Bonnie George Campbell [Child 210]

DESCRIPTION: Bonnie George Campbell sets out on his horse. The horse comes home, but he does not: "High upon Hielands and low upon Tay, Bonnie George Campbell rade oot on a day; Saddled and bridled and gallant rade he; Hame cam his guid horse but never cam he"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1807
KEYWORDS: death horse
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Bord)) US(Ap,NE,SE,So)
REFERENCES (24 citations):
Child 210, "Bonnie James Campbell" (4 texts)
Bronson 210, "Bonnie James Campbell" (5 versions)
BronsonSinging 210, "Bonnie James Campbell" (2 versions: #1, #4)
Bell-Combined, pp. 205-206, "Bonnie George Campbell" (1 text)
BarryEckstormSmyth pp. 279-284, "Bonnie George Campbell" (2 text plus a printed version and a composite reconstruction, 1 traditional plus one printed tune) {The "C" reprint is Bronson's #1, the traditional tune "D" is Bronson's #23}
Flanders-Ancient3, pp. 237-238, "Bonnie James Campbell" (1 badly damaged fragment)
Ford-Vagabond, pp. 310-311, "Bonnie George Campbell" (1 text, with a peculiar final verse probably not traditional and edited by Ford)
Davis-More 35, pp. 267-269, "Bonnie James Campbell" (1 text)
Thomas-Makin', pp. 25-26, "Bonnie George Campbell" (1 text, 1 tune)
AbrahamsRiddle, p. 60, "War Song" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
Moore-Southwest 41, "Bonnie James Campbell" (1 text, 1 tune)
Leach, p. 560, "Bonnie James Campbell" (2 texts)
OBB 96, "Bonnie George Campbell" (1 text)
Warner 106, "James Campbell" (1 text, 1 tune)
PBB 57, "Bonnie George Campbell" (1 text)
Gummere, pp. 162+335, "Bonnie George Campbell" (1 text)
Combs/Wilgus 34, pp. 126-127, "Bonnie James Campbell" (1 text)
Hodgart, p. 145, "Bonnie George Campbell" (1 text)
TBB 18, "Bonnie James (George) Campbell" (2 texts)
Fireside, p. 24, "Bonnie George Campbell" (1 text, 1 tune)
HarvClass-EP1, p. 27, "Bonnie George Campbell" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: _Sing Out_ magazine, Volume 25, #4 (1977), p, 21, "Bonnie James Campbell" (1 text, 1 tune, from Frank Proffitt)
Walter de la Mare, _Come Hither_, revised edition, 1928; #50, "Bonnie George Campbell" (1 text)

Roud #338
Margaret Caudill Hurst & Carolyn Margaret Hurst, "Bonnie George Campbell" (on JThomas01)
Bascom Lamar Lunsford, "Bonnie George Campbell" (on BLLunsford01) {Bronson's #2}
Frank Proffitt, "James Campbell" [excerpt] (on USWarnerColl01)

cf. "Cumberland Gap" (tune)
cf. "The Killin' in the Gap"(Stevie Allen) (theme)
Bonnie Johnnie Campbell
NOTES [158 words]: Although several names have been suggested as the original hero of this ballad, the details suggested in the song are so few that none can be viewed as more than a possibility. There were, after all, many casualties in the long conflict between the MacDonalds and the Campbells -- including the very first Campbell known to history, Collin Campbell, ambushed at the String of Lorne in 1296 (see Thomson: Oliver Thomson, The Great Feud: The Campbells & The Macdonalds, Sutton Publishing, 2000, p. 3).
In an interesting twist, it seems likely that this song was known to relatively upper-class southerners in the Civil War era. Shelby Foote, The Civil War: A Narrative (Volume I: Fort Sumter to Perryville) (Random House, 1958), p. 131 quotes a South Carolina lady's description of an early visit from Robert E. Lee to her area: "Preux chevalier, booted and bridled and gallant rode he, but so far his bonnie face has only brought us ill luck." - RBW
Last updated in version 4.1
File: C210

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