Saturday, April 23, 2011

Come Ye By Atholl - Another interesting Scottish song.

Come Ye By Atholl is a well known Jacobite song in Scottish folk circles. Here it is is sung by North Sea Gas:



although the best version I have heard is by Stephen Quigg (click here for a page containing a sound clip of his version).

The song itself did not originate from people involved in the Jacobite uprising, but was written by the poet James Hogg, who said of it:
...there can be no dispute that it is one of my worst. (Source: Scottish pastoral poems, songs etc Mostly written in the dialect of the South, James Hogg, Edinburgh 1801)
The tune was given to Hogg by Niel Gow and is called "Gala Water".

Its original title, as given by Hogg, is "Bonnie Prince Charlie". Presumably it was changed later to avoid confusion with other songs about the prince.

Here are the original words from James Hogg's original published version (note its "Cam ye by Athol" not "Come ye by Atholl")
Cam ye by Athol, lad wi' the philabeg,
Down by the Tummel, or banks o' the Garry,
Saw ye our lads, wi' their bonnets and white cockades,
Leaving their mountains to follow Prince Charlie ?
  Follow thee! follow thee ! wha wadna follow thee ? ,
  Lang Last thou loved and trusted us fairly !
  Charlie, Charlie, wha wadna follow thee,
  King o' the Highland hearts, bonny Prince Charlie ?

I hae but ae son, my gallant young Donald ;
But if I had ten, they should follow Glengarry !
Health to M`Donnell and gallant Clan-Ronald,
For these are the men that will die for their Charlie !
  Follow thee ! follow thee! &c.

I'll to Lochiel and Appin, and kneel to them,
Down by Lord Murray, and Roy of Kildarlie;
Brave M'Intosh he shall fly to the field with them
These are the lads I can trust wi' my Charlie !
  Follow thee! follow thee! &c.

Down through the Lowlands, down wi' the Whigamore*!
Loyal true Highlanders, down wi' them rarely !
Ronald an' Donald, drive on, wi' the broad claymore,
Over the necks of the foes o' Prince Charlie!
  Follow thee ! follow thee ! wha wadna follow thee ?
  Lang ha.st thou loved and trusted us fairly !
  Charlie, Charlie, wha wadna follow thee,
  King o' the Highland hearts, bonny Prince Charlie ?

Here is a link to the sheet music if you require it.

*Note that the use of the word "Whigamore" (now spelled Whiggamore) had come to mean "protestant" by  the time Hogg wrote this song, but at the time of the 1745 uprising it probably had its original, more specific, meaning.

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