Henry's Songbook

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Bonnie James Campbell

  • Trad - Child 210

    High upon Hielands and laigh upon Tay
    Bonnie James Campbell rade oot on a day
    He saddled, he bridled, and gowned rade he
    Hame cam' his guid horse but never cam' he

    Oot cam' his mither dear greetin' fu' sair
    Oot cam' his bonnie bride reivin' her hair
    His meadow lies green and the corn is unshorn
    But bonnie James Campbell will never return

    Saddled and bridled and booted rade he
    A plume in his helmet, a sword at his knee
    Toom cam' his saddle a' bluidy tae see
    Hame cam' his guid horse but never cam' he

    As sung by Alex Campbell

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1880:] [...] from Motherwell's Minstrelsy, and he tells us that it is probably a lament for one of the adherents of the house of Argyll, who fell at the battle of Glenlivet, [on 3rd Oct.] 1594. (John Ord, Glasgow Weekly Herald, February 7)

  • [1892:] [Bonnie James Campbell] Motherwell made up his Bonnie George Campbell (Minstrelsy, p. 44) from [the versions] B, C, D. [...] Motherwell says that this ballad "is probably a lament for one of the adherents of the house of Argyle who fell in the battle of Glenlivet, stricken on Thursday, the third day of October, 1594." Sir Robert Gordon observes that Argyle lost in this battle his two cousins, Archibald and James Campbell: Genealogical History of Sutherland, p. 229. Maidment, Scotish Ballads, 1868, I, 240, chooses to think that "there can be little doubt" that the ballad refers to the murder of Sir John Campbell of Calder by one of his own surname, in 1591, and alters the title accordingly to Bonnie John Campbell. Motherwell has at least a name to favor his supposition. But Campbells enow were killed, in battle or feud, before and after 1590, to forbid a guess as to an individual James or George grounded upon the slight data afforded by the ballad. (F. J. Child, The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, vol IV, 142ff.)

  • [1958:] The easy lilt of the waltz tune instead of detracting from the grimness of the story seems to add to it. It should be sung fairly impersonally. (Norman Buchan, Weekly Scotsman, Dec 4)

  • [1975:] [...] cannot be identified; [...] a lament perhaps influenced by the Highland coronach. (Faber Book of Ballads)

  • Bonnie George Campbell:

Quelle: Scotland

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