Henry's Songbook

© All original copyrights respected / For private use only

go to  de   Susannes Folksong-Notizen   English Notes  uk

Bogie's Bonnie Belle

  • Trad

    As I gae'd in by Huntly toon one morning for tae fee
    I met wi' Bogie o' Cairnie, and he fell in wi' me

    Tae ca' his twa best horses, or cart, or harrow, or plough
    Or do anything aboot fairmwork I very well could do

    Now Bogie had a daughter, and her name was Isabelle
    The primrose of the valley, she was the lily o' the dell

    And when she went out walking she would take me for her guide
    Doon by the burn o' Cairnie, to watch sma' fishes glide

    And when three months were past and gone, the lassie lost her bloom
    The red fell from her rosy cheeks and her eyes began to swoon

    And when nine months were past andgone, she brought forth to me a son
    And I was quickly called for to see what could bedone

    I said I would marry her, but no, that wouldnae do
    He said, You're no match for my bonnie belle, and she's nae match for you

    And noo she's married tae a tinkerchiel wha bides in Huntly toon
    He mends pots and pans and paraffin lamps and tramps the country roon'

    And maybe she's gotten a better match,auld Bogie cannae tell
    Fareweel ye lads o' Huntly side, and Bogie's bonnie belle

    As sung by Iain MacKintosh (and others, with minor changes)

  • Ae Whitsun day in Huntly toon, it's there I did agree
    Wi' Bogheid o' Cairnie, his six months for tae fee
    Tae drive his twa best horses, likewise his cairt and ploo
    And tae dee ae thing aboot fairmwark that richtweel I can do

    Noo Bogie had a dochter wha's name was Isabelle
    The floo'er o' her nation, there's nane her could excel
    She had rosy cheeks and ruby lips and hair a darkish hue
    She was neat, complete and handsome and comely for tae view

    One day she went a-ramblin', and chose me for her guide
    Tae tak' a pleasant walk wi' her alang by Cairnieside
    I've slipped my airm aboot her waist and tae the groond did slide
    And it's there I've had ma first braw nicht wi' the Belle o' Bogie's side

    The blackbird sang sae sweetly and the mavis sang sae shrill
    And a' the chorus o' their sang was, There lies Bogie's Belle
    Amang the weeds o' Cairnie, upon the grass sae green
    Then she and I rose up again for fear we would be seen

    Ere twenty weeks had passed and gone,this lassie lost her bloom
    Her rosy cheeks grew pale and wan, and she began tae swoon
    Ere forty weeks had passed and gone this maid brought forth a son
    And I was quickly sent for tae see what could be done

    Auld Bogie heard my story and cried, I am undone
    Since ye beguiled my dochter my sorrows are begun
    Ah says, Auld man, ye're fairly richt, and I hung my heid in shame
    I mairry Belle the morning, Ah'll gie the bairn ma name

    Ah but though I said I'd wad the lass,na na, that wouldnae dae
    Ye're nae a fittin' match for Belle, nor's she a match for ye
    And he sent me packin' doon the road wi' nae penny o' ma fee
    Say I, Ye lads o' Huntly toon, a lang fareweel tae ye

    And noo she's mairried wi' a tinklerlad wha's name it's Soutar John
    He hawks his pans and ladles aroon' by Fogey Loan(?)
    And maybe she has gotten a better match, auld Bogie cannae tell
    But it's me wha's ta'en the maidenheid o' Bogie's bonnie Belle

    As sung by The Gaugers (to a tune slightly different from the usual one)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • english [1961:] It is not often that the heroes of the bothy songs are allowed to expose their passion,their anger or their resentment, the direct expression of such feelings being either avoided entirely or burlesqued. Irony, satire and slapstick humour are the usual weapons of the bothy singer and when [as here] he abandons the min favour of the frontal assault, the effect is startling. (Notes Ewan MacColl, 'Bothy Ballads ofScotland')

  • english [1965:] In the North-East, a farmer was often not known by his own name but, as in the present song, by that of his farm. This ironic tale of seduction stresses the social gulf between the farmer and his employees. The song ends with the farm labourer gloating over the lowly fate of his former love who marries one of the despised tinker clan. This illustrates a prejudice that does the North-Easter no credit. His intolerance of the travelling people is a trait which unfortunately still lingers on. The song's current wave of popularity owes much to the performances of Alex and Belle Stewart of Alyth. It experienced an earlier vogue in theNorth-East through the singing of the late Geordie Stewart of Huntly, the man who gave Jimmy MacBeth his famous version of Come All Ye Trampsand Hawkers. (Peter Hall/Arthur Argo, notes 'TheSinging Campbells')

  • de [1976:] Bothy Ballad aus der Nordostecke Schottlands, zwischen Aberdeen, Inverness und Termintoul. Alex lernte das Lied auf der Rückfahrt nach einem Konzert in St. Andrews von Davey Stewart. (Michael Reinhardt, notes Alex Campbell, 'Big Daddy of Folk Music')

  • english [1976:] This is probably one of the best known and certainly one of the loveliest songs to come out of the bothy tradition. It stands out from the rest of the genre as a completely rounded, beautifully and concisely expressed love story whose impact does not depend to the usual extenton the bothy context. It is widely sung in the revival, but the tune variation used here has more minor elements than in the more common versions, and this, added to the 'rightness' of Tom Spiers's North-East voice, gives the song a new dimension. The tune is, in fact, based on a version in the Greig manuscripts and the text is a collation from the same source. (Duncan MacLennan, notes The Gaugers, 'Beware of the Aberdonian')

  • de [1983:] Wohl einer der populärsten 'bothy songs', die noch heute in Schottland gesungen werden. Das Lied stammt aus Aberdeenshire. Während sich die Melodie von Sänger zu Sänger nur geringfügig unterscheidet, sind die vielenTextvarianten doch sehr verschieden. Nach Ewan MacColl in seinem Buch 'Travellers - Songs from England and Scotland' ist es noch sehr jung und soll wahrscheinlich nach 1925 entstanden sein. (Walton 73)

  • english [1984:] In the period of the song the travelling man was considered to be a better catch than a farm labourer [???], which shows how things have changed from the point of view of the travelling people. (CMSB54)

  • english [1984:] The popularity of this bothy song may be due partly to the weel-gaun, up and down swing of its tune, but the words form at least an equal attraction. Owen Costello [...] says, "I like this song because it's political in the widest sense: it's untypical of bothy songs, most of which express grumbles against individual employers but that's about all. The song is a very bitter comment on the conditions and attitudes of farm life. Although the complaint here is underscored, this brings out the bitterness all the more."

    Boasts about maidenhead-stealing can be supremely boring, but in this particular situation the last verse is a biting comeback, a piece of one-up-manship and nose-thumbing. "I had my will o' her" is a well- worn cliche in Scotsfolk-song; its implications are various.

    It's interesting that the "tinklerchiel", or tinker, whom Belle marries seems to have been more of a social catch than a farm worker would be [???]: the song may thus have a fairly ancient ancestry, for it's a long time since the travelling tin smiths lost their former status as skilled craftsmen. But in verse [9] the speaker suggests that the life of a tinker's wife is hard: "he scoors the country roon'" probably refers to moving camp. In other words, "she's got someone worse than me" -another piece of one-up-manship with which the rejected suitor comforts his bruised ego. (Munro,Revival 141)

  • english [1986:] As far as we know, none of the major collections of Scots songs printed before 1960 include this tremendously popular bothy ballad.In spite of this, or perhaps because of it, almost every Scots singer from whom we have recorded songs has been able to supply us with a version of it. In each case, to our surprise, the narrative has been complete. (MacColl/Seeger,Doomsday 233f)

  • english [1987:] This is one of the loveliest songs to come from the bothy-ballad tradition of the Northeast of Scotland. It is a song I've wanted to sing for many years, as my father came from that part of the country and it was a favourite of his. (Notes Andy M. Stewart, 'Dublin Lady')

  • See also Bogie's Bonny Belle (with a parody by Les Barker)

Quelle: Scotland

go back de  B-Index  uk

© Sammlung : Susanne Kalweit (Kiel)
Layout : Henry Kochlin (D-21435 Stelle)

08.09.99 aktualisiert am 02.04.2010, 27.07.2003