Henry's Songbook

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Twa Recruitin' Sergeants

  • (Trad)

    It's over the mountains and over the main
    Through Gibraltar tae France and tae Spain
    Wi' a feather in your bonnet and a kilt aboon your knee
    So 'list my bonnie laddie and come awa wi' me

    There was twa recruitin' sergeants came frae the Black Watch
    Tthrough markets and through fairs, some recruits for tae catch
    But a' that they 'listed was forty and twa
    So 'list my bonnie laddie and come awa

    Its in by the barn and out by the byre
    This ole farmer, he thinks ye'll never tire
    It's a slavery job o' low degree
    So 'list my bonnie laddie and come awa with me

    Now laddie ye dinna ken the danger that ye're in
    If yer horses was to fleg, and yer hoosin' was to run
    This greedy ole fairmer, he wouldna pay yer fee
    So 'list my bonnie laddie and come awa with me

    Wi' your tattie pourin's and yer meal and kale
    Yer soor sooin' sourin's and yer ill-brewed ale
    Wi' yer buttermilk and wye, and yer breid fired raw
    So 'list my bonnie laddie and come awa

    Now laddie if ye've got a sweetheart or a bairn
    Ye'll easily get rid o' that ill spun yarn
    Twa rattles o' the drum and that'll pay it all
    So 'list my bonnie laddie and come awa

    Tattie pourin's: water in which potatoes have been boiled.
    Soor sooin' sourin's: sowens, a dish made by steeping and
    fermenting the husks, seeds, or siftings of oats in water, then
    boiling; likely a poor substitute for beer.

    (as sung by The McCalmans)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1964:] Like so many of the Campbells' other songs, this has become a club standard over the years. It is, of course, a firm favourite of Jeannie Robertson. (Notes 'Presenting The Ian Campbell Folk Group')

  • [1967:] Sergeant Kite, in Farquhar's play 'The Recruiting Officer', is the perfect model of the treacle-tongued bloody-minded humbug and bamboozler that men of his agency had to be if they were to induce recruits into the ranks (Kite's song [...] survived through two-and-a-half centuries among folk singers, dwindling all the time, till it seemed to be limited to the Scottish north-east, but lately a variant has come back into vigorous circulation in English cities, under the title Two recruiting sergeants from the Black Watch). (Lloyd, England 237f)

  • [1973:] Over the Hills and Far Away was a rather soulful lyric when Tom d'Urfey printed it in his 'Pills to Purge Melancholy' [in 1706], and as sung in 'The Beggars' Opera' to words by John Gay it had a strictly Vauxhall Gardens air to it. But in Scotland and especially in Aberdeenshire they still recall the roistering, boisterous original from Marlborough's day, as sung by the great Jeannie Higgins (nee Robertson), OBE, or John Strachan. Expatriate Scots like Enoch Kent, Nigel Denver and Ian Campbell have made this one very popular in the Old and New Worlds. (Dallas, Wars 20)

  • [1982:] The 42nd Highland Regiment known as the 'Black Watch' with its headquarters in Perth, was formed to keep the Highlands in order after the '45, hence its nickname. [...] The words of the song illuminate some aspects of the living conditions that made young men keen to enlist, and also show the recruiting methods used. (Douglas, Sing a Song of Scotland 48)

  • [1984:] Gavin Greig printed a shorter version in his column in the Buchan Observer (Folk-Song of the North-East, Article CLXXVI), but it was Jeannie's singing, with all its spirit and verve, which rapidly made this one of the most popular songs of the Scottish folksong revival. The recruiting sergeant must in fact have often seemed a liberating figure to young farm servants chafing under a "slavery job". (Hamish Henderson, notes Jeannie Robertson, 'Up the Dee and Doon the Don')

  • [1991:] The farming communities of Scotland were a favourite haunt of the recruiting officers of the leading regiments [...]. What [the song] fails to say is that those same young men could be blown to smithereens any day of the week if they decided to enlist!! Taken from the singing of Jeannie Robertson. (Notes Ray Fisher, 'Traditional Songs of Scotland')


Quelle: Scotland

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aktualisiert am 08.05.2002