Henry's Songbook

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The Road To Dundee

  • (Trad)

    The winter was howling o'er moor and o'er mountain
    And wild was the surge o' the dark rolling sea
    When I met aboot daybreak a bonnie young lassie
    Wha asked me the road and the miles tae Dundee

    Says I tae the lassie, I cannae weel tell ye
    The road and the distance I cannae weel gie
    But gin ye permit me tae gang a wee bittie
    I will show you the road and the miles tae Dundee

    She fairly consented and gied me her airm
    Nae a word did I speir wha the lassie might be
    She appeared like an angel in feature and form
    As she walked by my side on the road tae Dundee

    At length wi' the Howe o' St Martin's behind us
    And the spires o' the toon in full view we could see
    She said, Gentle sir, I can never forget ye
    For showing me sae far on the road tae Dundee

    This ring and this purse tak tae prove I am grateful
    And some simple token I trust ye gie me
    And in times to come I'll the laddie remember
    That showed me the road and the miles tae Dundee

    I took a gold pin from the scarf in my bosom
    And said, Tak this in remembrance o' me
    Then bravely I kissed the sweet lips o' this lassie
    Then pairted frae her on the road tae Dundee
    Then here's tae the lassie, I ne'er can forget her
    And every young laddie that's listenin' tae me
    And never be sweir tae convoy a young lassie
    Tho' it's only to show her the road tae Dundee

    (as sung by Ewan MacColl)

    sweir - reluctant

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1959:] Despite the apparent artificiality in places - especially in the opening two lines - it has a very pleasant simplicity in the story, and a lovely and rather more subtle tune than a first glance might suggest. (Norman Buchan, Weekly Scotsman, Jan 29)

  • [1961:] This singularly innocent song is deservedly popular throughout the whole of northeast Scotland. It is one of those pieces which belong to that part of a social gathering when drink and good fellowship demand the somewhat pleasant feelings of nostalgia which such a song can create. (Notes Ewan MacColl, 'Bothy Ballads of Scotland')

  • [1965:] One of the most common carriers of folksong has been the semi-professional singer who would do the rounds of socials and weddings. Such a person was Jess Paterson from whom Betty Campbell learned this song about 40 years ago in Aberdeen. It is still one of the most popular romantic songs in the area, known by young and old alike.
    (Peter Hall/Arthur Argo, notes 'The Singing Campbells')

  • [1979:] [Carnlough Bay] Words by the Northern poet MacKay, who lived around the Glens of Antrim in the 19th century. (Loesberg III, 73)

  • [1986:] [Carnlough Bay] Ulster version of The Road To Dundee. Which of the two came first we don't know, but as Scottish and Irish music could be justifiably seen as being two sides of the same coin anyway, we don't think it matters. More interesting to us is the comparison between the two variants, particularly the tunes; the melody here is simpler and starker than that of the Scots version. (Notes Battlefield Band, 'On the Rise')

  • [1986:] This popular Scots song appears to have first found its way into print in Gavin Greig's weekly folksong column in 'The Buchan Observer', 1908. The fact that it has not, to our knowledge, been previously published in any of the Scots collections or miscellanies would seem to point to a comparatively recent date of composition. Greig commented on the uniformity of the texts "until they come to deal with the parting of the somewhat strange couple". By way of illustration he gives the following stanza:   Here's twenty bright guineas, a Scotch Duke's my father
       He's bound to support me, so let it go free
       Call in by yon tavern and tak' a wee drappie
       For a body that's travellin' it will help him a wee
    This alternative ending is not commonly found in Scotland but occurs in an Ontario version. [...] An Irish version of the song, shorter and with altered place-names, is attributed to the Antrim poet, MacKay. (MacColl/Seeger, Doomsday 215f)

  • [1986:] This is one of the most widespread of all Dundee love songs. Gavin Greig, John Ord, Ewan MacColl and some Canadian folklorists have all included it in their collections, and there is an Irish version called Sweet Carnlough Bay. Nothing is known of the origin of the song, but the tune is well known and generally referred to as 'the auld way'. [...] The more familiar tune, called the 'modern' one, is also old and is used with other songs - there is even a parody called The Hoor o' Dunblane. (Gatherer 132f)

  • [1997:] A song most people will remember as a standard amongst operatically inclined Scots singers. We have used Alex Campbell's version of the lyrics and set it to [?]. (Notes Mick West Band, 'Right Side o' the People')


Quelle: Scotland

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aktualisiert am 02.05.2002