The Earl of Mar’s Daughter

Henry Matthew Brock, The Earl of Mar’s Daughter, from A Book of Old Ballads (1934).

THE EARL OF MAR’S DAUGHTER.

It was intill a pleasant time,
Upon a simmer’s day,
The noble Earl of Mar’s daughter
Went forth to sport and play.

As thus she did amuse hersell,
Below a green aik tree,
There she saw a sprightly doo
Set on a tower sae hie.

O Cow-me-doo, my love sae true,
If ye’ll come down to me,
Ye’se ha’e a cage o’ guid red gowd
Instead o’ simple tree:

I’ll put gowd hingers roun’ your cage,
And siller roun’ your wa’;
I’ll gar ye shine as fair a bird
As ony o’ them a’.

But she hadnae these words well spoke,
Nor yet these words well said,
Till Cow-me-doo flew frae the tower,
And lighted on her head.

Then she has brought this pretty bird
Hame to her bowers and ha’;
And made him shine as fair a bird
As ony o’ them a’.

When day was gane, and night was come,
About the evening tide;
This lady spied a sprightly youth
Stand straight up by her side.

From whence came ye, young man? she said,
That does surprise me sair;
My door was bolted right secure;
What way ha’e ye come here?

O had your tongue, ye lady fair,
Lat a’ your folly be ;
Mind ye not on your turtle doo
Last day ye brought wi’ thee?

O tell me mair, young man, she said,
This does surprise me now;
What country ha’e ye come frae?
What pedigree are you?

My mither lives on foreign isles,
She has nae mair but me;
She is a queen o’ wealth and state,
And birth and high degree.

Likewise well skill’d in magic spells,
As ye may plainly see;
And she transform’d me to yon shape,
To charm such maids as thee.

I am a doo the live lang day,
A sprightly youth at night;
This aye gars me appear mair fair
In a fair maiden’s sight.

And it was but this verra day
That I came ower the sea;
Your lovely face did me enchant,–
I’ll live and dee wi’ thee.

O Cow-me-doo, my luve sae true,
Nae mair frae me ye’se gae.
That’s never my intent, my luve,
As ye said, it shall be sae.

O Cow-me-doo, my luve sae true,
It’s time to gae to bed.
Wi’ a’ my heart, my dear marrow.
It’s be as ye ha’e said.

Then he has staid in bower wi’ her
For sax lang years and ane,
Till sax young sons to him she bare.
And the seventh she’s brought hame.

But aye as ever a child was born,
He carried them away;
And brought them to his mither’s care,
As fast as he cou’d fly.

Thus he has staid in bower wi’ her
For twenty years and three;
There came a lord o’ high renown
To court this fair ladie.

But still his proffer she refused,
And a’ his presents too;
Says, I’m content to live alane
Wi’ my bird, Cow-me-doo.

Her father sware a solemn oath
Amang the nobles all,
The morn, or ere I eat or drink,
This bird I will gar kill.

The bird was sitting in his cage.
And heard what they did say;
And when he found they were dismist.
Says, Waes me for this day.

Before that I do langer stay,
And thus to be forlorn,
I’ll gang unto my mither’s bower,
Where I was bred and born.

Then Cow-me-doo took flight and flew
Beyond the raging sea;
And lighted near his mither’s castle
On a tower o’ gowd sae hie.

As his mither was wauking out,
To see what she cou’d see;
And there she saw her little son
Set on the tower sae hie.

Get dancers here to dance, she said,
And minstrells for to play;
For here’s my young son, Florentine,
Come here wi’ me to stay.

Get nae dancers to dance, mither,
Nor minstrells for to play;
For the mither o’ my seven sons,
The morn’s her wedding-day.

O tell me, tell me, Florentine,
Tell me, and tell me true;
Tell me this day without a flaw,
What I will do for you.

Instead of dancers to dance, mither,
Or minstrells for to play;
Turn four-and-twenty wall-wight men
Like storks, in feathers gray;

My seven sons in seven swans,
Aboon their heads to flee;
And I, mysell, a gay gos-hawk,
A bird o’ high degree.

Then sichin’ said the queen hersell.
That thing’s too high for me;
But she applied to an auld woman,
Who had mair skill than she.

Instead o’ dancers to dance a dance,
Or minstrells for to play;
Four-and-twenty wall-wight men
Turn’d birds o’ feathers gray;

Her seven sons in seven swans,
Aboon their heads to flee;
And he, himsell, a gay gos-hawk,
A bird o’ high degree.

This flock o’ birds took flight and flew
Beyond the raging sea;
And landed near the Earl Mar’s castle,
Took shelter in every tree.

They were a flock o’ pretty birds
Right comely to be seen;
The people view’d them wi’ surprise
As they danc’d on the green.

These birds ascended frae the tree,
And lighted on the ha’;
And at the last wi’ force did flee
Amang the nobles a’.

The storks there seized some o’ the men,
They cou’d neither fight nor flee;
The swans they bound the bride’s best man
Below a green aik tree.

They lighted next on maidens fair,
Then on the bride’s own head;
And wi’ the twinkling o’ an e’e,
The bride and them were fled.

There’s ancient men at weddings been,
For sixty years or more;
But sic a curious wedding-day
They never saw before.

For naething cou’d the companie do,
Nor naething cou’d they say;
But they saw a flock o’ pretty birds
That took their bride away.

When that Earl Mar, he came to know,
Where his dochter did stay;
He sign’d a bond o’ unity,
And visits now they pay.

— Buchan, Peter, Ancient Ballads and Songs of the North of Scotland, Hitherto Unpublished, Edinburgh, 1828; Child Ballad 270.

A Pack of Hypocrites

WHERE are the days that we have seen,
When Phœbus shone fu’ bright, man,
Days when fu’ merry we have been,
When every one had right man;
Now gloomy clouds do overshade,
And spread wide over a’, man,
Ill boding comets blaze o’er head,
O whirry whigs awa’, man.

Now ill appears with face fu’ bare,
‘Mong high and low degree, man,
And great confusion every where,
Which every day we see, man;
A blind man’s chosen for a guide,
If they get not a fa’ man,
There’s none needs wonder if they slide,
O whirry whigs awa’, man.

We are divided as you see,
A sad and dreadful thing, man,
‘Twixt malice, pride, and presbytery,
And Satan leads the ring, man:
Our nation’s under misery,
And slavery with a’ man,
Yet deaf’d with din of liberty,
O whirry whigs awa’, man.

Our decent gowns are all put down,
Dare scarcely now be seen, man,
Geneva frocks take up their room,
Entitled to the tiends, man;
Who cant and speak the most discreet,
And say they love the law, man,
Yet are a pack of hypocrites,
O whirry whigs awa’, man.

Of primitive simplicity,
Which in our church was left, man,
Of truth and peace with prelacy,
Alas! we are bereft, man;
Instead of true humility,
And unity with a’ man,
Confusion’s mither presbytery,
Now spawns her brats thro’ a’ man.

The Lord’s prayer and the creed,
With glore to trinity, man,
New start-ups all these things exclude
And call them popery, man,
Rebellion’s horn they loudly tout,
With whinning tone and bla, man,
And leave the means of grace without;
O whirry whigs awa’, man.

Yet creed and Lord’s prayer too,
The true blue folks of old, man,
Ye know believed to be true,
And promised to hold, man.
But having proved false to God,
Traitors to kings with a’, man,
They never by their word abode;
O whirry whigs awa’, man.

Continue reading “A Pack of Hypocrites”

Argyle Is My Name

Bronze medal of John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll and Greenwich, by Jacques Antoine Dassier, 1743; 2 1/8" diameter; NPG 6232.
Bronze medal of John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll and Greenwich, by Jacques Antoine Dassier, 1743; 2 1/8″ diameter; NPG 6232.

ARGYLE IS MY NAME. 

SAID TO BE BY JOHN DUKE OF ARGYLE AND
GREENWICH [BORN 1678 DIED 1743.]

Tune—Bannocks o’ Barley Meal.

Argyle is my name, and you may think it strange,
To live at a court, yet never to change;
A’ falsehood and flattery I do disdain,
In my secret thoughts nae guile does remain.
My king and my country’s foes I have faced,
In city or battle I ne’er was disgraced;
I do every thing for my country’s weal,
And feast upon bannocks o’ barley meal.

I will quickly lay down my sword and my gun,
And put my blue bonnet and my plaidie on;
With my silk tartan hose, and leather-heel’d shoon,
And then I will look like a sprightly loon.
And when I’m sae dress’d frae tap to tae,
To meet my dear Maggie I vow I will gae,
Wi’ target and hanger hung down to my heel;
And I’ll feast upon bannocks o’ barley meal.

I’ll buy a rich garment to gie to my dear,
A ribbon o’ green for Maggie to wear;
And mony thing brawer than that, I declare,
Gin she will gang wi’ me to Paisley fair.
And when we are married, I’ll keep her a cow,
And Maggie will milk when I gae to plow;
We’ll live a’ the winter on beef and lang kail,
And feast upon bannocks o’ barley meal.

Gin Maggie should chance to bring me a son,
He’ll fight for his king, as his daddy has done;
He’ll hie him to Flanders, some breeding to learn,
And then hame to Scotland, and get him a farm.
And there we will live by our industry,
And wha’ll be sae happy as Maggie and me?
We’ll a’ grow as fat as a Norway seal,
Wi’ our feasting on bannocks o’ barley meal.

Then fare ye weel, citizens, noisy men,
Wha jolt in your coaches to Drury Lane;
Ye bucks o’ Bear-garden, I bid ye adieu;
For drinking and swearing, I leave it to you.
I’m fairly resolved for a country life,
And nae langer will live in hurry and strife;
I’ll aff to the Highlands as hard’s I can reel,
And whang at the bannocks o’ barley meal.*

* From Herd’s Collection, 1776. Another conjecture or tradition gives the song to James Boswell.

— Robert Chambers, The Scottish Songs, Vol. 1, 1829.

So Bid Farewell

The Idiot.
Stan Rogers.

I often take these nightshift walks when the foreman’s not around.
I turn my back on the cooling stacks and make for open ground.
Far out beyond the tank-farm fence where the gas-flare makes no sound,
I forget the stink and I always think back to that Eastern town.

I remember back six years ago, this Western life I chose.
And every day, the news would say some factory’s going to close.
Well, I could have stayed to take the dole, but I’m not one of those.
I take nothing free, and that makes me an idiot, I suppose.

So I bid farewell to the Eastern town I never more will see;
But work I must, so I eat this dust and breathe refinery.
Oh I miss the green and the woods and streams, and I don’t like cowboy clothes,
But I like being free, and that makes me an idiot, I suppose.

So come all you fine young fellows who’ve been beaten to the ground.
This western life’s no paradise, but it’s better than lying down.
Oh, the streets aren’t clean, and there’s nothing green, and the hills are dirty brown,
But the government dole will rot your soul back there in your home town.

So bid farewell to the Eastern town you never more will see.
There’s self-respect and a steady cheque in this refinery.
You will miss the green and the woods and streams and the dust will fill your nose.
But you’ll be free, and — just like me — an idiot, I suppose.

Right in Front of Me

Life’s a Happy Song.
The Muppets.

Everything is great
Everything is grand
I got the whole wide world in the palm of my hand
Everything is perfect
It’s falling into place
I can’t seem to wipe this smile off my face
Life’s a happy song, when there’s someone by my side to sing along

When you’re alone, life can be a little rough
It makes you feel like you’re 3 foot tall
When it’s just you well, times can be tough
When there’s no one there to catch your fall

Everything is great
Everything is grand
I got the whole wide world in the palm of my hand
Everything is perfect
It’s falling into place
I can’t seem to wipe this smile off my face

Life smells like a rose
With someone to paint
And someone to pose
Life’s like a piece of cake
With someone to pedal
And someone to brake
Life is full of glee
With someone to saw
And someone to see
Life’s a happy song, when there’s someone by my side to sing along

I’ve got everything that I need right in front of me
Nothing’s stopping me
Nothing that I can’t be
With you right here next to me

Life’s a piece of cake
With someone to give
And someone to take
Life’s a piece of pie
With someone to wash
And someone to dry
Life’s an easy road
With someone beside you to share the load
Life is full of highs
With someone to stir
And someone to fry
Life’s a leg of lamb
With someone there to lend a hand
Life’s a bunch of flowers
With someone to while away the hours
Life’s a filet of fish, eh!
Yes, it is
Life’s a happy song, when there’s someone by your side to sing along

I’ve got everything that I need right in front of me
Nothing’s stopping me
Nothing that I can’t be
With you right here next to me

I’ve got everything that I need
Right in front of me

[Talking]
“Sorry, super excited.”

“Oh, this is the most romantic thing ever,
I’ve always dreamt of seeing Los Angeles.”

“I know, Walter can’t wait either.
You don’t mind that he’s coming, right?”

“Oh, no. No, of course not.
As long as we can spend our anniversary dinner together,
That’s all I ask.”

“OK, let me check on Walter.”

Everything is great
Everything is grand
Except Gary’s always off with his friend
It’s never me and him
It’s always me and him and him
I wonder when it’s going to end?
But I guess that’s OK
‘Cause maybe someday
I know just how it’s going to be
He’ll ride up on a steed
And get down on one knee
And say, “Mary, will you marry meee please?”

I’ve got everything that I need right in front of me
Nothing’s stopping me
Nothing that I can’t be
With you right here next to me

You’ve got everything that you need right in front of you
Nothing’s stopping you
Nothing that you can’t do you
That the world can throw at you

Life’s a happy song
When there’s someone by your side to sing
Life’s a happy song
When there’s someone by your side to sing
Life’s a happy song
When there’s someone by your side to sing along

Doomed Line, Square, and Column!

SONG FOR THE IRISH BRIGADE.

Oh, not now for songs of a nation’s wrongs,
not the groans of starving labor;
Let the rifle ring and the bullet sing
to the clash of the flashing sabre!
There are Irish ranks on the tented banks
of Columbia’s guarded ocean;
And an iron clank from flank to flank
tells of armed men in motion.

And frank souls there clear true and bare
To all, as the steel beside them,
Can love or hate with the the strength of Fate,
Till the grave of the valiant hide them.
Each seems to be mailed Ard Righ,
whose sword’s avenging glory
Must light the fight and smite for Right,
Like Brian’s in olden story!

With pale affright and panic flight
Shall dastard Yankees base and hollow,
Hear a Celtic race, from their battle place,
Charge to the shout of “Faugh-a-ballaugh!”
By the souls above, by the land we love
Her tears bleeding patience
The sledge is wrought that shall smash to naught
The brazen liar of nations.

The Irish green shall again be seen
as our Irish fathers bore it,
A burning wind from the South behind,
and the Yankee rout before it!
O’Neil’s red hand shall purge the land–
Rain a fire on men and cattle,
Till the Lincoln snakes in their own cold lakes
Plunge from the blaze of battle.

The knaves that rest on Columbia’s breast,
and the voice of true men stifle;
we’ll exorcise from the rescued prize–
Our talisman, the rifle;
For a tyrant’s life a bowie knife!–
Of Union knot dissolvers,
The best we ken are stalwart men,
Columbiads and revolvers!

Whoe’er shall march by triumphal arch
Whoe’er may swell the slaughter,
Our drums shall roll from the Capitol
O’er Potomac’s fateful water!
Rise, bleeding ghosts, to the Lord of Hosts
For judgment final and solemn;
Your fanatic horde to the edge of the sword
Is doomed line, square, and column!

A Disgraceful Race

We soon learned all the particulars of the memorable battle; how the festive congressmen had come with their wives, daughters, and sweethearts, on the outskirts of the army, seated in luxurious carriages, with hampers packed with champagne and all good things, to regale themselves withal, as from a safe place they would view the triumphant career of their Invincibles as they made the rebels bite the dust, and then to march over their traitorous corpses to Richmond. There, there was to be a grand ball; ladies had provided themselves with magnificent dresses, certainly expecting, after the battle was over, and the rebels were wiped out, to proceed serenely on their way to the Confederate Capital without meeting an obstacle.

When the “rebels” had been reinforced by the arch-rebels, Johnston and Jackson, with their wornout but gallant men, and when the Federals with their splendid army had turned and were frantically flying before those same “rebels,” they cared for nothing but to get away. The flight of that panic-stricken mob has often been described, and by many pens, none however so graphic as that which after treating of their disgraceful race, styled them the “Bull Runners”; the London Punch was, I believe, the author of that appropriate name.

Cornelia Peake McDonald, A Diary with Reminiscences of the War and Refugee Life in the Shenandoah Valley, 1860-1865.

FLIGHT OF DOODLES.

I come from old Manassas with a pocketful of fun,
I killed forty Yankees with a single barreled gun;
It don’t make a niff-a-stiff’rence to neither you nor I,
Big Yankee, little Yankee, all run or die!

I saw all the Yankees at Bull Run,
They fought like the devil when the battle first begun.
But it don’t make a niff-a-stiff’rence to neither you nor I,
They took to their heels, boys — you oughta seen ’em fly!

I saw Old Fuss-and-Feathers Scott, twenty miles away,
His horses both stuck up their ears — you oughta hear ’em neigh;
But it don’t make a niff-a-stiff’rence to neither you nor I,
Old Scott fled like the devil, boys — root hog or die!

I then saw a “Tiger” from the Old Cresecent City,
He cut down the Yankees without any pity;
Oh! It don’t make a niff-a-stiff’rence to neither you nor I,
We whipped the Yankee boys and made the boobies cry.

I saw South Carolina, the first in The Cause,
Shake the dirty Yankees till she broke all their jaws;
Oh! It don’t make a niff-a-stiff’rence to neither you nor I,
South Carolina give ’em hell, boys — root hog or die!

I saw old Virginia, standing firm and true,
She fought mighty hard to whip a mighty dirty crew;
Oh! It don’t make a niff-a-stiff’rence to neither you nor I,
Old Virginia’s blood and thunder — root hog or die!

I saw old Georgia, the next in the van,
She cut down the Yankees almost to a man;
Oh! It don’t make a niff-a-stiff’rence to neither you nor I,
Georgia fought the fight, boys — root hog or die!

I saw Alabama in the middle of the storm,
She stood like a giant in the contest so warm;
Oh! It don’t make a niff-a-stiff’rence to neither you nor I,
Alabama fought the Yankees, boys, till the last one did fly!

I saw Texas go in with a smile,
But I tell you what it is, she made the Yankees bile.
Oh! It don’t make a niff-a-stiff’rence to neither you nor I,
Texas is the devil, boys — root hog or die!

I saw North Carolina in the deepest of the battle.
She knocked down the Yankees and made their bones rattle;
Oh! It don’t make a niff-a-stiff’rence to neither you nor I,
North Carolina’s got the grit, boys — root hog or die!

Old Florida came in with a terrible shout,
She frightened all the Yankees till their eyes stuck out;
Oh! It don’t make a niff-a-stiff’rence to neither you nor I,
Florida’s death on Yankees, boys — root hog or die!

— Anonymous.