DESCRIPTION: "Dumbarton's drums, they sound so bonny When they remind me of my Johnny." The singer tells of how Johnnie, "Dumbarton's caddie," courts her. She expects that someday he will be a captain and she his lady.
EARLIEST DATE: 1724 (Ramsay)
KEYWORDS: love courting
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland) US
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Whitelaw-Song, p. 45, "Dumbarton's Drums" (1 text)
Silber-FSWB, p. 281, "Dumbarton's Drums" (1 text)
DT, DUMBDRUM* DMBDRUM2*
ADDITIONAL: Allan Ramsay, The Tea-Table Miscellany (Edinburgh: Thomas Ruddiman, 1724 ("Digitized by Google")), pp. 95-96, "Dumbarton's Drums" ("Dumbarton's Drums beat bonny O") (1 text)
James Johnson, Editor, _The Scots Musical Museum_ [1853 edition], volume II, #161, p. 169, "Dumbarton's Drums" (1 text, 1 tune)
ST FSWB281A (Full)
cf. "O! Why Should Old Age So Much Wound Us?" (tune)
NOTES: First appearing seemingly in the Orpheus Caledoneus (for the text, see the Digital Tradition DMBDRUM2), this was originally a rather flowery piece. Somehow it entered the Beers family tradition, which endowed it with a magnificent tune (not the same as that in the Scots Musical Museum) and much simpler if not particularly inspired words. It is the Beers version which has become extremely popular in pop-folk circles.
According to John Baynes with John Laffin, Soldiers of Scotland, Brassey's, 1988 (I use the 1997 Barnes & Noble edition), p. 103, this piece is used as a pipe tune for parade by the Royal Scots Regiment as a parade piece (I assume they use the Orpheus Caledoneus tune), though this has never been officially approved by the British army. - RBW
Whitelaw-Song is the same text as Ramsay and Orpheus Caledoneus. - BS
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