Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/455

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


require a volume of its own. In regard to the music, little, if any of it, was new, for the writers of the words had the wisdom to adapt their verses to melodies that every one knew and could sing. Thus many old favourite tunes got new names, while others equally old have perhaps been saved to us by their Jacobite words, their early names being entirely lost. The story of the battle of Killiecrankie 1689 is one of the earliest of these songs, and enjoys the distinction of having a Latin translation, beginning

Grahamius notabilia coegerat Montanos Qui clypeis et gladiis fugarunt Anglicanos, Fugerant Vallicolae atque Puritan! Cacavere Batavi et Cameroniani.

It is sung to a Gaelic tune of its own name, so quickly and so widely spread as to be found in a Northumbrian MS. of 1694, as the Irish Gillicranky. It is a stirring bagpipe tune, no doubt older than the words.

A still more celebrated air, now known as ' Scots wha hae,' received its name of ' Hey tuti taiti' from a stanza of a song of 1716 (?), 'Here's to the king, sir ; Ye ken wha I mean, sir.' The stanza is worth quoting, and would be yet more so could it tell us the still earlier name of the tune, a subject which has caused much discussion.

When you hear the trumpet soun* Tuti taiti to the drum, Up sword, and down gun,

And to the loons again.

The words 'Tuti taiti' are evidently only an attempted imitation of the trumpet notes, and not the name of the air. To suppose that the tune itself was played on the trumpet as a battle call is too absurd for consideration. As the air has a good deal in common with 'My dearie, an thou dee,' there seems considerable probability that it was another version of the same, or that the one gave rise to the other, a thing likely enough to happen in days when there being no books to refer to, one singer took his tune as he best could from his neighbour.

' When the king comes owre the water ' otherwise ' Boyne water ' is a good example of change of name ; the air has recently been dis- covered in a MS. of 1694, where it is called ' Playing amang the rashes,' a line of an old Scotish song recovered by Allan Ramsay, and printed in his 'Tea Table Miscellany' 1724 a fact which seems somewhat to invalidate the Irish claim to the tune.

When the king comet owre the water, (Playing amang the rashes.)

From W. GRAHAM'S Flute Book (MS. 1694)1




��The Jacobite words are said to have been written by Lady Keith Marischall, mother of the celebrated Marshal Keith, a favourite general of Frederic the Great.

The old air, already mentioned, 'My dearie, an thou dee/ may be pointed out as the tune of an excellent Jacobite song ' Awa, Whigs, awa,' and of another the name of which is all that has come down to us 'We're a' Mar's men,* evidently alluding to the Earl of Mar, general- issimo of James's forces in Scotland in 1715.

Another of the songs of 1715, 'The piper o* Dundee,' gives the names of a number of tunes supposed to be played by the piper Carnegie of Finhaven to stir up the chiefs and their clana to join the Earl of Mar.

He play'd the 'Welcome o'er the main,* And ' Ye'se be fou and I'se be fain,' And 'Auld Stuarts back again,'

Wi' meikle mirth and glee.

He play'd 'The Kirk,' he play'd ' The Quier,' [choir] The Mullin dhu' and 'Chevalier,' And ' Lang away but welcome here,*

Sae sweet, sue bonnilie.

Notwithstanding the diligence of collectors and annotators some of these songs and tunes have eluded recognition, chiefly because of a habit of those times to name a tune by any line of a song not necessarily the first or by some casual phrase or allusion that occurred in it.

Other noted songs of this date are ' Carle an (if) the King come ' ; ' To daunton me ' ; ' Little wat ye wha's comin,' the muster-roll of the clans; ' Will ye go to Sheriffmuir ' ; and ' Ken- mure' s on and awa.'

A striking phase of Jacobite song was un- sparing abuse of the House of Hanover; good specimens of it are ' The wee wee German lairdie,' ' The sow's tail to Geordie,' and above all, 'Cumberland's descent into hell,' which is so ludicrous and yet so horrible that the rising laugh is checked by a shudder. This however belongs to the '45, the second rising of the clans. Of the same date is ' Johnie Cope,' perhaps the best- known of all the songs on the subject. It is said to have been written immediately after the battle of Prestonpans, by Adam Skirving, the father of a Scottish artist of some reputation. No song perhaps has so many versions; Hogg says it was the boast of some rustic singer that he knew and could sing all its 19 variations. Whether it was really Skirving's or not, he certainly did write a rhyming account of the battle, in 15 double stanzas relating the inci- dents of the fight who fled and who stayed winding up with his own experiences.

That afternoon when a* was done

I gaed to see the fray, man, But had I wist what after past,

I'd better staid away, man : On Seton sands, wi' nimble hands,

They pick'd my pockets bare, man; But I wish ne'er to drie sio fear,

For a' the sum and niair, man.

Few of these old songs are now generally known ; the so-called Jacobite songs, the favour- ites of our time, being almost entirely modern. Lady Nairne, James Hogg, Allan Cunningham, Sir Walter Scott, may be named as the authors

�� �