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Origins: Aberdour in Sir Patrick Spens

15 Dec 04 - 01:37 PM (#1357772)
Subject: Origins: Aberdour in Sir Patrick Spens
From: Leeder

A friend of mine was wondering if anyone knows whether the Aberdour mentioned in "Sir Patrick Spens" is the one in Aberdeenshire or the one in Fife. (His ancestors came from the former.) Also, how is it pronounced? The rhyme with "o'er" doesn't seem to work with what he's been told is the current place name pronunciation.

And, yes, I've been away for a while. My wife has waged a battle with breast cancer over the past year, surgery, chemo, radiation and now Tamoxifen. It has been very distracting, especially since she had every unpleasant side effect available. However, her tests are clear at present, so as far as we know it's been a successful effort.

15 Dec 04 - 04:17 PM (#1357895)
Subject: RE: Origins: Aberdour in Sir Patrick Spens
From: GUEST,Van

It's the one in Fife - it rhymes if you pronounce o'er as ower (as in bower)as i have always heard it pronounced.

Good luck to your wife - I've been going through tests since June and have yet to find out what I've got and what they will do. The suspence in that is bad enough to cope with let alone what your wife has been through.

16 Dec 04 - 10:56 AM (#1358768)
Subject: RE: Origins: Aberdour in Sir Patrick Spens
From: Dita

Van is spot on Leeder.

Glad for your wife's good news after a long battle.

Mother in law overcame cancer so I know it a hard road.

Love, John

16 Dec 04 - 11:37 AM (#1358845)
Subject: RE: Origins: Aberdour in Sir Patrick Spens
From: GUEST,just curious

Van - how do you know it's the Aberdour in Fife? Source of that information, please. Several versions have it as Aberdeen.

17 Dec 04 - 06:44 AM (#1359538)
Subject: RE: Origins: Aberdour in Sir Patrick Spens
From: GUEST,Train Guard

The ballad of 'Sir Patrick Spens' begins-

"The King sits in Dunfermline town,
Drinking the blood-red wine;"

Dunfermline is situated on the north shore of the Firth Of Forth, and was the ancient capital of Scotland for a time. (Rosyth is its modern port, about two miles to the south of the town.)

Aberdour is situated on the Fife coast, not far from the mouth of the Firth.

A ship returning from Norway, to land the Princess and the Scots Lords at a point near the King's court, would inevitably pass close by Aberdour.

You can find information about Dunfermline at -

The remains of Malcolm Canmore's Tower are in a local park, and the plaque quotes the first verse of the song.

Interestingly enough, a ferry operates between Rosyth and Zeebrugge.

Aberdour information is at -

It has a nice castle, and is only a short train ride from Edinburgh.


Train Guard

17 Dec 04 - 07:21 AM (#1359560)
Subject: RE: Origins: Aberdour in Sir Patrick Spens

When I was at school in Paisley we often had to write Sir Patrick Spens as it was the longest poem in our poetry book. Our English teacher obviously had a sense of humour which we did not appreciate at the time as his other punishment was to write out Portias soliloquy from the Merchant of Venice:- The quality ofmercy is not strained.....
love Robbie

17 Dec 04 - 11:12 AM (#1359754)
Subject: RE: Origins: Aberdour in Sir Patrick Spens
From: Leeder

Van, our doctor is English and he told us we had to be "bloody-minded". We went home and looked it up in the dictionary, and found it means "stubborn". He was absolutely right. You have to put your head down and plough through the garbage and keep in mind that most people get through it.

It may be that you won't have a long treatment. Everyone is different, and the programs are tailored to the individual. We thought we wouldn't have to have chemotherapy and radiation; it wasn't until after the surgery that they found lymph nodes involved and decided to go the whole route. Maybe that won't happen in your case. Or maybe you won't have severe side effects -- lots of people don't. Keep your eye on the "best-case scenarios" and do what you have to do, is the best advice I can offer. It has worked for us.