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Annie Brown

  • (Adam McNaughtan)
  • Sometimes cities are ruthless, a town can be cruel to its own
    And Glasgow's indifference left an old woman alone
    From the Calton she came, her name was old Annie Brown
    And six months she lay dead before her body was found

    Now she'd lived in the east end of Glasgow for all of her days
    She looked after her folks when her brothers were wed and away
    Annie was fifty when she saw her mother laid down
    So there wasnae much chance o' a man for old Annie Brown

    But she decided to stay in the Calton that she knew so well
    Glasgow was changing faster than Annie could tell
    All the people who could moved out as the buildings came down
    There were few neighbours left to care for old Annie Brown

    Now she'd bought all her needs in the big London Road superstore
    But the manager said, We get old folks in here by the score
    So how should I notice if one of them isn't around
    But record my regrets for the death of old Annie Brown

    Do you know the old woman who lives five or six doors away
    What would you do if you didnae see her the day
    If you missed her for a week, would you maybe take a look round
    Ach, don't wait till you miss her, her name might be old Annie Brown

As sung by Iain MacKintosh

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • english  [1958:] As regards the gifted Alicia Anne Spottiswode who composed the tune to the immortal song [Annie Laurie], she modified the wording of the second verse and added the third. [There is an account of her in] Lord John Scott's book "The Fleeting Opportunity," published in 1940 by Wetherby, Ltd. "[...] It was in her maiden days at Marchmont, ten miles from Spottiswode, where her sister Lady Hume Campbell lived, that she wrote the modern version of the song by which she will be remembered. Her own account of Annie Laurie, given many years later to her old friend Lord Napier, was as follows: -

    "I wrote the lines very long ago to a ballad, originally Norwegian, called 'Kempie Kaye.' Before I married, I was staying at Marchmont and fell in with a collection of Allan Cunningham's poetry. I took a fancy to the words of Annie Laurie and thought they would go well to the tune I speak of. I didn't quite like the words, however, so I altered the verse 'She's backit like a peacock to what it is now and made the third verse Like dew on the gowan lying,' myself, only for my own amusement."

    Annie Laurie appeared anonymously in 1838 without Lady John Scott's knowledge or permission, and she always thought the air and words had been stolen, when she sent her music-book to be re-bound. The song was attributed to various people, and it was only when she gave the MS with several others to a publisher after the Crimean War, to produce them for the benefit of the widows and orphans of soldiers, that the real author became known. She had no children, and lived for many years, after her husband's death in 1860, alone at Spottiswode."

    She died in March 1900, in her 91st year, and after her husband's death, reverted to her paternal name of Scott. She was the daughter of John (Laird of) Spottiswode, and succeeded to the large estate about 1870. (Letter from R. A. Anslow, Hailsham, Sussex, Weekly Scotsman, Nov 6)

  • english  [1981:] Three or four years ago they were clearing a part of Glasgow called the Calton, and there was an old lady who didn't want to leave her home because she'd lived there all her life. Adam [McNaughtan] wrote the song about the rather callous remark that was made by a supermarket manager when he heard of the death of this old lady. (Intro Iain MacKintosh, intro 'Singing from the Inside'))

  • english  [1987:] By Glasgow standards of the past Bain Street had been quite a good street, but now [c. the 1960s] the Calton area in which it was situated was crumbling under the combined efforts of natural decay and of the hammers and bouncing balls of Glasgow's demolishers who were having a bonanza smashing into smithereens the masonry, timbers and bricks of a couple of centuries and creating a dust to tickle the nostrils and lungs of the few old Caltonians who were intent on sticking it out to the last. These consisted in the majority of solid, respectable and decent working class folk and a small minority of poorer souls who had been destroyed by a number of environmental factors and drink. (McGinn of the Calton 95)

  • english  [1994:] In some parts of Glasgow after the War there were 400 people to the acre and to rehouse them at minimal cost took precedence over what they wanted. People who had lived for generations in cramped conditions with outside toilets and no bathrooms needed better housing, but they didn't want to leave the areas where they had grown up and the close communities they lived in. It became a common sight to see sad little groups watching bleakly as their former homes, and those of their parents and grandparents were demolished. But the politicians still knew best. (Meg Henderson, Finding Peggy 89)

Quelle: Scotland

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28.10.1999, aktualisiert am 02.04.2010, 15.04.2009