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Ray Fisher - Willie's Lady :

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CD91 -

Ray Fisher - Willie's Lady

Pressers, The
Willie's Lady
Miller Tae My Trade
Are Ye Sleepin', Maggie
Betsy Bell
Bonnie Wee Lassie That Never Said
Kye Have Come Home, The
Miller Tae My Trade
Over Yonder Banks
Pressers, The
Red-Haired Man's Wife, The
Weary Cutters, The
When Fortune Turns the Wheel
Willie's Lady

Okay, it's surely a family thing. Ray is Archie's sister, and she is a leading interpreter of the ancient ballads of her native Scotland. We recorded her during one of her first concert tours in this country, a powerful set of mostly traditional songs and ballads.


(Mary Brooksbank) Side 1 Band 1.

The theme of this press gang song is based on remnants of a traditional song. Mary Brooksbank, of Dundee, composer of the widely-known "Jute Mill Song" (or "Ten and Nine"), added some verses of her own to the existing snippet that she had retained in her memory. The reference to "Boney" (Napoleon Bonaparte) suggests this to be the case. Wee Mary was a bundle of enthusiasm and a joy to listen to. I recall at an early TMSA* festival in Blairgowrie, Scotland, she enthralled everyone with her songs and poems of love, work and politics. She was one of the quiet giants, although she stood just over five feet tall.

(*TMSA - Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland)

There is nocht in this wide world but sorrow and care.

I weary on Johnnie, but Johnnie’s no' there. Sae waesome and dowie, I feel like tae dee,
Since the pressers hae stolen my laddie fae me.

I look a' roond the steading, but Johnnie's no' there.
At toil in the hairst fields my hert it feels sair.
When I look tae yon high hills, a tear blin's my e' e,
Since the pressers hae stolen my laddie fae me.

For he's far ower yon high hills and syne ower the sea.
I ken no' where my ain dear laddie micht be.
In some foreign battlefield maybe he'II dee.
0, a curse on ye, Boney, took my laddie fae me.

Now the bonnie lark's singin' mocks me in my care,
But I'll go on still hopin' till grey grows my hair.
0, ye wild winds a-blawin' far ower the sea,
Will ye blaw back my bonnie lad Johnnie tae me?

nocht - nothing
waesome - woeful
dowie - mournful
dee - die
fae - from
hairst - harvest
hert - heart
sair - sore
blin's my e'e - blinds my eye
syne - then
ken - know
ain - own
micht - might


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Category : Scottish Folk Music
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