A Health to the Ladies

A Health to the Ladies

Title
1 Green Grow the Rashes Trad Trad Herbertson/Feuerstein/Cadie
2. Bonnie Light Horseman Trad Trad Herbertson/Feuerstein
3 Andrew Lammie Trad Trad Herbertson/Feuerstein
4 Dainty Davie Robert Burns Trad Herbertson/Feuerstein
5 A Health to the Ladies Herbertson Herbertson Herbertson/Feuerstein
6 Mary Queen of Scots Herbertson Herbertson/ Feuerstein Herbertson/Feuerstein
7 Mad Lizzy Herbertson Herbertson Herbertson/Feuerstein
8 Rowan tree Lady Nairne Lady Nairn Herbertson
9 The Lighthouse Herbertson Herbertson Herbertson
10 Fair and Tender Ladies Trad Trad Herbertson/Feuerstein
11 Honest Toun Lagoons Peter Smith Trad Herbertson/Feuerstein
12 He who would be King Herbertson Herbertson Herbertson/Feuerstein
13 Mormond Braes Trad Trad Herbertson/Feuerstein
14 The Lichtbob’s Lassie Trad Trad Herbertson
15 Loch Tay Boat Song Trad Trad Herbertson/Feuerstein

The CD opens and ends with a wee piece composed and played by my daughter Alexandra which we called ‘Cheer Up’.

Burns’s incomparable version is better known.
This was earlier

1. Green Grow the Rashes
traditional

Green grow the rashes O,
Green grow the rashes O,
The feather-bed is no sae saft
As a bed amang the rashes O.

We’re a’ dry wi’ drinkin’ o’t,
We’re a’ dry wi’ drinkin’ o’t,
The parson kissed the fiddler’s wife
And he couldna preach for thinkin’ o’t.
:

The down bed, the feather-bed,
The bed amang the rashes O;
Yet a’ the beds is no’ sae saft
As the bellies o’ the lasses O.

From an old broadsheet much amended and adapted over the years. The poor girl’s husband was another light horseman downed by Napoleon’s cannon. I first heard this sung by the Irish fiddler, Tony Trundle on the back of a practice cassette that he recorded to improve my fiddling. I never got the hang of the fiddle but fell in love with the song.

2. Bonnie Light Horseman
traditional

When Boney commanded his armies to stand,
he levelled his cannon right over the land;
he levelled his cannon his victory to gain,
and slew my light horseman on the way comin’ hame.

Broken hearted I’ll wander, broken hearted I’ll remain,
since my bonnie light horseman in the wars he was slain.

If I was a small bird and had wings to fly,
I’d fly ‘cross the salt sea to where my love does lie,
and with my fond wings I’d beat over his grave,
and kiss the pale lips that lie cold in the clay.

Broken hearted I’ll wander, broken hearted I’ll remain,
since my bonnie light horseman in the wars he was slain.

Now the dove she laments for her mate as she flies;
“Oh where tell me where is my darling?” she cries;
and where in this wide world is there one to compare
with my bonnie light horseman who was slain in the wars?

Broken hearted I’ll wander, broken hearted I’ll remain,
since my bonnie light horseman in the wars he was slain.

Andrew first heard of Annie’s death when this ballad was sung as he drowned his sorrows in an Edinburgh bar.

3. Andrew Lammie
traditional

By Mill o Tifty there lived a man
In the neighbourhood o’ Fyvie
He had a lovely daughter fair
And they called her bonnie Annie

Lord Fyvie had a trumpeter
Whose name was Andrew Lammie
And he had the art to gain the heart
O’ Mill o’ Tyfty’s Annie

Lord Fyvie he rode by the door
Where lived Tifty’s Annie
His trumpeter rode him before
Even this same Andrew Lammie

Her mother cried her to the door
Come here to me my Annie
Did ye ever see a prettier man
Than the trumpeter o’ Fyvie

Ah nothing she said but sighed fu sore
‘Twas alas for bonnie Annie
For she durst not own her heart was won
By the trumpeter o’ Fyvie

But at night when a’ goes to beds
All sleep true sound but Annie
Love so oppressed her tender breast
And love will wast her body

The first time me and my love met
Was in the woods o’ Fyvie
He called me mistress I said no
I’m Mill o’ Tyfty’s Annie

My love I go to Edinburgh toon
And for a while mon leave ye
O’ but I’ll be dede afore your return
In the green kirkyard o’ Fyvie

Her father struck her wondrous sore
And likewise did her mother
Her sisters all so did her scorn
But woe be to her brother

Her brother struck her wondrous sore
With cruel strokes and many
For he broke her back under the temple stein
The temple stein o’ Fyvie

O’ mother dear now make my bed
And lay my face to’erd Fyvie
For I will lie and I will die
For love o Andrew Lammie

Her mother she gang make her bed
And laid her face to’erd Fyvie
And its there she lay and its there she died
For Love o Andrew Lammie

Surprisingly, Burn’s version is probably not as well known to musicians as the tale of Lady Cherrytree who shared her bed with an escaping Jacobite and seemed to have had a lot of fun. For once Burns is more modest.

4. Dainty Davie
Robert Burns

Now rosy May comes in wi’ flowers,
To deck her gay, green-spreading bowers;
And now comes in the happy hours,
To wander wi’ my Davie.

Meet me on the warlock knowe,
Dainty Davie, Dainty Davie;
There I’ll spend the day wi’ you,
My ain dear Dainty Davie.

The crystal waters round us fa’,
The merry birds are lovers a’,
The scented breezes round us blaw,
A wandering wi’ my Davie.
Meet me on, &c.

As purple morning starts the hare,
To steal upon her early fare,
Then thro’ the dews I will repair,
To meet my faithfu’ Davie.
Meet me on, &c.

When day, expiring in the west,
The curtain draws o’ Nature’s rest,
I flee to his arms I loe’ the best,
And that’s my ain dear Davie.

5 A Health to the Ladies
Herbertson

Here’s a health to the ladies
I freely confess
For grace and sweet charm they are doubly blessed
Their beauty and wit never fails to impress
And they tend tae look grand in a state of undress

Here’s a health to the ladies
When honest men speak
They gratefully concede they are in defeat
When it comes to decisions on matters of feet
The weaker sex is not quite so weak

Here’s a health to the ladies
I must be unkind
As here in my old age, I wish myself blind
In matters of choice, one is likely to find
The fair sex is constantly changing their mind (it’s usually shoes)

Here’s a health to the ladies
Their charms unsurpassed
In seeking their pleasures I’ve never been last
The medium are rare, the young ones are class
And the old ones are unable to run quite so fast

6 The Rowan Tree
Lady Nairne

Oh! rowan tree, oh! rowan tree,
Thou’lt aye be dear to me,
En twin’d thou art wi’ mony ties
O’ hame and infancy.
Thy leaves were aye the first o’ spring,
Thy flow’rs the simmer’s pride;
There was na sic a bonnie tree
In a’ the countrie side.
Oh! rowan tree.

2. How fair wert thou in simmer time,
Wi’ a’ thy clusters white,
How rich and gay thy autumn dress,
Wi’ berries red and bright.
On thy fair stem were mony names,
Which now nae mair I see;
But thy’re engraven on my heart,
Forgot they ne’er can be.
Oh! rowan tree.

3. We sat aneath thy spreading shade,
The bairnies round thee ran,
They pu’d thy bonnie berries red,
And necklaces they strang;
My mither, oh! I see her still,
She smiled our sports to see,
Wi’ little Jeanie on her lap,
And Jamie on her knee.
Oh!, rowan tree.

4. Oh! there arose my father’s prayer
In holy evening’s calm;
How sweet was then my mother’s voice
In the Martyr’s psalm!
Now a’are gane! We meet nae mair
Aneath the rowan tree,
But hallowed thoughts around thee
Turn o’hame and infancy.
Oh! rowan tree.

Mary, six foot tall, beautiful, master of seven languages, accomplished in every court skill, fond of the horses and archery, never plotted to kill her cousin, Elisabeth, only to escape her dreary imprisonment. Her final mock trial is testament to her political ingenuity, her acute intelligence and her bravery in the face of catastrophe

7 Mary Queen of Scots
Her last moments
Herbertson

1. Jeune reine, pâle reine,
Reine plus pale qu’un cygne
Ton jardin fleuri est-il?

En ta fin
Gît ton commencement
Ta nef tousjours t’attend

Flight the falcon fly the dart
Speed the mare to chase the hart
Deck the grass wi lordly mien
Jewel the sky the star pavane
Sans Curse Queen Bess and worse John Knox
They shall rot, they shall rot
Any pray for Mary Queen of Scots

2. Black night, pale Quean,
Paler than a swan
Ton jardin fleuri est-il?

Black heart cold jewels
Cruel and evil men
Ton jardin fleuri est-il?

3. Black night, pale Queen,
En ta fin
Gît ton commencement

Black veil, blood red
Redder than the rose
Mary Queen of Scots

For my Lady, Silke

8 The Lighthouse
Herbertson
Child of grace you wait for me
Out across the starlit sea
My heart’s a boat
Your love’s a lighthouse
It shines so brightly
If stars could wonder
They’d wonder nightly
Who shines so brightly
How bright your love is.

At Coole wild swans will take the air
As I walk a winding stair
My heart’s a prayer
Your love’s an answer
It sounds so softly
Yet echoes madly
In contradiction
This towering prison
Resounds in silence

On Porty sands the waders stalk
As on the beach the seagulls squawk
My heart’s a gull
Your love’s the night sky
And should the night sky
Know its moments
One moment soaring
Once more descending
And then the roaring

As through the wonder of flight
I see you shining in light
And through the silence of night
Love is the answer
And like a lighthouse
How bright your love is

Edward hung Elisabeth Buchan, sister of Robert the Bruce in a wicker cage from the walls of Carlisle castle for seven years. She was 19 years old and her crime was to crown as King of Scotland, her brother The Bruce. I have no evidence of her insanity but she couldn’t have been too cheery

9 Mad Lizzy
Herbertson

.
Lizzy she is waiting for the setting of the sun
Her mind is on the morrow and the ordeal yet to come
Twelve times the moon has weaved its weary way across the skies
Lizzy deals the cards out as she cries

See Proud Edward ride the borders past the castle of Carlisle
His mercy and his power and his bonds of slavery
Which of your noble lineage will rule the land of Scots?
Thirty thousand says it shall be he

And the hanged man is laughing in the wind
The hanged man is swaying in the Winds.
As women caged by bonds
As braids their lovely hair
Let fall the bitter tears of black despair

Proud Edward calls the dragon flag to fire, blood and wing
Rape and murder, mercies of the bastard king
As Loyal, Wallace falls to the tyrant’s bloody hands
His body broke and scattered through the land

Rise, rise for Scotland, Lady Buchan crowned our king
Comyn bloody traitor curse his name
Rise for Scotland or you never shall be free
Rise and end the tyrant’s bloody reign
.
Mad Lizzy she is waiting for the setting of the sun
Her mind is on the morrow and the ordeals yet to come
Seven years the moon has ridden o’er blackened skies
Mad Lizzie lays her doon and pleads to die

Heard this on the pierhead, Liverpool busking with Bernie Shaw. An old Scottish tune with a quite wonderful English lyric

10 Fair and Tender Ladies
traditional
Come all ye fair and tender ladies,
Take warning how you court young men,
They’re like the stars on a summer’s morning,
First they appear and then they’re gone.

If I’d a known before I courted,
I never would have courted none,
I’d a locked my heart in a box of golden,
And fastened it up with a silver pin.

I wish I were a little sparrow,
And I had wings and I could fly,
I’d fly away to my own false lover,
And when he’s talking I’d draw nigh,

But I am not a little sparrow,
I have no wings, nor can I fly,
I’ll sit right here, and weep in sorrow,
And try to pass my troubles by.

Do you recall when we first courted?
You’d lay your head upon my breast
You could make me believe
by he falling of your arm
That the sun rose in the west.

A wedding in Musselburgh gave me this Scottish folk song, which for pure sentiment, I believe the finest written in modern times. The tune is The Lakes of Pontchartrain; Below is the original lyric, to which I made a few minor adaptations.

Musselburgh, The Honest Toun, is where the spent coal is cooled by the water in the concrete lagoons.

11 Honest Toun Lagoons
Peter Smith

It was a cold dark morning when I bid Tranent adieu
I braved the snow doon tae old Fisherrow tae Staggs for a pint or two
Then in you walked, just as bold as brass with a boy, you seemed over the moon
And my heart sunk low like the cold grey snow on the Honest Toun lagoons

Then on my birthday morning with many unhappy returns
I took the road doon tae Prestonpans and stopped at Sammy Burns
Where I found a watch stuck at ten past two that played delightful tunes
And my heart missed a beat like the times we’d meet by the Honest Toun lagoons

Now fair-thee-weel dishonest lass and fair thee weel the toun
For of a’ the girls that err I kent ye were the first tae let me doon
Now I cook and I clean and of you I dream as I drink in darkened rooms
And my heart and soul are like the cold spent coal in the Honest Toun lagoons

12 Mormond Braes
Traditional
As I gaed doon tae Strichen toun
I met a fair maid mourning
She was makin sair complaint
For her true love ne’re returning
Mormond Braes where heather grows
Where aft times I’ve been cheery
Mormond Braes where heather grows
It’s there that I lost my dearie.
So fare thee weel ye Mormond Braes
Where aft times I’ve been cheery
Fare ye weel ye Mormond Braes
It’s there that I lost my dearie.

There’s mony a horse has snapper’t and fa’en
Risen again fu rarely
Many’s the lass has lost her lad
And gotten anither richt early
There’s as guid fish intil the sea
As ever yet were taken
I’ll cast my line and try again
For I’m only aince forsaken
And I’ll ging doon tae Strichen toon
Far I was bred and born in
And there I’ll get anither sweetheart
That’ll marry me the morn.
But I’ll pit on my goon o green
It’s a forsaken token
That will let the other lads know
That the bands of love are broken.

The Hessian Prince, although an ally of his Cousin, refused to continue warfare against Jacobites on ethical grounds and insulted the ’Butcher’ Cumberland by organising a Dance, inviting only Jacobite ladies

13 He who would be King

Herbertson

One for the sailing ship safe across the sea
One for the Hessian’s bold company
One for the soldier who will follow me
One for the rightful king who e’er he may be

Dance lady dance
Sing soldier sing
Drink to the fortune
Of he who would be king

One for the hills of home far, far away
One for the foreign fields honour and grave
One for the foreign foe for whom we pray
One for the dogs of war to keep us in pay

One for the lady and one for the lord
One for the musket, one for the sword
One for a bonnie prince, his promised word
None for Sweet William, merciless in war

Probably written of a camp follower of the light horsemen.
14 The Lichtbob’s Lassie
traditional
When first I cam ‘tae the toon,
They ca’d me young an’ bonnie;
Noo they’ve chang’d my name,
Ca’d me the lichtbob’s honey.
When first I cam’ tae the toon,
They ca’d me proud an’ saucy;
Noo they’ve changed my name,
Ca’d me the lichtbob’s lassie.
I’ll dye my petticoats red,
And face them wi’ the yellow:
I’ll tell the dyster lad
That the lichtbobs I’m tae follow.
Feather beds are saft,
Painted rooms are bonnie;
I will leave them a’,
An’ jog awa’ wi’ Johnnie.
Oh, my back’s been sair,
Shearin’ Craigie’s corn:
I winna see him the nicht,
But I’ll see him the morn.
Oh for Saterday nicht,
Syne I’ll see my dearie,
He’ll come whistlin’ in,
Fan I am tired an’ weary
For my mum, her favourite

15 A Red, Red Rose
Robert Burns

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June:
O my Luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly play’d in tune!
As fair thou art, my bonnie lass,
So deep in love am I:
And I will love thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry:
Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt with the sun;
I will luve thee still my dear,
When the sands of life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only Luve,
And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.

For Birgit Bannister, Scottish in spirit. Nighean ruadh, Gaelic for red haired girl
16 Loch Tay Boat Song
traditional
When I’ve done my work of day,
And I row my boat away,
Doon the waters of Loch Tay,
As the evening light is fading
And I look upon Ben Lawers
Where the after glory glows;
And I think on two bright eyes
And the melting mouth below.
She’s my beauteous nighean ruadh,
She’s my joy and sorrow too;
And although she is untrue,
Well I cannot live without her,
For my heart’s a boat in tow,
And I’d give the world to know
Why she means to let me go,
As I sing horee horo.
Nighean ruadh, your lovely hair
Has more glamour I declare
Than all the tresses rare
‘tween Killin and Aberfeldy.
Be they lint white, brown or gold,
Be they blacker than the sloe,
They are worth no more to me
Than the melting flake of snow.
Her eyes are like the gleam
O’ the sunlight on the stream;
And the songs the fairies sing
Seem like songs she sings at milking.
But my heart is full of woe,
For last night she bade me go
And the tears begin to flow,
As I sing horee, horo.
She’s my beauteous nighean ruadh,
She’s my joy and sorrow too
And although she is untrue,
Well I cannot live without her.
For my heart’s a boat in tow
And I’d give the world to know,
Why she means to let me go
As I sing horee horo.
.

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