Henry's Songbook

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MacLean's Welcome

  • (James Hogg)

        Come o'er the stream, Charlie
        Dear Charlie, brave Charlie
        Come o'er the stream, Charlie
        And dine with MacLean
        And though you be weary
        We'll mak' your heart cheery
        And welcome our Charlie
        And his loyal train

    We'll bring down the track deer, we'll bring down the black steer
    The lamb from the breckan and doe from the glen
    The salt sea we'll harry and bring to our Charlie
    The cream from the bothy, and curd from the pen

    And you shall drink freely the dews of Glen-Sheerly
    That stream in the starlight when kings dinna ken
    And deep be your meed of the wine that is red
    To drink to your sire, and his friend Maclean

    Our heath-bells shall trace you the maids to embrace you
    And deck your blue bonnet wi' flowers of the brae
    And the loveliest Mari in all Glen-M'Quarry
    Shall lie in your bosom till break of the day

    If aught will invite you or more will delight you
    'Tis ready a troop of our bold Highlandmen 
    Shall range on the heather with bonnet and feather
    Strong arms and broad claymores, three hundred and ten

    (as sung by Ewan MacColl)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1962:] This song of greeting sets forth in flowery terms the Highland delights prepared for Prince Charles Edward Stuart's coming by a clan chieftain. - In spite of the dubious part played by a MacLean prior to the rising of 1715, the Clan MacLean regiment fought bravely in the front line at the disastrous Battle of Culloden and sustained grievous losses. (Notes Ewan MacColl, 'The Jacobite Rebellions')

  • [1988:] The increasing accessibility and prestige of Gaelic song influenced [Hogg] the Shepherd as well as Scott. Highland correspondents supplied a considerable body of material for the 'Relics'; not songs as such, for Hogg had no Gaelic, but translations into English prose which he then turned back into verse. In a note to Maclean's Welcome, his most successful venture in this field, he explained the procedure:

    "these songs from the Gaelic were mostly sent to me by different hands, translated simply into English prose, and have all been versified by me...they are rather imitations from the Gaelic than anything else. To have versified the short sentences from the Gaelic literally, was impossible. I trust, however, that those acquainted with the originals will confess that they have lost nothing in going through my hands exclusive of the Gaelic idioms...which must all vanish in any translation whatsoever. Yet even in these abrupt Highland Ossianic sentences, there seems to be something of the raw material and spirit of poetry, for I never got any notes of words so easily turned into songs."

    From such a prose fragment he created Maclean's Welcome which weaves around the reception devised for the Prince's return a voluptuous fabric of assonance and alliteration, hypnotic repetition and double rhyme. [...] Hogg ignores for a moment the political significance of Maclean's extraordinary dinner-invitation, concentrating instead upon the barbaric prodigality of the fare in lines which must owe at least as much to the Canticles as to their Gaelic original [...]. This is far indeed from the beggary and want traditionally associated with the Gaidhealtachd. In Hogg's Highland Elysium, even ardent spirits lose their harsher connotations, and illicit poteen is transported into a lyrical and exalted substance [...]. But the banquet is merely a brilliant interlude, a preamble to the business at hand, and waiting outside 'a troop of our bold Highlandmen' [...]. Thus, with a brisk reminder of the real purpose of Maclean's Welcome, the song draws to a close. (Donaldson, Song 103f)

Quelle: Scotland

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aktualisiert am 26.11.2000