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Wae's Me For Prince Charlie

  • Trad

    A wee bird cam' tae oor ha' door, he warbled sweet and early
    And aye the o'ercam' o' his sang was, Wae's me for Prince Chairlie
    And when I heard the wee bird sing the tears cam' droppin' rarely
    I took my bonnet aff my heid, oh wae's me for Prince Chairlie

    Said I, My bird, my bonnie bonnie bird, is that some tale you've borrowed
    Or is't some words you learnt by rote, some lilt o' dule and sorrow
    Oh no no no, the wee bird sang, I've flown since morning early
    Through sic a day o' wind and rain, oh wae's me for Prince Chairlie

    On hills that are by right his ain he roams, a lonely stranger
    On ilka side he's pressed by want, on ilka hand by danger
    Yestreen I met him in the glen, my heart near bursted fairly
    For sadly changed indeed was he, oh wae's me for Prince Chairlie

    Dark night came on, the tempest howled oot o' the hills and valleys
    And where was't that your prince lay doon whose hame should be in a palace
    He's ro'ed him in a Heilan' plaid that covered him but sparely
    And slept beneath a bush of broom, oh war's me for Prince Chairlie

    warbled - sang; o'ercam' - meaning
    dule - sadness;
    ilka - every; yestreen - last night

    (as sung by Iain MacKintosh)

Susannes´s Folksong-Notizen

  • [1962:] In spite of the harsh repressive measures which followed the collapse of the Forty-Five rebellion, Scots ballad makers continued to extol the virtues of Prince Charles for almost another hundred years. (Notes Ewan MacColl, 'The Jacobite Rebellions')

  • [1977:] Also Wae's Me For Chairlie. Written [c.1820] by Will Glen of Glasgow (1789-1826) who set it to the old air of Johnnie Faa [or Gypsy Davy]. After the collapse of Jacobite hopes in the slaughter of Culloden, Prince Charles Edward Stuart with a £30,000 price on his head, was hunted by the English and Hessian redcoats for almost six months before escaping to the Continent and an early [?] death in exile. (Notes Alex Campbell, 'Traditional Ballads of Scotland')

  • [1978:] Iain learnt this song from Jean Redpath. - On 16th April 1746, on Culloden Moor, by Inverness, Prince Charles Edward Stuart led his Jacobite army against the Hanoverian forces, commanded by the Duke of Cumberland, in what proved to be the final battle of the Jacobite uprising. Cumberland heavily defeated the Highlanders, and is known to this day in Scotland as 'The Butcher', for the inhuman treatment he gave to the wounded and beaten Scots. Prince 'Chairlie' evaded capture, helped by his friends who hid him in cottages in the heather, and in caves on the mountain-side, on the mainland of Scotland, and on the Island of Skye. In spite of a reward of £30,000 being offered for his capture, his final escape to France five months later is a remarkable tribute to the loyalty of his Scottish sympathisers. (Notes Iain MacKintosh & Hamish Imlach, 'A Man's A Man')

  • [1988:] [In his 'Jacobite Relics', Hogg] admitted Waes me for Prince Charlie without a qualm, remarking that "This sweet little song is said to have been written by a Mr William Glen, about Glasgow. [...]" Although he felt it important that his material should be considered the genuine effusions of the age, he overrode any criteria that might exclude a piece he liked. (Donaldson, Song 98f)

  • Further notes see Skye Boat Song

Quelle: Scotland

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aktualisiert am 06.06.2001