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The Laird o' Drum

  • (Trad - Child #236)

    The Laird o' Drum has a-huntin' gane
    All in the mornin' early
    And he has spied a weel-faur'd maid
    A-shearin' her faither's barley

    My bonnie maid, my weel-faur'd maid
    It's will ye gang wi' me, O
    And will ye gang and be Lady o' the Drum
    And leave your shearin' a-be, O

    I couldnae gang wi' you, kind sir
    Nor leave my shearin' a-be, O
    For I'm ower low tae be Lady o' the Drum
    And your miss I scorn tae be, O

    My faither he's a shepherd man
    Keeps sheep on yonder hill, O
    And ye be gang and speir at him
    I'm entirely at his will, O

    Drum has tae her faither gane
    Keepin' sheep on yonder hill, O
    I'm come tae marry your ae dochter
    Gin ye'll gie your guid will, O

    My dochter can neither read nor write
    Nor once she bred at the school, O
    But she can work baith oot and in
    For I've learned the girlie mysel', O

    She'll wark in your barn, aye and at your mill
    And brew your malt and your ale, O
    And saddle your steed in time o' need
    And draw aff your boots hersel', O

    Noo I'll learn the lassie tae read and write
    And pit her tae the school, O
    And she'll never need tae saddle my steed
    Nor draw aff my boots hersel', O

    But wha will bake my bridal breid
    And wha will brew my ale, O
    And wha will welcome my lowly bride
    That's mair than I can tell, O

    Ah but four and twenty gentle knights
    Gae'd in at the yett o' Drum, O
    And there's never a one has lifted his hat
    When the Lady o' the Drum cam' in, O

    It's up and spake his brither John
    Says, Ye've done us meikle wrang, O
    Ye've marriet a wife o' low degree
    She's a mock tae all oor kin, O

    It's Peggy Coutts is a bonnie bride
    And Drum is big and gossie (?)
    But ye mecht hae chosen a higher mat'
    Than just a shepherd's lassie

    It's up and spake the Laird o' Drum
    Says, I've done ye nae wrang, O
    I've marriet a wife tae wark and win
    And ye've marriet ane tae spend, O

    Noo, the first time that I took me a wife
    She was far abune my degree, O
    And I dursnae gang intae the room whaur she was
    But my hand below my knee, O

    It's twice he kissed her cherry cheek
    And thrice her cherry chin, O
    And twenty times her comely mou'
    And ye're welcome, my Lady Drum, O

    And when had eaten and drunken weel
    And they were bound for bed, O
    The Laird o' Drum and his lady fair
    In ae bed they were laid, O

    Gin ye had been o' high renown
    As ye're o' low degree, O
    We mecht hae gae'd doon tae the yett o' Drum
    Amang guid companie, O

    And o' a' yon four and twenty knights
    That gae'd in at the yett o' Drum, O
    There ne'er was a one wouldnae lifted his hat
    When the Lady o' the Drum cam' in, O

    I tell't ye weel ere we were wed
    Ye was far abune my degree, O
    But noo we're marriet, in ae bed laid
    I'm just as guid as ye, O

    And when you are dead and I am dead
    And baith in ae grave laid, O
    Ere seven years are at an end
    Weel no' ken ye your dust frae mine, O

    (weel-faur'd - well-favoured; miss - mistress)

    (as sung by Jock Tamson's Bairns)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1912:] Alexander Irvine, laird of Drum, married Dec. 7, 1643, Lady Mary Gordon, daughter of Marquis of Huntly and niece to Marquis of Arglyy. He lost much by his fidelity to the Stuart cause, and hence, perhaps, chose for his second wife the wealthy Margaret Coutts, "a woman of inferior birth and manner, which step gave great offence to his relations." (Johnson, Ballads xx)

  • [1963:] ... a 'true ballad', in every sense of the word, and a local one, for Drum is only nine or ten miles away [from Aberdeen] down the Deeside road. In 1681 Alexander Irvine, Laird of Drum, who had come through the troubled times of the Civil War and the Cromwellian invasion with very depleted worldly fortunes because of his fidelity to the house of Stuart, married as his second wife a sixteen-year-old girl called Margaret Coutts, much to the dudgeon of his relatives because she came of a poor family. Also the Laird was sixty-three, so no doubt they thought he should have known better. The common folk, however, were on the Laird's side, as the popularity of this ballad testifies. (Hamish Henderson, Alias McAlias 38f)

  • [1968:] [This] is one of the few ballads we can confidently track back to definite events. Alexander Irvine of Drum who had married Lady Mary Gordon in 1643, was brought into penury by his support of the Stuart cause. Not long before he died in 1687, he took a second wife, the young daughter of a shepherd, to the dismay of his family. (Notes 'Back o' Benachie')

  • [1984:] The ballad-maker naturally rejoiced in the discomfiture of these stuck-up gentry [the Laird's relatives], and produced a noble piece of egalitarian propaganda which went like wildfire through the North-Eastern countryside. (Notes Andy Hunter, 'King Fareweel')

  • [1986:] The heroine of this spirited tale is not only bonnie, she also possesses an independent mind and a fair stock of wit - and though she is "of low degree" she is more than a match for the Laird himself. As an unmarried girl, she has served as maid-of-all-work on her father's farm, but she puts an end to that state of affairs on her wedding night when she informs her lordly spouse that marriage has made her his equal and not his servant. The tale is beautifully told in a series of witty dialogues. (Notes Peggy Seeger, 'Blood and Roses' vol. 4)

Quelle: Scotland

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