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Scottish Emigrant Songs

03 Oct 00 - 05:44 AM (#310803)
Subject: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Edi

Hello, I'm looking for Scottish emigrant songs. Can anybody help me?

03 Oct 00 - 06:29 AM (#310810)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: GUEST,Murray MacLeod

Dougie McLean's "Caledonia" is a must. Maybe not strictly an emigrant song, but near enough.


03 Oct 00 - 06:33 AM (#310811)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: GUEST,Michael in Swansea

I've looked in the DT and can only find ONE! "The Donside Emigrant's Farewell". Surely there's more than that, I must have searched wrong.


03 Oct 00 - 06:38 AM (#310813)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: MartinRyan

There's one lurking HERE!


03 Oct 00 - 03:20 PM (#311208)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: GUEST,Barry T at work

The Scarborough Settler's Lament is a song about a Scottish emigrant near Toronto, Ontario, who is pining for the old country.

Too bad! I wonder what his property is worth nowadays!!

03 Oct 00 - 03:29 PM (#311217)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: GUEST,Phil Cooper

Another good song about Scot's emmigration is Robin Williamson's "Return No More" from his Songs of Love and Parting recording. Then there's forced emmigration, which gets you "Jamie Raeburn" and "My Ain Country."

03 Oct 00 - 04:09 PM (#311259)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Malcolm Douglas

You could have a look at these; I expect there are a lot more if you look around:

Green Hills of Tyrol  (words Andy Stewart, tune John Macleod)
See also  RE: Scottish Soldier
Tune is at  Tune Add: Some more tunes
Farewell, Indiana  (Andy Mitchell)
The Highland Clearances
I Mourn for the Highlands
Scottish Emigrant's Farewell  (Alexander Hume)
My Heart's in the Highlands  (Burns)


03 Oct 00 - 04:32 PM (#311281)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: GUEST,Philippa

another recently composed one is Indiana

Fareweel Tae Tarwathie (not exactly emigrant; he'll come home from the whaling)

The Road to Drumleman

Soraidh bhuam gu Barraidh(on Capercaillie, Crosswinds)
also at The Blood is Strong):
O Mo Dhuthaich

Fàgail Barraidh
Tri Fichead Bliadhna 's a Tri [can anyone get me the words for this one?]
an t-Eilean mu Trath

03 Oct 00 - 04:55 PM (#311300)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Susanne (skw)

Is it possible there are no Brian McNeill songs in the DT, or is it just that I'm too stupid to find them? Try 'The Rovin' Dies Hard' which takes in exiles and rovers from the 18th century up to the present day. I'll see if I get round to posting the lyrics.

03 Oct 00 - 05:03 PM (#311306)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE ROVIN' DIES HARD (Brian McNeill)^^
From: Susanne (skw)

Here it is:

(Brian McNeill)

My name's John Mackenzie, I'm a master-at-arms
I've carried my sword and my shield on my shoulder
I've fought every fight from the Don to the Danube
None braver, none better, none bolder
I've stood with Montrose and against him
I've battled with Swedes and with Danes
I've carried the standard of many an army

Through many a bloody campaign
But now as I sit in the firelight it seems
There's a distant horizon to the sword buckle's gleam
Till a pull at the wine brings an old soldier's dreams from afar
For the rovin' dies hard

I'm Calum McLean, I'm a trapper to trade
And it's forty long years since I saw Tobermory
Through Canada's forests I've carried my blade
And the pine trees could tell you my story
And my wandering days now are over
But I'm thankful to still be alive
For there's many a kinsman who died in the hulks
At the end of the bold forty-five
I've an Indian lass and I'll never deceive her
Though there's nights when I'll up with my gun and I'll leave her
For the land where the bear and the fox and the beaver are lord
For the rovin' dies hard

My name's Robert Johnston, I'm a man of the cloth
I'll carry my Bible as long as I'm breathing
I've preached the Lord's Gospel from Shanghai to Glasgow
Where'er He saw fit to make heathen
But now the Kirk's calling me homeward
It's the manse and the elders for me
But the sins of the Session will not be so far
From the sins of the South China Sea
Perhaps it's the voice of the Devil I've heard
It speaks of clipper ships flying like birds
Till a man's only comfort is Scripture and the word of the Lord
For the rovin' dies hard

My name's Willie Campbell, I'm a ship's engineer
I know every berth between Lisbon and Largo
I've sweated more diesel in thirty-five years
Than a big tanker takes for a cargo
The good times were always a plenty
When the whisky and the women were wild
And there's many a bairn wi' the red locks o' the Campbells
Who's ne'er seen the coast of Argyll
But now as the freighters unload on the quay
The sound of their engines is calling to me
And they sing me a song of the sun and the sea and the stars
For the rovin' dies hard

I've tuned up my fiddle, I've rosined my bow
And I've sung of the clans and the clear crystal fountains
I could tell you the road and the miles from Dundee
To the back of Alaska's wild mountains
When my wandering days are over
And the next of the rovers has come
He'll take all the songs, he'll sing them again
To the beat of a different drum
If ever I'm asked why the Scots are beguiled
I'll lift up my glass in a health, and I'll smile
And I'll tell them, Fortune dealt Scotland the wildest of cards
For the rovin' dies hard

06 Oct 00 - 05:34 AM (#313376)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Edi

Thanks to all of you. I think it is not easy to find "original" Scottish emigrant songs but there are some "near enough" as "Caledonia" or "The Rovin' Dies Hard" (thanks Susanne for the lyrics) or the Brian-McNeill-album "The Back O' The North Wind". If I compare this situation with the "flood" of Irish emigration songs I think Irish and Scottish emigration must have been something basical different. But this is a theme for historical-sociological-political-cultural study.

06 Oct 00 - 11:13 AM (#313502)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Turtle

There's a gorgeous song about the clearances in Sutherland on an old album I have of Scottish Battle Ballads (can't remember the singer (male) right now--I'll try to come up with it later) . I've always just called it The Shores of Sutherland, but I have no idea if that's its real name or not. It begins:

Cold is the wind, and wet,
as we make our beds down on the sand.
Gathering dulse and clabby doons down by the shores of Sutherland

There's a kind of bitter lullabye on the same tape that also refers to Sutherland and I think to taking ship and leaving. That one begins,

***Hush, hush, time to be sleeping
Hush, hush, dreams come a-creeping
Dreams of peace and of freedom
So smile in your sleep bonny baby

Once our valleys were ringing
With sounds of children singing
But now sheep bleat til the evening
And shielings lie empty and broken

Those are just a couple of random verses in case someone recognizes it and can post the whole thing. It has a line in it about "and wait to be shipped o'er the ocean" which is what ties it to emigration.

I'm at work and can't remember enough of the lyrics to these two to post the whole songs, but I'll try to remember to bring them in and post them on Monday, unless someone's memory is jogged and they beat me to it.

Oh, and what about The Broom of the Cowdenknowes?

Note from Joe Offer, 5 Sept 2002:
***This song, properly known as "Smile in Your Sleep," was written by Jim McLean. It appears unattributed in the Digital Tradition, under the title Don't Cry In Your Sleep (click). Tune and more complete lyrics are in this thread (click)

06 Oct 00 - 11:39 AM (#313512)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Moleskin Joe

Turtle The third line of your song should be "clabby doos" not "clabby doons". A clabby doo is a large mussel. The words are Gaelic for "black mouth". Regards

06 Oct 00 - 11:44 AM (#313513)
Subject: Lyr Add: NORLAND WIND^^
From: mousethief


Tell me what was on yer road, ye roarin' norland wind,
As ye cam' blowin' frae the north that's never frae ma mind.
My feet they've traveled England, but I'm deein' for the north.
Oh, man, I saw the siller tide rin up the Firth o' Forth.

Ay wind I ken them weel enough and fund them fa an rise,
An frae the fields o' creepin' mist on yonder shore that lies.
But tell me as you pass them by what saw ye on yer way.
Oh, man, I roch the rovin' gulls that sail abin the Tay.

But saw ye nothin' leein' wind, afore ye come tae Fife?
Fir there's muckle lyin' yon the Tay that's mair tae me than life.
Ay, man, I swept the Angus braes that ye hav'nae trod fir years.
Oh, wind, whar gae a hameless loon that cannae see fir tears?

And far above the Angus straths I heard the wild geese flee.
A lang, lang skene o' beatin' wings wi' their heads towards the sea,
An' ay their roarin' voices trailed ahint them on the air.
Oh, wind, hae mercy, haud yir whisht, fir I darnae listen mair.

Recorded as "South Wind" by Jean Redpath on "A Fine Song for Singing."


06 Oct 00 - 12:45 PM (#313554)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Malcolm Douglas

The lullaby Turtle mentions is on the DT, here: SMILE IN YOUR SLEEP There's no tune with the file, but Snuffy recently posted it in ABC format: Click here.


06 Oct 00 - 12:47 PM (#313555)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Turtle

Thanks, Malcolm! I knew someone would have an idea what I was talking about . . .

06 Oct 00 - 12:53 PM (#313564)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Turtle

And thanks too for the corrections, Moleskin Joe. I always wondered what that line really said. Do you know the song? There are actually several places where the lyrics don't make sense to me and I think it must be some piece of dialect like that with which I'm unfamiliar. I did transcribe the lyrics as best I could once--if I find them at home and post them on Monday, maybe you can check them o'er for me and see where else I made errors? Thanks again--


06 Oct 00 - 02:33 PM (#313655)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: GUEST,John Leeder

There are Gaelic songs from Cape Breton, also English-language ones, likely more recently-written. I'm not in a position to research them at this time (just about to leave the office on the Friday afternoon of a holiday weekend), but perhaps soneone else can grab the torch.

06 Oct 00 - 03:08 PM (#313678)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Clinton Hammond2

There's a song called Homeland that I learned from Bobby Watt... dig around and see if you can find that one... The liner notes to Homeland say it was written by Don McGeoch

Billy Connolly's "Glasgow" is a wonderful sorta homesick song...

James Keelaghan's "Refuge" off his album Timelines is a fantastic song of one immigrant waiting for another to arrive.. beautiful song! He wrote it for his parents...

Tamarack has one on their "Grand River" cd that I believe is called the Scottish Settlers Lament???

good luck!


06 Oct 00 - 03:49 PM (#313698)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Sandy Paton

You might want to check out Rick Fielding's excellent song "Angus Fraser" on his Folk-Legacy CD-123 titled Lifeline, available through the Mudcat shop.


06 Oct 00 - 04:15 PM (#313713)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Allan C.

One of my favorites: "Farewell to Fiunary" (spelled, Funery in the DT - wondering which is right?)

07 Oct 00 - 01:30 AM (#313967)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: GUEST,Scoattie

Risking the wrath of the purists---what, other than the fact that it was originally squawked by Tom Alexander, is wrong wi' "These are my Mountains"?

07 Oct 00 - 01:42 AM (#313976)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: alison

The tune for "Don't cry in your sleep", is the same as MIST COVERED MOUNTAINS (as played on accordion for the dance in the wonderful film "Local Hero")....

I'll put the tune into the Mudcat MIDI site sometime...



07 Oct 00 - 02:03 PM (#314185)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: mg

there's a neat one I heard that says although they were forced to go all over the world to work they never exploited others...probably exceptions could be line is "we turned no robber's hand.."


07 Oct 00 - 02:05 PM (#314188)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: mg

thought of another one...isn't tramps and hawkers? I think I'll go to Paddy's land I'm making up my mind. For Scotland's greatly altered now...


07 Oct 00 - 02:34 PM (#314209)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Lucius

Alison, you beat me to it, the queen of immigrant songs, and a subtile and perfect choice for "Local Hero". If you don't have a MIDI file, I do, though I am uncomfortable with my ability to post to the Mudcat MIDI page.


09 Oct 00 - 10:54 AM (#314671)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Alan of Australia

The MIDI alison posted for "Mist Covered Mountains"/"Don't cry in your sleep" is now on the Mudcat MIDI page. Look for it under either of those titles.


09 Oct 00 - 09:49 PM (#315173)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: alison

Thanks Alan,

Lucius if you go to Mudcat MIDIs you will find e-mail addresses where you can send your MIDI files and we'll sort out the rest.



10 Oct 00 - 10:43 AM (#315449)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Peg


THANK YOU for posting that Capercaille link! I have been searching for *years* for the lyrics to their "Cape Breton Song" and this looks like at least part of it...I am not familiar with this recording so I don't know if it is the same tune bu thte first verse is what I was seeking...(on the earlier album's liner notes they printed soemthign about how the song's lyrics had mutated in the course of oral transmission and could not be printed, etc.)

I have a copy of Scots Gaelic Songs of Nova Scotia (sent me kindly by Dave the Ancient Mariner, aye) and would be happy to take a look in there for some titles...gimme a day or two, 'kay?


11 Oct 00 - 07:09 PM (#316637)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Susanne (skw)

Turtle - the full lyrics of 'Shores of Sutherland are here. Thanks for your corrections!

Allan C. - The McCalmans, whose version I've got, spell it 'Fuinary'. Take your pick ...

I've got Brian McNeill's songbook 'Back o' the North Wind' and will try to post more of the songs that aren't yet in the DT. (There goes my week's holiday a in late October ...)

11 Oct 00 - 07:16 PM (#316641)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: GUEST,Muray MacLeod

11 Oct 00 - 07:33 PM (#316656)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: GUEST,Murray Macleod

Joe, you really have to alter the software so that a "enter" doesn;t send a non existent message. I know you wil remove it ....

Personally, I cringe whem I listen to most emigrant songs sung at Highland Games and such events, here in the USA. The barbaric reality of the enforced emigration at the time of the Clearances is seldom reflected in the Victorian winsomeness of most of these songs. I grew up in a community on the west coast of Sutherland which only came into existence as a "last frontier" a wind-blown refuge from the atrocities of Patrick Sellars and his accomplices.

I still like "Caledonia" but the only emigrant song that tells it like it was is the one composed and recorded by Alasdair Hulett, "Destitution Road"


11 Oct 00 - 07:51 PM (#316672)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Tattie Bogle

Did anyone actually read the words of "The Scarborough Settler's Lament" as posted above? Methinks it should be "banished SWISS" not "banished SWILL" !!!! I have a recording of the song on a Stan Rogers tape. Incidentally it's the same tune as "Of a' the airts", a Burns song. Taatie B

12 Oct 00 - 12:22 AM (#316902)
Subject: Lyr Add: SMILE IN YOUR SLEEP (Jim McLean)^^^
From: Thyme2dream

The song mentioned earlier-Don't Cry In Your Sleep-is very like a song that I heard sung in Scotland called 'Highland Lullabye'. There appears to be a bit more "dialect" in this version, as well as a verse that isn't in the other...the tune is lovely and haunting, I will see if I can find it online somewhere.

The Highland Lullabye

Once our valleys were ringing,
To sounds o' the children a singing.
Now sheep bleat a' through the evening,
And shielings lie empty and broken.

Hush, hush, time to be sleeping,
Hush, hush, dreams come a creeping.
Dreams o' peace and our freedom.
Don't cry in your sleep, bonnie bairnie.

We stood, our heads bowed in prayer,
Whilst factors made the cottages bare.
The flames filled the clear mountain air,
And many lay dead in the morning.


Where now our brave highland metal,
Our men, once, so fearless in battle
Now stand, cowed, huddled like cattle,
And wait to be shipped o'er the ocean.

No use in pleading or praying,
Gone now, all hope o' staying.
Hush, hush, the anchor's a' weighing,
Don't cry in your sleep, bonnie bairnie.

16 Oct 00 - 02:19 PM (#319975)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Turtle

Hi Susanne,

Thanks for posting that link to the Shores of Sutherland. What makes it all more circular and wonderful is that I was the one who gave Susan A-R that tape of Alistair MacDonald a few years ago. I got it in turn from a friend who grew up with the recording because her dad had emigrated from Scotland to the US. It's just a second-generation tape she dubbed off the vinyl, and so there's no information with it about either the song or the singer. I think the album was called "Scottish Battle Ballads".

Thyme2dream: Yes, the lyrics you posted are the ones I know as "Don't Cry In Your Sleep". They came off that same Alistair MacDonald tape, which has no information about the songs at all, including their titles, so it could very well be called the Highland Lullaby there as well, for all I know. Someone above identified the tune as "the mist-covered mountains", but I haven't yet tracked that down to see if it's the same tune I know. It is lovely, isn't it?


19 Oct 00 - 01:52 AM (#322482)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Thyme2dream

Oh MY! Since posting the lyrics, I've been online and found several MP3 files of different versions of the song...The nicest so far, but a bit different tune is by a group called TamLyn. If I have this "blue clicky thing" mastered (I read the latest HTML thread)you can listen to, or download the song here:

Click here

This is from the site ,which has a nice selection of contemporary Celtic music available on an "ethical" basis...(surely we've had a "to Napster or not to Napster?" thread here on Mudcat?) somewhere??)

05 Nov 00 - 12:47 PM (#335146)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: GUEST,Philippa

I've added Slàn le Fionnaraigh in Gaelic with literal translation in a separate thread.

06 Nov 00 - 08:30 PM (#335611)
Subject: Lyr Add: EWEN AND THE GOLD^^
From: Susanne (skw)

(Brian McNeill)

For all the gold Ewen Gillies ever found
Could not buy him peace or freedom
From the memory of the sound
Of the waves on St. Kilda's rocky shore

You caught the line they threw you, you helped to make her fast
You heard the sailors talking in the rigging
When the captain said he'd take another hand before the mast
You knew you were halfway to the diggings
So you rode the ocean's swell to Bendigo and living hell
In the camps and the creeks of Castlemaine
For like a million other souls you were haunted by the gold
And you'd never know a peaceful day again
And tell me, Ewen Gillies, did you still believe the dream
When the hard men of Victoria bought and sold you
When you had to sell the farm that you'd sifted from the seams
Did you curse the tale the sailor laddies told you
And did you fight against the call of the island
That you knew would never hold you

And when the dream was done you'd lost your children and your wife
And every single thing you ever had
But you told your friends the gold was still the centre of your life
And they told you, one and all, that you were mad
So you wandered through the years, never stopping once to rue
And St. Kilda saw your footsteps as you passed
Old Glory even put you in a coat of faded blue
Till the older glory claimed you back at last
And tell me, Ewen Gillies, did you give the Lord your thanks
When he told you where the golden riches lay
Or did you bow your head in prayer on the Sacramento banks
A nd ask Him should you go or should you stay
And did St. Kilda call you home across the mountains
At the dawn of every day

Again you made the journey to that bare and barren land
To end your days among your kith and kin
To a winter when the Devil held the island in his hand
And the shadow of starvation rode the wind
But it's hard upon St. Kilda for the folks to keep their pride
When every season brings them to despair
And to hear you tell the tale of a different ocean's tide
Made their bitter burden harder still to bear
So though they knew you for their own you were forced to stand alone
In a solitude that no man could endure
They made your home a living grave until the bravest of the brave
Was forced to leave the poorest of the poor
So you reached out once again and took hold of
The bonnie golden lure

When first I heard the tale of Ewen and the gold
I was filled with bitter anger and with tears
To see a travelling man return and then be shut out from the fold
Drove a shaft into the deepest of my fears
For God made Ewen Gillies, God gave him wings to fly
But only from the land where he belonged
But I'd fight with God himself for the light in Ewen's eye
Or with any man who tells me he was wrong
For there's men who use their dreams to tear themselves apart
And there's men who never find a dream at all
But how many find the courage to look deepest in their heart
To find a dream they can follow till they fall
And when my heart cries out to wander I can hear him
Answering the call

Final chorus:
And on the island the greatest story ever told
It was always Ewen Gillies
California and the gold
So far from St. Kilda's rocky shore

[[1975:] [In 1871 Ewen Gillies] was welcomed enthusiastically by the islanders, but to a man who had been round the world St Kilda offered little, and after only four weeks Ewen and his children set sail for America. [Eleven years later] he proved too much for the St Kildans, and after a short stay he found himself no longer welcome. [...] He had, however, stayed long enough on the island to fall in love with a local girl. His second bride found the Australian climate little to her liking and was homesick. Eight months later the couple were again on St Kilda. The St Kildans, distrustful of his wisdom and overpowering self-assurance, finally forced him and his wife to leave. (Tom Steel, The Life and Death of St Kilda 35f)

[1991:] Ewen Gillies (1825-?) was born in the unlikeliest place for an adventurer - Scotland's remotest island, St. Kilda. The St. Kilda archipelago lies a hundred miles to the north west of the Scottish mainland, a beautiful but inhospitable place of long winters and fierce winds. Its last thirty-six inhabitants were finally forced to leave in 1930, after a long struggle against bitter hardship and falling birthrate - but for at least a thousand years before that, St. Kilda was Scotland's most remote settlement. So remote, in fact, that even to use the word 'Scotland' in the context of the place is almost an irrelevance. For centuries the people of St. Kilda were self-sufficient, living mainly on a diet of seabirds, almost free of the outside world, taking an interest in it only as they needed to and adopting its ways only when it suited them. Once a year, weather permitting, the laird's factor would land and take his master's share of their produce, but otherwise it was a place which history had a habit of passing by. When a government expedition came searching for the fleeing Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1746, not only had the islanders never heard of him, they had never heard of his opponent either, the Hanoverian King George in London; if only the rest of Scotland had been as lucky ... And other so-called 'civilising' influences were just as tardy; the coin of the realm, for instance, was only introduced after the industrial revolution. No St. Kildan ever had to die fighting for his country. Crime was unknown. When passing ships arrived, the first question was inevitably, "Is there a war?"
All of which makes the history of Ewen Gillies all the more remarkable. Ewen was 26 when he left St. Kilda with his wife, bound for Australia - and within six months of his arrival there, he was in the goldfields of Victoria, where, remarkably, he found gold - enough to buy a farm, but not quite enough to keep it going. Inside two years the property was gone, and he was off to another goldfield, the New Zealand one, leaving wife and children behind in Melbourne. This time, though, he returned penniless, only to discover that his wife, convinced she'd been abandoned, had remarried. Ewen's response was to take ship for America. There, he joined the Union Army, fought in the Civil War, and then deserted in 1861, again to look for gold, this time in California - and this time he found enough to make his fortune. He went back to Australia, reclaimed his children, and returned to St. Kilda - and lasted just five weeks on the island before the wanderlust took him again. Once more he headed for the United States, and it was to be another eleven years before St. Kilda would draw him back. On this occasion he only stayed long enough to marry another St. Kilda girl, and then he was off again to Melbourne. When his new bride didn't like Australia, however, he decided that it was time to come home for good - but this time the results were tragic. Instead of him rejecting St. Kilda, the islanders rejected him - Ewen Gillies had become too worldly a man, too disruptive an influence for such a small community to contain, and in 1889 he and his new bride were forced to leave. Soon after, no one knows exactly when, he died in Canada. (McNeill Songbook 21)

06 Nov 00 - 08:58 PM (#335624)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: little john cameron

Susanne, here's a wee bit mair aboot St Kildas.Efter they moved tae the mainland they got jobs in the forestry.Braw jibs for fowk wha never saw a tree,eh"ljc

06 Nov 00 - 09:01 PM (#335626)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: little john cameron


06 Nov 00 - 10:48 PM (#335710)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: JedMarum

Hmmm, great thread, and this may be a bit of thread creep, but my grandfather was the son of a Scottish immigrant mother, and an English immigrant father. I have a song about him. The lyrics are here and there is a sound file here.

19 Feb 01 - 07:40 PM (#401846)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: dulcimer

Where are the lyrics and tune to Jamie Raeburn and My Ain Country located?

19 Feb 01 - 09:23 PM (#401899)
From: Malcolm Douglas

Jimmy Raeburn

The tune is available at the  Mudcat Midi Pages:

Click to play Jamie Raeburn.

"My Ain Countrie" was posted here several years ago:  My Ain Countrie  but it was a garbled transcription made from memory at second-hand from a Jean Redpath record, so I guess I'd better post the proper text:


(Alan Cunningham, 1784-1842)

The sun rises bright in France,
And fair sets he;
But he has tint the blink he had
In my ain countrie.

It's no my ain ruin
That weets aye my e'e;
But the dear Marie I left behind
Wi' sweet bairnies three.

The bud comes back to summer,
And the blossom to the tree,
But I win back -oh, never,
To my ain countrie.

Gladness comes to many,
Sorrow comes to me,
As I look o'er the wide ocean
To my ain countrie.

Fu' bienly low'd my ain hearth
And smiled my ain Marie:
Oh! I've left my heart behind
In my ain countrie.

O I'm leal to high heaven,
Which aye was leal to me!
And it's there I'll meet ye a' soon,
Fae my ain countrie.

Cunningham's father was a friend of Burns, and he himself hung out with James Hogg and Walter Scott.  He wrote a lot of songs, some of which were mistaken for genuine traditional ones.  There doesn't seem to be a tune available for this anywhere on the web that I can find, so I'll put it on my ever-increasing list of tunes to send in for the Mudcat Midi Pages.


19 Feb 01 - 09:27 PM (#401901)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Malcolm Douglas

Let me just repeat the link to that midi so that it actually works:  Click to play Jamie Raeburn

20 Feb 01 - 01:09 AM (#401990)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: GUEST,Bruce O.

Cunningham didn't name a tune for "The Sun's Bright in France", which was claimed as from a 'Miss Macartney' in Cromek's 'Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway Song', 1810. The text above is considerably amplified from that in Cromek's 'Remains'.

Cunningham also did not name a tune for "Hame, hame, hame" which he said was from a copy in Burns' Common Place Book. The tune for it comes from Hogg's 'Jacobite Relics', I, p. 134, 1819.

20 Feb 01 - 06:40 AM (#402067)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: dulcimer


21 Feb 01 - 05:55 PM (#403199)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Julia

Nobody has mentioned "Broom o' the Cowdenknowes" Fain would I be in my ain countrie Herdin' my faither's yowes etc

or Our Rightful King It was all for our rightful king We left old Scotland's strand etc

If you are looking for a great rendition of Ain Country, check out the Scottish quartet Stravaig - I believe it is on their "Movin' On" CD available from Greentrax

22 Feb 01 - 02:54 PM (#403928)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: GUEST,Kate

Andy M. Stewart (Silly Wizard) has recorded many immigration and exile songs and variations on that theme. Broom of the Cowdenknowes, Valley of Strathmore, Land of the Leal, Hame Hame Hame, I'd Cross the Wild Atlantic, Young Jimmy in Flanders, I Mourn for hte Highlands, Lakes of Pontchatrain, The Irish Stranger, and Sweet King William's Town are some highlights.

Andy's web site is

23 Feb 01 - 10:35 AM (#404502)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Peg

okay time to refresh this one!

Philippa wrote:

another recently composed one is Indiana

Fareweel Tae Tarwathie (not exactly emigrant; he'll come home from the whaling)

The Road to Drumleman

Soraidh bhuam gu Barraidh(on Capercaillie, Crosswinds) also at The Blood is Strong): O Mo Dhuthaich DEAN CADALAN SAMHACH

I am desperately seeking the lyrics for the above song! (which begins Dean Cadalan Samhach) any help? I looked in my book on Gaelic songs in Nova Scotia but it does not seem to be there...and I had thought it was on the Capercaille lyrics site under "Cape Breton Song" but it is not...

if anyone can help I would be most grateful. I understand the words might be dound in Songs Remembered in Exile; a book I'd love to own but cannot afford...


23 Feb 01 - 02:30 PM (#404695)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Malcolm Douglas

Dean Cadalan Samhach

23 Feb 01 - 04:12 PM (#404785)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Peg

Malcolm! You rule!!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH.

peg (doing a happy dance)

23 Feb 01 - 06:46 PM (#404906)
Subject: Lyr Add: MY AIN COUNTRIE (from S Wellington)^^
From: Susanne (skw)

Malcolm or Bruce - going back to 'My Ain Countrie', this is Sheena Wellington's version on 'Clearsong' (1990):

The sun rises bright in France and fair sets he
But he has lost the rookie hairt in my ain countrie
Tho' gladness comes to many, a sorrow comes tae me
As I look o'er the ocean wide tae my ain countrie

It's no' my ain ruin that saddens, ay, my e'e
But the love I left in Gallowa' wi' bonnie bairnies three
My hamely hairth burns bonnie, and smiles my sweet Marie
I left my hairt behind me in my ain countrie

The bird wins back tae summertime, the blossom tae the tree
But I'll win back no never tae my ain countrie
I'm leal tae high heaven that will prove leal tae me
And I will meet you there richt soon fae my ain countrie

"A substantial portion of the text appears in 1810 in Gromeck's Remains where a Miss McCartney is given as source. The version sung here is based on the appearance in Songs of Scotland (1825) over the name of Allan Cunningham who seems to have changed some words and added two half stanzas. (Notes Sheena Wellington, 'Clearsong')

Sheena Wellington seems to be suggesting Allan Cunningham's version is NOT the original. Her lyrics are 'based on his'. So what are the original words? The ones in Gromeck?^^

23 Feb 01 - 09:24 PM (#405016)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Malcolm Douglas

There are several versions of (?) Cunningham's text, it seems.  The one I gave earlier -because most apparantly complete- came from Wilma Paterson's Songs of Scotland (1996); on the whole she's quite good about citing sources, but not in this case: the tune is described "as in title".  The text given in G.S MacQuoid's Jacobite Songs (no date in my copy) has the first and third verses that I gave above; I have another in The Illustrated Book of Scottish Songs (1854) which is close to the text you've given.  The song that follows it in the latter book, Cunningham's Hame, Hame, Hame! is taken, apparantly, from Cromeck's Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway Song, so it seems reasonable to suppose that the former text is from at least around the same time.  Beyond that, I have no idea; with luck, Bruce will be able to tell us more.


23 Feb 01 - 10:50 PM (#405050)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: GUEST,Bruce O.

I don't have Cunningham's 'Songs of Scotland' so don't know how he might have revised the songs since their appearence in Cromeck's 'Remains', 1810 (my copy is a reprint of 1880, which includes the original title page) Two early tunes for "Hame, hame, hame" are both modifications of "Mary Scott" (which may be English, see the Scots tunes index on my website), and the one in Graham's/Wood's 'Songs of Scotland' (iii, 1853) is a version of "My Love in Germany" (Hector MacNeill's song, tune from the apparent original "Captain Kidd" tune.)

24 Feb 01 - 05:12 PM (#405472)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Susanne (skw)

Thanks to you both for setting my mind (somewhat) at rest!

20 May 04 - 07:50 AM (#1189485)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs

20 May 04 - 02:05 PM (#1189947)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Amos

Art Thieme does a lovely, if very Yankee, version of Scottish Soldier.


20 May 04 - 07:15 PM (#1190232)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: andymac

What about "Callieburn"? As sung by Willie Scott and learned from the singing of Willie(?) Mitchell. Author of "Road to Drumlennan" as mentioned earlier.
The words go
"John Blair and I hae taen a notion,
Tae cross yon wide Atlantic ocean"

With a chorus of
"Hame fareweel, freens fare ye weel
And ye boys o' Callieburn,
Fare ye weel"


21 May 04 - 04:38 AM (#1190539)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Jim McLean

Just to add that I wrote 'The Shores of Sutherland' and most of the songs on Alastair McDonald's LP 'Battle Ballads', mentioned in precious postings (also Smile in your Sleep).
Jim McLean

22 May 04 - 02:34 AM (#1191335)
Subject: Lyr Add: TOUCH NOT THE CAT
From: Songsmith


Father dear Father.
It's your only son.
Who ran to the army.
For adventure and fun.
Fighting yanks for King George.
In a battle not won.
So he gave us land north, Nova Scotia.

Now my land I have cleared it.
I've built me a home.
I have pulled root and burnt stump.
Pulled out many a stone.
And at the end of each day.
I hear Father to Son.
Touch not the cat but a glove.

When the moon rises up on the water.
That's when I'm thinking of you.
For it lights up the bay.
To my home far away.
Dear old Scotland, the highlands and you.

Oh Mother dear Mother.
You can hear me I pray.
I have married a young lass.
From New England way.
And she's born us three children.
Yes I've named them true.
One for Father, myself and for you.

Oh my Marion loves me.
and I love her true.
We work hard together.
do the best for our brood.
And she loves 'em and scrubs 'em.
I know you'd approve.
She's the salt of the earth just like you.

Repeat Chrs..

High on a hilltop.
Over looking the bay.
Young william MacIntosh.
Kneels there to pray.
For he longs for his homeland.
His parents his friends.
But he knows he'll not see them again.

Final Chrs..
And the moon rises up on the water.
A scar burns deep in his soul.
Many lives has the cat.
Much beauty much love.
But touch not the cat but a glove.


From his CD "Life around the Bay"

17 Jan 05 - 11:31 PM (#1381143)
From: GUEST,Jennifer

Here's the words to a fine emmigrant song: It was a' for out rightful king - Dougie MacLean

(Trad., arranged by Dougie MacLean)

It was a' for our rightfu' king
We left fair Scotland 's strand
It was a' for our rightfu' king
We e'er saw Irish land, my dear
We e'er saw Irish land

Now a' is done that men can do
And a' is done in vain
My love, my native land, farewell
For I maun cross the main, my dear
For I maun cross the main

He truned him right, an' round about
Upon the Irish shore
An' ga'e his bridle-reins a shake
With Adieu for everymore, my dear
With Adieu for evermore

The sodger frae the wars returns
The sailor frae the main
But I ha'e parted frae my love
Never to meet again, my dear
Never to meet again

When day is gone, an' night is come
An' a' folk bound to sleep
I think on him that's far awa'
The lee-lang night and weep, my dear
The lee-lang night and weep

18 Jan 05 - 12:36 AM (#1381176)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Malcolm Douglas

Words not traditional but by Burns, set to an older tune, and posted here before. See

It was a' for our rightfu' king

18 Jan 05 - 12:32 PM (#1381399)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE WILD GEESE / NORLAN' WIND (Jacob/Reid

Here are the proper words to "Norlan' Wind."

The poem, by Violet Jacob is titled "The Wild Geese"

Jim Reid put it to music and called it "Norlan' Wind"

Nobody sang it better than the late Davey Steel (God rest his soul). Battlefield Band recorded it when he was with them. Makes me cry everytime I hear it.

Oh tell me fit was on your road
You roarin Norlan' wind,
As ye cam blawin' frae the land
That's never frae my mind,
My feet they traivel England
But I'm deein for the North.
My man I've seen the siller tides
Run up the Firth o Forth.

Oh wind I ken them weel eneuch
And fine they fall and rise,
And fain I saw the creepin mist
On yonder shore that lies,
But tell me as ye passed them by,
What saw ye on the way?
My man I rocked the rovin' gulls
That sail abune the Tay.

But saw ye naethin, leein' wind
Afore ye cam tae Fife?
For there's muckle lyin' yont the Tay
That's mair tae me nor life.
My man I've swept the Angus braes
Ye havna trod in years.
Oh wind, forgi'e a hameless loon
That canna see for tears.

And far beyond the Angus straths
I saw the wild geese flee,
A lang, lang skein o beatin wings
Wi' their heids towards the sea
And aye their cryin' voices trailed
Ahint them on the air...
Oh wind, hae mercy, hud yer wheesht,
For I daurna listen mair.

18 Jan 05 - 12:50 PM (#1381415)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: EagleWing

I'm not sure whether it counts but has anyone mentioned "Far Over the Forth"?

Frank L.

19 Jan 05 - 12:07 AM (#1381987)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs

What about "My Ain Folk"?

19 Jan 05 - 08:39 AM (#1382205)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Swave N. Deboner

I heard a song several years ago. Can't remember the artist's name, nor most of the words, but the song was called, "Always Argyll." The chorus went something like,

Always Argyll! Always Argyll!
Lang may the memories linger.
Well I'll soon hae tae think
O' Australia as hame,
But the truth will be always Argyll.

Perhaps someone out there knows the rest of it? Nice melody, as I recall.


19 Jan 05 - 10:14 AM (#1382275)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: GUEST,Sandy Mc Lean (lost cookie)

The place to look for Scottish emmigrant songs is not Scotland, but the lands recieving the emmigration. For the Highlands people left in droves for USA (the Carolinas) Canada ( Cape Breton & mainland Nova Scotia, PEI, eastern NB, Southeastern Quebec, Bruce and Glengarry areas of Ontario, and Manitoba), Australia, and New Zealand.
At the time of emmigration 1770-1850 most were Gaelic speakers and their laments for the Old Country were sung in their mother tongue. A song of a Highland emmigrant would never have been in Lowland Scots as that was never their language. Of these areas only Cape Breton Island still has descendants of these pioneers who still speak "the Gaelic" and some of these old songs still exist.

19 Jan 05 - 09:08 PM (#1382798)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs

There's no one more patriotic than a Scot who isn't in Scotland. Technically, any Scottish song sung by a Scottish expatriot could be considered an emigrant song, yeah? I see nobody's mentioned "My Granny's Hielan' Hame", "I Belong Tae Glaisca" or, "The Northern Lights of Auld Aberdeen."

20 Jan 05 - 03:49 AM (#1382977)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Georgiansilver


31 Jan 05 - 05:14 AM (#1394046)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Wolfgang

Return no more (mentioned above by Phil Cooper)


04 Oct 05 - 12:48 AM (#1575197)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Lyr. Add: Ó Mo Dhùthaich
O My Country; (emigration to Manitoba)
Tune: Ossian's Lament

Ó mo dhùthaich, 's tu th'air m'aire,
Uibhist chùmhraidh ùr nan gallan,
Far a faighte na daoin' uaisle,
Far 'm bu dual do Mhac 'ie Ailein.

Tir a'mhurain, tir an eòrna,
Tir 's am pailt a h-uile seòrsa,
Far am bi na gillean òga
Gabhail òran 's 'g òl an leanna.

Thig iad ugainn, carach, seòlta,
Gus ar mealladh far ar n-eòlais,
Molaidh iad dhuinn Manitòba,
Dùthaich fhuar gun ghual, gun mhòine.

Chu ruig mi leas a bhith 'ga innse,
Nuair a ruigear, 's ann a chitear,
Samhradh goirid, foghar sitheil,
Geamhradh fada na droch-shide.

Nam biodh agam fhin do stòras,
Dà dheis aodaich, paidhir bhrògan,
Agus m'fharadh bhith 'nam phòca,
'S ann air Uibhist dheanainn seòladh.

O My Country

O my country, of thee I am thinking,
Fragrant fresh Uist of the handsome youths,
Where may be seen young noblemen,
Where once was the heritage of Clanranald.

Land of bent grass, land of barley,
Land of all things in plenty,
Where there are young men and youths,
A place of songs and drinking ale.

They come to us, cunning and deceitful,
From our homes they would entice us,
To us they praise Manitoba,
A cold country without coal or peat.

To tell you of it I need not trouble,
For when one arrives it may be seen,
A short summer, a peaceful autumn,
And a long witer of bad weather.

If I was in possession of the wealth,
Of two suits of clothes and a pair of shoes,
And if the fare was in my pocket,
Then for Uist I would be sailing.

Posted because it is a song about Canada (Manitoba) I have not seen in books of Canadian folk songs. Fowke, Mills and Blume include a lament from an Ontario settler in "Canada's Story in Song," "A Scarborough Settler's Lament," pp. 94-95.

Songs from Ossian's album, Trad. Arr. Ossian/Springthyme Music, © 1984.
"The song was collected in South Uist by Margaret Fay Shaw and is in her 1955 collection "Folksongs and Folklore of South Uist. Composed by a native of South Uist, Allan MacPhee, as a lament it tells of the hardships he endured, expelled from Skye during the Highland clearances only to experience the even harsher conditions of the Canadian winter in Manitoba."
Song texts

(Hitting my space bar sometimes submits; please correct if necessary)

21 Oct 09 - 07:46 AM (#2749343)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: GUEST,Tom Thomson

Jim, you wrote Shores of Sutherland, so maybe you can tell us whether the lyrics linked above are correct or not. As I remember it, on his Battlefield Ballabs LP Alasdair sang "dulse" not "gulls" in the first verse, and there were more than 3 verses (the lines "Once our corn grew high, as tall and as straight as a highland man" are not in the 3 verse version linked above). So if the 3-verse version is correct, someone else has added at least one extra verse.

21 Oct 09 - 08:54 AM (#2749387)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: BobKnight

My own songs, "Banks O' The Dee" and "The Ballad of Indian Peter." Although in Peter's case he was abducted and sold as an indentured slave to the America's.

Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen is hardly an emigrant song. It was written in the 1950's by an English lady, by the name of Mitchell if my memory serves me well.

21 Oct 09 - 09:18 AM (#2749402)
From: GUEST,Young Buchan

I initially resisted the temptation to suggest Farewell to Stirling since I think of Emigration as having some element of choice. Clearly from the last verse this is actually a Transportation song. However several people have mentioned Jimmy Raeburn and I'm not entirely sure he was going voluntarily. Anyway, you can always leave out the last verse! I used to sing this in the early seventies and eventually stopped because a certain Dominican friar, and occasional singer, called Herbert McCabe who may be remembered by some of you, used to keep refering to it as the decimalisation song!

The lark this morning in the sky
Does call aloud a mournful cry,
And I must bid a last goodbye
A last farewell to Stirling-o.

So fare you well my Jeannie dear;
For you I'll shed a bitter tear.
I hope you find another dear
When I am far from Stirling-o

No more I'll walk you in the dark
Or take you out through the King's Park
Or raise a hare from out its flat
When I am far from Stirling-o.

There's one more verse I'll sing to you
And that is to my comrades true:
My dog and gun I'll leave to you
When I am far from Stirling-o.

So fare you well for I am bound
For fourteen years to Van Diemen's Land.
So fare you well to fair Scotland
And fare you well to Stirling-o.

21 Oct 09 - 09:35 AM (#2749412)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: bfdk

Emigration from the present time; Nick Keir's Far Down the Line

21 Oct 09 - 09:38 AM (#2749415)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: GUEST,Young Buchan

Re. Farewell to Stirling.

Not that it matters much, but I've remembered another verse.

No more I'll walk out through the glen
To disturb the roost of the pheasant hen
Or chase a rabbit to its den
When I am far from Stirling-o

21 Oct 09 - 04:12 PM (#2749664)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: GUEST,Young Buchan

One more verse, then I promise I'll stop thinking about it:

Though far away my heart's with you
These last few hours, how swift they flew.
Now I must bid my last adieu
My last farewell to Stirling-o.

23 Oct 09 - 04:43 AM (#2750869)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Amergin

Eric Bogle has written several songs about emigrating to Oz....Leaving Nancy being one....

29 Dec 10 - 05:19 PM (#3063452)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE EMIGRANTS FAREWELL (Alexander Stewart
From: GUEST,Alexader Stewart

by Alexander Stewart

The wind shipped the canvas. The tall-masted vessel strained
Sail to the west in it's voyage of sorrow.;
Fast faded Cantyree: the sad slight from the Highlands was
Bitter today and uncertain tomorrow,
Red gold on the ocean the sunset before them.
But the sea lanes in storms had no terrors for Dugald:
His eyes stung with tears for farewell to his home.
He stood in the stern with his gaze on the mountains
Dusk-dark in the distance, the peaks of Argyll:
Such peaks as looked down on his forefathers' dwelling
"O, land of my heart", were the words of his grieving
"Dammed by the tyrants, the faithless and grasping,
"They have driven us out like the mists of the morning
dispelled by the glare of the gathering day".
The deer and moorcock claim crofts long grown silent:
"The blood-ties that bound us, once stronger than iron,
corrupt Chiefs have broken, like Judas, for gain;
Fat sheep from the south graze the land that was our land:
Woe, wealth without honour, estates without men

20 Jan 11 - 12:11 PM (#3078708)
From: maple_leaf_boy

Here's an emigrant's song, lamenting about having left Scotland. I think the composer eventually returned to Scotland.


Nuair a rinn mi airson fàgail
Fhuair mi beannachd mo chàirdean
Ghabh mi 'n t-aiseag air a' bhàt'
Gu ruig' sàil nam beann mòr.

Och nan och, tha mi fo mhulad
Dhomhsa tha mo chòmhradh duilich
'S cruaidh an càs ach 's fheusar fhulang
'S mi fuireach ann an coille mhòir.

Nuair a thàinig mi air fòrladh
A dh'Ameireagaidh a chòmhnaidh
Chunnaic mi a' sin luchd-eòlais
Anns gach dòich sa robh iad ann.

Chunnaic mi a' sin na càirdean
'S daoine nach robh idir blàth rium
Bidh mi cuimhneachadh na dh'fhàg mi
Tarraing ràmh sa seatadh seòl.

Bidh mi cuimhneachadh Sgir' Uige
Far a bheil na daoine cliùteach
'S tric a dh'fhàg sin mo shùilean
'S 'ad a' sileadh driùchdan deòir.

'S tric mi cuimhneachadh na h-àrmuinn
Bhiodh cho snasail Là na Sàbaid
Clann-nighean òg bu bhinne gàire
Tighinn air fàire Stiogha Mhòir.

'S beag bha dhùil agam an uairsin
Gun tiginn a-null thar chuaintean
Far eil iomadh seòrsa truailleadh
Gu bhith buaireadh a' chrìdh' òig'.

Far eil Èireannaich is Frangaich
Agus Sasannaich na Galldachd
Daion' aig a bheil ioma cainnt'
Nach tuig mo cheann-sa ri mo bheò.

Ach thèid mis' air ais do Leòdhas
Àite còmhnaidh, seasmhach, bòidheach
Mairidh mi gu crìoch mo là ann
'S gheibh mi sòlas ann ri m' bheò.

20 Jan 11 - 11:18 PM (#3079131)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Sandy Mc Lean

S'math sin gille duilleag mhaipil !

21 Jan 11 - 05:11 AM (#3079221)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: breezy

no wonder he returned !!!!

21 Jan 11 - 05:15 AM (#3079223)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: breezy

a Burn's themed evening at the Barn Theatre Welwyn Garden City this Sunday, in the bar

Free admission , that should appeal to the Scots

I'll be singing but not the Rabbi's gear , cos i cant as I'm not of that ilk' but will be doing scots stuff

and damned be him who cries enough

start at 8

07 Mar 12 - 02:14 PM (#3318800)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: JedMarum

Andy M. Stewart's song, Ferry Me Over is beautiful and a true Scottish Emigrant song.

I love the last verse:

And by some friend or neighbor's side
Where the fires of love burn bright
With songs and stories I'll share my adventurin'
Until the morning light
And should some you man ask of me, "is it brave or wise to roam"
I'd bid him range the wide world all over
The better to know his own home

07 Mar 12 - 03:57 PM (#3318856)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Jim Carroll

Surely one of the most poignant - Alan McLean - though like another favourite Last Farewell to Stirling - not by choice.
Also Lads of Callyburn
Jim Carroll

07 Mar 12 - 04:26 PM (#3318868)
From: GUEST,Joe Moran

I notice that there are some recurring images in these various songs ... but that's only to be expected.

I rather like this one.


1. When the ship sailed from the harbour we were in the cargo hold,
and we could not see the mountains and the sky,
And I envied those who stood and watched the coastline fade from view,
and got a chance to say one last goodbye

2. Oh, they say that we are steerage class but that's no class at all,
but beggars can't be choosers this I know,
And the choice we faced was simple or so it seemed to me,
We could stay and starve or pack our things and go

Chorus: And I'll take out my fiddle, and I will draw my bow,
and I will play the old tunes, and they will warm my soul
And they shall be my refuge, my shelter from life's storms,
and anywhere I play these tunes, that place shall be my home

3. Nova Scotia, that's new Scotland, and there's comfort in that name,
but I wonder what awaits us in that place
A land where we can prosper, or a struggle to survive,
but I keep my spirits high for Mary's sake

4. And I think about the good times, the gatherings and fairs,
the nights filled with laughter and with song
The dance where I met Mary, and the friends we left behind,
who stood by us when hard times came along. CHORUS

5. And I think of new beginnings, and all the days to come,
and the baby fast asleep in Mary's arms
And I hope he has a good life, and I hope his days are long,
and I hope the Lord will keep him safe from harm

6. And my thoughts turn to Mary and I thank the one above
for placing that woman at my side
And I feel a weight lift from me and I know deep down inside,
there will be other mountains, other skies. CHORUS

13 Jul 12 - 11:25 AM (#3375713)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: GUEST,Nick

the proclaimers - letter from America

22 Sep 14 - 09:06 AM (#3662617)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Jim McLean

One of my Highland Clearance songs, Smile in Your Sleep is on Youtube under the title of Hush, Hush, time to be Sleeping by The Cories.

22 Sep 14 - 07:57 PM (#3662814)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Tattie Bogle

In answer to a post in 2005, if the poster is still about(!) Always Argyll was written by Duncan McCrone. I believe it was Valerie Dunbar who had a popular recording of it, apart from Duncan himself.
And another song about the Highland Clearances in Sutherland, The Braes of Sutherland by Ivan Drever, on the Wolfstone album, Year of the Dog. (Not to be confused with Jim's song, The SHORESof Sutherland.

14 May 15 - 11:54 PM (#3708965)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Alan.Ackerman

I'm curious about:

Subject: Lyr Add: NORLAND WIND^^
From: mousethief - PM
Date: 06 Oct 00 - 11:44 AM

Tell me what was on yer road, ye roarin' norland wind,
As ye cam' blowin' frae the north that's never frae ma mind.
My feet they've traveled England, but I'm deein' for the north.
Oh, man, I saw the siller tide rin up the Firth o' Forth.

Recorded as "South Wind" by Jean Redpath on "A Fine Song for Singing."

1. Why didn't the lyrics get added to the Digital Tradition? I searched on Norlan and Norland.

2. I found "South Wind" by Jean Redpath on my copy of "A Fine Song for Singing" -- and it is NOT the words to NORLAND WIND. It is the words I have always heard to Southwind:

South wind of the gentle rain, you banish winter weather
Bring salmon to the pool again, the bees among the heather
If northward now you mean to blow, as you rustle soft above me
God speed be with you as you go and a kiss for those that love me

Alan Ackerman

15 May 15 - 05:23 AM (#3708998)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Tattie Bogle

Norland Wind/The Wild Geese has been posted in full on several threads over the years, including further up this same thread. I think you have to request a Mudelf to add a set of lyrics to the DT. It doesn't just happen automatically, but agree, it would be good to have them there.

Re South Wind: not sure what tune you are talking about? The lyrics you quote don't seem to fit to the Norland Wind tune. There is a very different tune by that name, which Ewan McVicar used for his song "All the Tunes in the World". No sound clip for the song you quote on Jean's website.

15 May 15 - 07:56 PM (#3709167)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: GUEST,Sol

From: GUEST,Joe Moran
Date: 07 Mar 12 - 04:26 PM"

Can you enlighten us on the source of this song Joe? Is the tune original or are these words to a well known other tune? Has anyone recorded it?

18 May 15 - 12:33 AM (#3709562)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: Alan.Ackerman

I figured out my second question. The Norland Wind was recorded as "Wild Geese" not as "South Wind" by Jean Redpath on "A Fine Song for Singing."

I guess I will have to ask Joe Offer why it is not in the database.

South Wind is one of the two most beautiful tunes in the world IMUO. (The other is Shebag and Shemore.) It is all over the Internet. Here are two versions of South Wind, as a song on You Tube:



According to the first one: "Recorded by Archie Fisher who credits it to Donal O'Sullivan. Jean Redpath, who also recorded it, thinks it traditional."

25 May 15 - 12:55 PM (#3711697)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: GUEST,Annette

Does anyone know either of these songs? I them both on a faded scrap of paper written in beautiful copperplate script.

The day comes stealin' on , my love
That I maun part frae thee
For I maun cross the sunny line
An' far oot ower the sea
To seek for fortunes favours
I must wander far awa'
Far frae my native hills and glens
In Caledonia

My memory fond hangs ower the scene
O' childhoods early days
Where gleesome blythe an' free frae care
I ran aboot the braes
But noo I maun seek ither scenes
An' gang an' leave it a'
An' bid fareweel to thee my love
An' Caledonia

Can I forget the flowery dell
Where first ye owned your love
An' where I promised to be true
By Him who reigns above
I'll ne'er forget that happy hour
As lang's I've breath to draw
But still remember thee my love
An' Caledonia

When I upon a foreign shore
A bonnie flower shall see
I'll turn my thoughts to hame again
An' think my love o' thee
An' o' the hallowed dell my love
Where gowans sweetly blaw
An' heave a longing sigh for thee
An' Caledonia

Or when I lanely wander ower
The dreary waste sae wide
I'll mind upon the happy days
When I was by thy side
An' when I gaze oot ower the sea
That rolls atween us twa
I'll drap a tear for thee my love
An' Caledonia

Fareweel my love an' cherish hope
That yet the day may come
That gentle breezes ower the sea
May waft the wanderer home
When fate relenting bids nae mair
An ocean 'tween us flaw
Then I'll return again to thee
An' Caledonia
* * *

Oh dinna grieve for me my love
Tho' I maun gang frae thee
To wander in a foreign land
Across yon raging sea
For tho' fortune bids us sever
It's only for a time
An' we'll baith be a' the happier
When I come hame

When I come hame, When I come hame
We'll baith be a' the happier
When I come hame

The love that canna bide to part
It isna love ava
True love is aye the strongest when
The loved ane's far awa'
An' tho' I be far awa'
I will mind thee still the same
An' love will be the sweeter love
When I come hame (Chorus)

When wanderin' ower yon distant hills
I feel the weight o' care
When troubles gather 'round me
An' hardships press me sair
It will nerve me for the struggle
In yonder foreign clime
To think upon the pleasures love
When I come hame (Chorus)

O happy happy hae I been
Enraptured wi' thy charms
An' happy yet I hope to be
Enfaulded in thine arms
Twa-three years will soon gang by
An' we'll baith be in our prime
An' I'll woo my lassie ower again
When I come hame (Chorus)
O fortune yet may smile on me
When I am far awa'
An' then I will return again
An' gi'e to thee it a'
An' I'll get a bonnie butt an' ben
An' ye shall be its dame
For I'll wed my bonnie lassie
When I come hame (Chorus)

25 May 15 - 07:24 PM (#3711754)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: GUEST,Julia L

Where did you find these lyrics? State? Country?

cheers- Julia

26 May 15 - 03:22 AM (#3711800)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: GUEST,Eddie1 (Cookie lost forever)

I've always thought of "Come Fare Away" as a Scottish Emmigrant's song and am sure I remember it being explained as such by Jean Redpath.


26 May 15 - 12:49 PM (#3711924)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: CupOfTea

Ed Miller, the Scotsman who has lived in Austin,+ Texas for quite a few years wrote his Emigrant song: AT HOME WITH THE EXILES. ( sung by Ed Miller on "Generations of Change" 2004) Mudcat thread on the song

He's also covered classics like "Caledonia" and some from the Irish experience like "City of Chicago." He's taken some lyric liberties with Tommy Sand's "When the Boys Come Rolling Home" to give a Scottish theme to the song of nostalgia for home. He has a deft hand for transformations. I was very taken with his "Rivers and Reivers" where he takes the classic "Rivers of Texas" - frequently re-written with rivers of other states - and intersperses the original verses with verses about the Scottish rivers, and changing the plot a wee bit. ("There's many a river in the Scots borderland').

There's a flavor in the body of his work of a strong Scottish identity while living in Texas & all are well worth a listen. Plenty of humor, too - his "At the Games" poking fun at Highland Games cliches & some rare Adam McNaughtan.

Joanne in Cleveland (who is frustrated that she's not got the "Scottish speech impairment" that Jean Redpath said you need for quite a few Scottish songs)

26 May 15 - 04:36 PM (#3711979)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: GUEST,Annette

My grandfather went to Patagonia to work as a shepherd from Scotland in 1892 and I found this among some papers. I'd like to think it's in his handwriting but I can't confirm that.

26 May 15 - 06:31 PM (#3712003)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: GUEST,Anne Neilson

Annette, can't help with your grandfather's song -- but there is a more recent song from Ian Sinclair (of the Scottish group Mirk, from Thurso) on the same lines; I think it may have been commissioned for a Radio Scotland programme 20-odd years ago, but I've lost any link to the source.

I can vaguely hear the melody in my mind and the lines that end with ….. in Patagonia.

(Hope someone else can help with more info.)

26 May 15 - 08:15 PM (#3712025)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: GUEST,Julia L

In reading the first song, I hear echoes of Jaimie Raeburn and indeed the song works well with that melody, the last line ending "(from, in, of,etc.) Caledonia" I'm going to check some collections I have been working with here in Maine- that's why I asked about the source location. Could be New England or Canadian Maritimes?
On with the quset!

26 May 15 - 08:22 PM (#3712028)
Subject: RE: Scottish Emigrant Songs
From: GUEST,Julia L

Aha- Patagonia " I maun cross the sunny line" duh- below the equator, Definitely NOT NE north America *grin* But I have found some similar songs in collections here.

Another of my favorites is Daniel Monroe / Sons of North Britain. Will post later

Also, for Gaelic songs see " The Emigrant Experience- songs of Highland Emigrants in NOrth America" by Margaret MacDonell Univ of Toronto Press 1982

TTFN- julia