade, fu' sturdy, stout and strang,
And the sword that hung fae Johnny's side was just full ten feet lang.
Ha-diddle-da, ha-diddle-da-da, ha-diddle-da, ha-diddle-day.

Young Johnny's gane tae London toon in the springtime o' the year,
And there he's met and fa'en in love wi' the king's ain daughter dear,
And word has gone tae the king himsel' and an angry man was he.
We'll pit her in a prison, strang high hangit he will be.
Ha-diddle-da, ha-diddle-da-da, ha-diddle-da, ha-diddle-day.

The English dogs were cunning rogues and about him they did creep,
And they gave him drops of laudamy that laid him fast asleep.
And when Johnny awakened frae his sleep, a sorry heart had he,
Wi' his twa hands in iron bands and his feet in fetters three.
Ha-diddle-da, ha-diddle-da-da, ha-diddle-da, ha-diddle-day.

And he has got a little wee boy would work for meat and fee.
"Gae rin tae my auld uncle there at the fit o' Bennachie."
When the wee boy came tae Bennachie, he did neither chap nor call,
But he went straight tae auld Johnny there, three feet abune them a'.

Auld Johnny 's read the letter then sealed wi' Johnny's faith and troth,
And he's cried fae the tap o' Bennachie for his kinsman Jock o' North.
Then on the plain these champions met, twa grisly sights tae see.
There were three feet between their brows, their shoulders were yards three.
Ha-diddle-da, ha-diddle-da-da, ha-diddle-da, ha-diddle-day.

And when they came tae London toon, the yetts were locked wi' bands,
And guarded weel wi' armed men wi' broadswords in their hands.
"Ye'll open the yetts" says Jock o' North "Ye'll open them at my call",
And wi' his fit he has drave in three brave yards o' the wall.

And then they gaed doon by Drury lane and doon by the town ha',
And they have freed young Johnny Moir and for the king did call.
"Bring back his blade" says Jock o' North "and unto him it gi'e,
For I have sworn a black Scot's oath I'll gar five million dee."
Ha-diddle-da, ha-diddle-da-da, ha-diddle-da, ha-diddle-day.

Then they have gaen before the king wi' courage bold and free,
Their armour bright cast such a light, it almost dimmed his e'e.
"Now where's the lady" cries Jock o' North "for fain I would her see,
For we are come tae her weddin' fae the fit o' Bennachie."
Ha-diddle-da, ha-diddle-da-da, ha-diddle-da, ha-diddle-day.

"Oh tak' the lady" says the king "The boy too shall go free".
"A priest, a priest" then Johnny cries "tae join my love and me."
Then they've ta'en the lady by the hand and they've set her prison free,
And wi' drums beatin' and fifes playin', they've spent the night wi' glee.
Ha-diddle-da, ha-diddle-da-da, ha-diddle-da, ha-diddle-day.

The auld Johnny Moir, and young Johnny Muir and Jock o' North, all three,
The English lady and the little wee boy went a' tae Bennachie.
Ha-diddle-da, ha-diddle-da-da, ha-diddle-da, ha-diddle-day.

25 Aug 00 - 01:47 PM (#285159)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: lang johnnie moir
From: Malcolm Douglas

"Fae" is a perfectly good variant form; you did right to let it stand.


26 Aug 00 - 05:09 AM (#285545)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: lang johnnie moir
From: zander (inactive)

You might try Martin Carthy's re-working of Long Johnny Mhor, 'Long John, Old John and Jackie North 'from the album ' Bec Regards, Daveause it's There '

02 Sep 00 - 04:01 AM (#289821)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: lang johnnie moir
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar

Wonderful album title in the last posting - we see what you meant to say Dave, but that's my kind of typing - do it all the time [time the all/ the all time / time all the / etc and more].

The versions I draw for have Johnnie More rather than Moir. More is Mor or Mhor which is Gaelic for Big.

I use this ballad as a drama story with kids a great deal, and explain that Lang Johnny More means Big Johnny Big.

13 Mar 14 - 03:14 PM (#3609451)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: lang johnnie moir (Child #251)

What does "black Scot's oath" refer to? The Black Oath of the Ulster Scots or something else?

14 Mar 14 - 08:21 AM (#3609610)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: lang johnnie moir (Child #251)
From: Dave Sutherland

In reply to a couple of the posters above, if they are still around, yesterday I bought a boxed set of 2 CDs plus a comprehensive booklet "Ballads - Ewan MacColl" on the Topic label. Unfortunately I have not had the pleasure of listening to them yet but I can confirm that "Lang Johnnie Muir" is among the excellent selection which, it says, were chosen by Fred McKormick.

14 Mar 14 - 12:45 PM (#3609685)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: lang johnnie moir (Child #251)
From: MGM·Lion

Important point above, that the More, Moir, or whevs, element of the hero's name is not a surname, but an emphasis of his size. Same usage will be found in such names and phrases as Glen Mohr, the Great Glen; the Gillie Mor, the Big Man, &c.

So the title Lang Johnny More actually means, Tall Johnny, the Big-Yin [as Billy Connolly told me he was called in his Glasgow youth ~~ "Excuse Me, Big Yin" was the title I gave my interview with him in Folk Review, October 1978; & Wikipedia confirms it as his standard nickname].