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CD49 -

Jean Redpath - Frae My Ain Countrie

Gairdner and the Plooman, The
Rantin' Dog, the Daddie O't, The
Eileen Aroon
A' The Week Yer Man's Awa'
Bonnie Gallowa'
Eileen Aroon
Farewell He
Gairdner Child, The
Gairdner and the Plooman, The
Hishie Ba
I'll Lay Ye Doon, Love
Johnnie O'Braidiesley
Kilbogie
London Ba', The
Matt Hyland
My Ain Countrie
Rantin' Dog, the Daddie O't, The
Silver Tassie
Wars O' High Germanie

Perhaps the best-known of the Scottish ballad singers regularly touring in this country, Jean often has been featured on The Prairie Home Companion. We think this is one of her most beautiful recordings. You'll love it, too. The Gairdner and the Plooman; I'll Lay Ye Doon, Love; The Gairdner Child; Wars o' High Germanie; Silver Tassie; The Rantin' Dog, the Daddy O't; Hishie Ba; My Ain Countrie; Matt Hyland; The London Ba'; Kilbogie; A' the Week Yer Man's Awa'; Johnnie o' Braidiesley; Farewell He; Bonny Gallowa' and Eileen Aroon.




JEAN REDPATH
"Frae My Ain Countrie"

There was always music of some kind around at home — my mother sings without being aware of it — which is probably the only reason I managed to pick up a few bawdy songs in early years. Who knows what gems the double standard may have condemned to oblivion! She is still coming up with songs and fragments of songs that I haven't heard before. There was a mouth-organ, a piano-accordion, several pianos around somewhere, and an uncle who played the pipes. Then there's the hammered dulcimer — my father plays that when he can be coaxed into it — reels, jigs, bothy ballads, love songs, hymns are all grist to his mill. If only I could get him to believe that he plays twice as well as he thinks he does, and even half as well as I think he does!

School music I prefer to forget — happily, it did no irreparable damage. Then there was the discovery In Edinburgh that there were other people singing my kind of song. Hamish Henderson introduced me to the singing of Jeanie Robertson and to a wealth of material that's been in my active repertoire ever since. That was an active singing time In Edinburgh and Glasgow, and I spent more hours than I can remember with fellow-members of the Folk Song Society singing wherever we could get someone to listen.

I first got up on my trembling knees to sing in public at about age ten. I still remember that the song in question was Brahms' "Cradle Song." There’s nothing wrong with the song, but the idea of being taught such material at school when I was living in such a wealth of traditional music still strikes me as strange, to say the least. Maybe I should be thankful, consider¬ing the perversity of human nature and my innate resistance to formal education — I don't believe I've sung the "Cradle Song" since then! Yet sing I must, though it's taken an unconscionable time for me to realize that I suffer from most of the inherent diseases of the so-called "Unemotional Scot" — incurable roman¬ticism, sentimentality that can approach the maudlin at times, and emotion that we are expected to conceal at all costs. The lie is given to the unemotional Image by the songs: a song can be an intensely personal expression, yet, since it's only a song, curiously impersonal. How often I remember seeing a group at home much moved by someone's rendering of a powerful song, embarrassed to admit it, and solving the problem with, "Aye, that's a fine song."

I've been asked many’s the time in the last ten years why I don't write my own songs, or sing someone else's contemporary material. It's no accident that I still find the traditional material easier to believe, and to make believable. Whatever it is I want to express, or convey, from comedy and joy (which are easy) to grief and sorrow (which are barely permissible), the Scots have come up with a song for It over the years — they've had to, or burst!

Don't pay too much attention to what any Scot says — after all, the highest form of praise there is "No' bad," and terms of endearment usually take the form of mild curses - listen to the things they sing.

Many of these songs are still associated in my mind with the singers from whom I learned them, and the singing of them is the best way I can think of to express my thanks for the times, the songs, and for this personal — but not too personal — way of saying it.

Jean Redpath

THE GAIRDNER AND THE PLOOMAN
Side 1, Band 2.

Murray Shoolbraid, originally from Leslie in Fife, was living in Vancouver, B. C., when we met. I envy him his card index of Scottish songs and his ability to provide a text with a mel¬ody like this. The words are found in Greig's Folk-Song of the Northeast, the original text being from Mrs. Jaffray of Mintlaw. The apparent con¬fusion of this version as it stands (who is saying what and to whom?) is cleared up by the second text in Greig which, although fragmentary, has a more complete story line:

Awyte I keepit the gairdner's hert,
But leet my ain gae free,
Till by it cam' the plooman lad,
And he's stown my hert fae me.

But woe be to the plooman lad,
And woe be till 'im noo;

And he's left me sair to rue.

The plooman heard his bonnie love's moan,
As he was at the ploo;
The plooman heard his bonnie love's moan,
Near to yon bush he drew.

Lat oot yer goon, my bonnie love,
And mak’ it neat and new,
And ye shall he the plooman's bride,
And ye'se never hae cause to rue.

It's braw bein' a gairdner's wife,
In the gairden amo' the thyme;
But it's better bein' in the plooman's airms,
Faur I've been mony a time.

The first time that I saw my love,
It was under a bush o' rue.
And aye the sweeter that she sang,
The nearer the bush I drew.

A gairdner lad that lives near by,
Lang has he woo'd me,
And he's gi'en me his heart tae keep,
A pledge o ' love tae be.

Lang did I keep my gairdner's heart,
My ain was aye free,
Or the blithe blink o' the plooman lad
Has stown the heart frae me.

The firstan time I did him see,
He was plooin' on yon brae broo,
And I could neither haud nor ca',
Twas a' for the love o' you.

The neistan time I did you see,
It was under a bush o' rue,
And aye the sweeter that ye sang,
The nearer the bush I drew.

Mak' up yer goon, my bonnie lass,
And rnak' it neat and fine,
And ye shall be the ploomanrs wife,
For the gairdner's changed his mind.

The plooman lad, he's hearin' this,
Just in a bush near by;
Says, "Say nae mair, my bonnie lassie
For ye ken better why. “

The first time that I saw my love,
It was under a bush o' rue,
And aye the sweeter that she sang,
The nearer the bush I drew.

lang - long or - until
stown - stolen
brae - hill
broo - brow
haud - hold
ca' - call or drive (as of a horse)
neistan - next
goon - gown
mair - more
ken - know

    
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