Henry's Songbook

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Willie MacIntosh

aka. Ferrickside

  • Trad

    As I came in by Ferrickside on a May morning
    I spied Willie MacIntosh an 'oor afore the dawnin'

    Turn again, turn again, turn again I bid ye
    If ye burn Auchendoon, Huntly he will heid ye    (heid - behead)
    Heid me or hing me, that'll never fear me
    I'll burn Auchendoon afore the life leaves me

    As I came in by Auchendoon on a May morning
    Auchendoon was in a bleeze, an 'oor afore the dawnin'

    Crawin', crawin', fer a' yer crowse crawin'    (crowse - bold, arrogant)
    Ye've brunt yer crop and tint yer wings, an 'oor afore the dawnin'    (tint - clipped)

    As I came in by Ferrickside on a May morning
    I spied Willie MacIntosh an 'oor afore the dawnin'

    Turn again, turn again, turn again I bid ye
    If ye burn Auchendoon, Huntly he will heid ye

    (as sung by The Tannahill Weavers) (Ferrickside)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1880:] In the year following the burning of Castle Towie by the Gordons in 1571, recorded in Edom O'Gordon [= Adam Gordon, a brother of the Marquis of Huntly], Auchendown, a stronghold of the Gordons, was burnt down by the Clan Chattan, in revenge for the death of William Mackintosh. William, it is said, was killed at the castle of the Earl of Huntly in 1592 [?]. The ballad on the event is evidently a fragment, but there are one or two versions of it. [...] In this gay manner did the popular voice sing of the outrage. (Ord, Glasgow Weekly Herald, April 17)

  • [1984:] This ballad is based on a historical incident, but two different characters with the title-name [Willie Macintosh] are confounded in it. The possible incidents are dated 1592 and 1550. The terrain is Banffshire, near Dufftown. [...] The words are very similar to Child B, but the last verse has been changed now to a final taunt, addressed presumably by Willie Macintosh to Huntly's clan, in the continuing feud which was started by the murder of the "Bonny Earl of Murray" [see there]. The meaning of this taunt is not obscured by the slight variations [...] "Ye('ve) brunt yer crops" (meaning "You've brought this on yourself") [...], "I('ve) brunt/burnt ..." [...] "They burnt ...".

    Dick Gaughan describes its theme as "evidence of a particular phase of barbarity in the evolution of human society". [The singer Allan Morris] likes it because of the terse words, because it has something to say about Banffshire four centuries ago, and because "its vengeful mood allows you to 'cut loose'". Asked what he felt was the theme, he replied, "Using words alone, I would say, a 'revenge' theme". (Munro, Revival 278ff)

  • [1986:] [Fiddich-side] James Stewart, son of Sir James Stewart of Doune, became the Earl of Murray when he married the daughter of the Regent Murray. [...] He was rumoured to have been one of Bothwell's party in the assault on the King's palace at Holyrood in December 1591. When the King gave orders for his apprehension, he took flight, pursued by a party of the King's supporters, led by Huntly, who (taking advantage of the situation) killed him. [Cf. The Bonnie Earl of Murray, Child 181] Following the killing [...] in February, 1592, the MacIntoshes of Clan Chattan, intent on revenge, pillaged a castle and killed four men on an estate belonging to the Earl of Huntly, whom they held responsible for Murray's death. Huntly retaliated by laying waste the lands of Clan Chattan. Returning home from this engagement, he surprised the MacIntoshes spoiling his land at Cabrach and in the ensuing fight killed sixty of them. (Peggy Seeger, notes 'Blood and Roses' vol. 4)

  • [1991:] This old ballad [...] reflects the times rather than telling of a particular incident. The Castle is in Banffshire and belonged to the Gordons, a family who were central players in the politics and the 'tribal' wars during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Auchindoon was certainly burned down twice during this period, but the song probably comes out of a combination of events during these times. (Notes Battlefield Band, 'New Spring')

  • See also Background to Burning of Auchindoun

Quelle: Scotland

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 Sammlung : Susanne Kalweit (Kiel)
Layout : Henry Kochlin  (Schwerin)

02.11.1999, aktualisiert am 16.10.2003