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.

O Gleyd Argyll

Archibald Campbell, 8th Earl of Argyll.
Archibald Campbell, 8th Earl of Argyll.

“THE BONNIE HOUSE O’ AIRLIE.”

The father of the late Earl of Airlie, for several years acted as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. Among his retainers were two pipers; and at a levee at Holyrood Palace, the Moderator of the Assembly requested that the pipers should play “The Bonnie House o’ Airlie.” His Lordship replied that he was not certain whether they would, as one of the pipers was an Ogilvie, and the other a Campbell, but promised to try, and instructed his butler to give the order to the pipers to play the tune. In a little while one of them, the Ogilvie, marched into the room playing with much spirit. Summoning the butler again, the Earl asked why Campbell had not also come in. “I gave him the message, my Lord.” “Well, what did he say?” The man hesitated. “What did Campbell say?” again demanded the Earl. “He said—eh!—eh!—” still hesitating—”he said he would see your Lordship—” the rest of the sentence was lost in a cough and the skirl of Ogilvie’s pipes!

D. MacDougall.

The Celtic Monthly, February 1905.

* * *

It fell on a day, a bonny summer day,
When the corn was ripe and yellow,
That there fell oot a great dispute
Between Argyle aye and Airlie.

Lady Margaret looked o’er yon high castle wall,
And O but she sighed sairly.
She saw Argyle and a’ his men
Come to plunder the bonny hoose o’ Airlie.

“Come doun, come doun Lady Margaret,” he said.
“Come doun and kiss me fairly
Or gin the morning’s clear daylight
I willna leave a standing stane in Airlie.”

“I’ll no come doun, ye false Argyle,
Nor will I kiss thee fairly.
I wouldnae kiss the false Argyle
Though you wouldna leave a standin’ stane in Airlie.”

“For if my gude lord had been at hame,
As he’s awa’ wi’ Chairlie,
There wouldnae come a Campbell frae Argyle
Dare trod upon the bonny green o’ Airlie.”

“For I hae bore him seven bonny sons,
The eighth yin has never seen his daddy
But if I had as mony ower again
They would all be men for Chairlie.”

But poor Lady Margaret was forced to come doun
And O but she sighed sairly
For their in front o’ all his men
She was ravished on the bowlin’ green o’ Airlie.

“Draw your dirks, draw your dirks,” cried the brave Locheil.
“Unsheath your sword,” cried Chairlie,
“We’ll kindle sic a lowe roond the false Argyle,
And licht it wi’ a spark oot o’ Airlie.”

— Version collected by Hamish Henderson and Peter Kennedy at Fetterangus, 27 June 1955.

Continue reading “O Gleyd Argyll”

Meet James Ensor

James Ensor, Skeleton Painter in his Studio, 1896; Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp.
James Ensor, Skeleton Painter in his Studio, 1896; Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp.

Meet James Ensor
Belgium’s famous painter
Dig him up and shake his hand
Appreciate the man

Before there were junk stores
Before there was junk
He lived with his mother and the torments of Christ
The world was transformed
A crowd gathered round
Pressed against his window so they could be the first

To meet James Ensor
Belgium’s famous painter
Raise a glass and sit and stare
Understand the man

He lost all his friends
He didn’t need his friends
He lived with his mother and repeated himself
The world has forgotten
The world moved along
The crowd at his window went back to their homes

Meet James Ensor
Meet James Ensor
Belgium’s famous painter
Dig him up and shake his hand
Appreciate the man

They Might Be Giants.

Unexceptionable Conduct

Re-enactors wait for the Battle of Prestonpans to commence.
Re-enactors wait for the Battle of Prestonpans to commence.

But the most extraordinary Part of the ensuing Report, and what I conceive will be digested by the Publick with the most Reluctancy, is, the Account therein given of the Battle of Preston-pans. For, surely, after the Prepossessions which have so long prevailed, it will not be easily credited that the Field of Battle for the King’s Troops, was well chosen; that their Disposition was prudent, that the Army was perfectly formed before the Rebels attacked it; that after the Dragoons, both on the Right and Left went off, the Foot stood and were broken, gradually, from the Right, as the Enemy who first attacked the Right, moved up the Line. That Sir John Cope remained with the Foot till they were utterly routed, and exerted himself all he could, to have rallied them, and, if possible, to have retrieved the Affair; that at last, seeing the Foot totally dispersed, he then, and not till then, rode to the Dragoons, whose Flight had been retarded by a Park-Wall in the Rear, and tryed his utmost, in vain, to rally them, and to march them against the Enemy. That, indeed, when they had ran through the Village of Preston, 450 of them were collected, and persuaded to stand; but a Party of the Rebels appearing in Sight, their old Pannick returned, so that all the Intreaties of Sir John Cope, and the Officers who were with him, could not prevail on them to charge; that therefore, as nothing was then to be expected from them, no other Step could be taken than to march to Berwick. All these Circumstances of the Battle, how well soever supported by the most unquestioned Evidence, will yet, I presume, be insufficient, immediately, to destroy the contrary Opinions which have, so long, possessed Men’s Minds; and therefore, as I myself found it difficult to Master my Prepossessions, and impartially to weigh the Varacity of these Facts, I will lay before my Countrymen, the Reasons, which in Opposition to my former Sentiments, have prevailed with me to assent to the Report, and to believe, the Conduct of Sir John Cope at the Battle of Preston-pans to have been unexceptionable.

Preface to A Report of the Proceeding and Opinion of the Board of General Officers on Their Examination into the Conduct, Behaviour, and Proceedings of Lieutenant-General Sir John Cope et al., from the outbreak of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, until the Battle of Prestonpans (21 September 1745) inclusive. Conducted 1746; published 1749.

* * *

Hey, Johnnie Cope, Are Ye Waking Yet?

Cope sent a challenge frae Dunbar,
Sayin ‘Charlie meet me an’ ye daur;
An’ I’ll learn ye the airts o’ war,
If ye’ll meet me in the morning.’

Chorus

Hey! Johnnie Cope are ye waukin’ yet?
Or are your drums a-beating yet?
If ye were waukin’ I wad wait,
Tae gang tae the coals in the morning.

When Charlie looked the letter upon,
He drew his sword its scabbard from,
‘Come, follow me, my merry men,
And we’ll meet Johnnie Cope in the morning.’

Now Johnnie, be as good as your word,
Come, let us try baith fire and sword,
And dinna flee like a frichted bird,
That’s chased frae its nest i’ the morning.

When Johnnie Cope he heard o’ this,
He thocht it wouldna be amiss,
Tae hae a horse in readiness,
Tae flee awa in the morning.

Fye now, Johnnie, get up an’ rin,
The Highland bagpipes mak’ a din,
It’s better tae sleep in a hale skin,
For it will be a bluidie morning.

When Johnnie Cope tae Dunbar cam,
They speired at him, ‘Where’s a’ your men?’
‘The de’il confound me gin I ken,
For I left them a’ in the morning.’

Now Johnnie, troth ye werena blate,
Tae come wi’ news o’ your ain defeat,
And leave your men in sic a strait,
Sae early in the morning.

‘In faith’, quo Johnnie, ‘I got sic flegs
Wi’ their claymores an’ philabegs,
Gin I face them again, de’il brak my legs,
So I wish you a’ good morning.’

Adam Skirving.

Caput Apri Defero

Arms of Queen's College, Oxford: Argent, three eagles displayed gules, beaked and legged or, on the breast of the first, a mullet of six points of the last.
Arms of The Queen’s College, Oxford: Argent, three eagles displayed gules, beaked and legged or, on the breast of the first, a mullet of six points of the last.

The Boar’s Head at Oxford.

The ancient ceremony of serving up a boar’s head in the hall of Queen’s College, Oxford, at Christmas, is still observed with much pomp and ceremony. The boar’s head is borne on the shoulders of two of the college servants, preceded by the Provost and Fellows of the society, and followed by a procession of choristers and singing men, who sing the following ballad, the Precentor of Queen’s taking the solo part:–

The boar’s head in hand bring I,
Bedeck’d with bays and rosemary,
And I pray you my masters be merry.
Quot estis in convivio,
Caput estis in convivio
Reddens laudes Domino.

The boar’s head, as I understand,
Is the rarest dish in all the land:
Which thus bedeck’d with a gay garland,
Let us servire cantico
Caput apri defero,
Reddens laudes Domino.

Our stewards hath provided this
In honour of the King of Bliss,
Which on this day to be served is
In Reginensi Atrio,
Caput apri defero,
Reddens laudes Domino.

After the ceremony, the decorations of bays, rosemary, holly, artificial flowers, &c. are distributed among the visitors, the monster head is then placed upon the high table, and the members of the society proceed to dine. The origin of serving up the boar’s head at Queen’s College is somewhat obscure, but we glean from Pointer’s Oxon[i]ensis Academia that “it is in memory of a noble exploit, as tradition goes, by a scholar (a tabarder) of this College in killing a wild boar in Shotover Wood.” Having wandered into the wood, which is not far from Oxford, with a copy of Aristotle in his hand, and being attacked by a wild boar, who came at him with extended jaws, intending to make but a mouthful of him, he was enabled to conquer him by thrusting the Aristotle down the boar’s throat crying, “Græcum Est!” The animal, of course, fell prostrate at his feet, was carried in triumph to the College, and no doubt served up with an “old song,” as Mr Pointer says, in memory of this “noble exploit.”

— John Timbs, Notabilia, or Curious and Amusing Facts about Many Things, London: Griffith and Farran, 1872.

Barefooted Tatterdemalions

Woodcut depicting James Rivington being hanged in effigy, as it appeared in Rivington’s New-York Gazetteer, April 20, 1775.
Woodcut depicting James Rivington being hanged in effigy, as it appeared in Rivington’s New-York Gazetteer, April 20, 1775.

It cannot have escaped the notice of the most inattentive observer, that this country has been brought to its present state of distress and confusion, chiefly by the art and industry of pretended patriots, both in England and America, who were stimulated by indigence, avarice, or ambition, to embroil the government, and mislead the people. The Pennsylvania Ledger or the Philadelphia Market-Day Advertiser, February 28, 1778.

THE REBELS (1778)
(sung to the tune: Black Joak)

THE REBELS.

YE brave, honest subjects, who dare to be loyal,
And have stood the brunt of every trial,
Of hunting-shirts, and rifle-guns:
Come listen awhile, and I’ll sing you a song;
I’ll show you, those Yankees are all in the wrong,
Who, with blustering look and most awkward gait,
‘Gainst their lawful sovereign dare for to prate,
With their hunting-shirts, and rifle-guns.

The arch-rebels, barefooted tatterdemalions,
In baseness exceed all other rebellions,
With their hunting-shirts, and rifle-guns.
To rend the empire, the most infamous lies,
Their mock-patriot Congress, do always devise;
Independence, like the first of rebels, they claim,
But their plots will be damn’d in the annals of fame,
With their hunting-shirts, and rifle-guns.

Forgetting the mercies of Great Britain’s king,
Who saved their forefathers’ necks from the string;
With their hunting-shirts, and rifle-guns.
They renounce allegiance and take up their arms,
Assemble together like hornets in swarms,
So dirty their backs, and so wretched their show,
That carrion-crow follows wherever they go,
With their hunting-shirts, and rifle-guns.

With loud peals of laughter, your sides, sirs, would crack,
To see General Convict and Colonel Shoe-black,
With their hunting-shirts, and rifle-guns.
See cobblers and quacks, rebel priests and the like,
Pettifoggers and barbers, with sword and with pike,
All strutting, the standard of Satan beside,
And honest names using, their black deeds to hide.
With their hunting-shirts, and rifle-guns.

This perjured banditti, now ruin this land,
And o’er its poor people claim lawless command,
With their hunting-shirts, and rifle-guns.
Their pasteboard dollars, prove a common curse,
They don’t chink like silver and gold in our purse;
With nothing their leaders have paid their debts off,
Their honor’s, dishonor, and justice they scoff,
With their hunting-shirts, and rifle-guns.

For one lawful ruler, many tyrants we’ve got,
Who force young and old to their wars, to be shot,
With their hunting-shirts, and rifle-guns.
Our good king, God speed him ! never usèd men so,
We then could speak, act, and like freemen could go;
But committees enslave us, our Liberty’s gone,
Our trade and church murder’d; our country’s undone,
By hunting-shirts, and rifle-guns.

Come take up your glasses, each true loyal heart,
And may every rebel meet his due dessert,
With his hunting-shirt, and rifle-gun.
May Congress, Conventions, those damn’d inquisitions,
Be fed with hot sulphur, from Lucifer’s kitchens,
May commerce and peace again be restored,
And Americans own their true sovereign lord.
Then oblivion to shirts, and rifle-guns.
God save the King.

(Originally published in The Pennsylvania Ledger, 1778.)
Lyrics: Captain Smyth, Simcoe’s Queen’s Rangers.