Henry's Songbook

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(My) Last Farewell To Stirling

  • (Trad)

    Nae lark in transport mounts the sky nor leaves in early plaintive cry
    But I maun bid a last goodbye, my last farewell to Stirling O

    Nae mair I'll wander through the glen nor disturb the roost o' the pheasant hen
    Nor chase the rabbits frae their den when I am far frae Stirling O

    There's one request before I go, and that is to my comrades all
    My dog and my gun ye'll keep for me when I am far frae Stirling O

    So fare ye weel, my Jenny dear, for you I'll shed a bitter tear
    But I hope you'll find another dear when I am far frae Stirling O

    So fare ye weel, for I am bound for twenty years in Van Diemen's Land
    But remember me and what I've done when I am far frae Stirling O

    (as sung by The Battlefield Band)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1971:] Gavin Greig has the following note on this song [...] "a song which one runs across from time to time. It is rather difficult to get a complete copy of it, or to be sure of some of the lines and expressions. One can see that the song has been fairly well put together to begin with, which might be a century or more ago; but traditional handling has produced the usual effects; and we must now take things as we get them. The tune to which Farewell To Stirling is sung, seems to be an adaptation of a strathspey which bears some resemblance to The Tinker's Waddin'."

    [...] Transportation to Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania) was a punishment frequently inflicted on poachers and on other law-breakers. It was not finally abolished until 1868. (Hamish Henderson, notes 'Bothy Ballads')

  • [1979:] Australia quickly found a new population with the English courts' vicious sentences which ripped families and communities apart in all parts of the empire, usually for crimes as trivial as poaching or the theft of a bread. (Loesberg II, 65)

  • [1982:] Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania) was first colonised by the British in 1803. In 1807 the first convicts, transported from Britain, arrived, and thousands more were to follow - fifteen thousand in four years alone - until 1853 when the transportation system was abolished. Many of the prisoners were from the English shires, convicted of such rural offences as poaching and sheep stealing, and the effect on them of being dumped on an island where the aborigines were hostile and the planters treated their workers like cattle can be imagined. (Pollard, Folksong 36)

  • [1988:] The theme of this transportation ballad is a fairly common one and the tune can be found in various guises in Scotland and Ireland. The version we use here comes from Australia. (BBS123)


Quelle: Scotland / Australia

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