Broon Coo's Broken the Fauld, The
DESCRIPTION: The brown/blue cow broke its pen and ate the corn, "And oor gudeman's hitten me." The singer will leave in the morning to follow Hielan' Donal "ow're Urie, ow'r Gadie, .... An carry's powder-horn"
EARLIEST DATE: 1890 (_Scottish Notes and Queries_)
KEYWORDS: travel punishment farming nonballad animal
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Greig #114, p. 3, ("The broon coo's broken the fauld") (1 fragment)
GreigDuncan8 1732, "The Broon Cow's Broken Lowse" (2 texts, 1 tune)
DT, HIEDONAL (3 texts)
ADDITIONAL: Scottish Notes and Queries (Aberdeen, 1890 ("Digitized by Google")), Vol. III, No. 11, April 1890, p. 173, "[Query ]411. Old Ballad" ("The broon coo's broken the fa'")
NOTES [168 words]: Roud lumps this with "Hielan' Donal' Kissed Katie" but, except for the person of "Hielan' Donald" I don't see a connection.
The Scottish Notes and Queries query for more words apparently had no response. The writer there speculates: "Was this the lilt of a herd-laddie of the time of Donald of the Isles? Did the feasting of the 'Broon Coo' have a disturbing influence, sufficient to induce him to follow to the field that martial lord?" - BS
I think this highly unlikely, since Donald Dubh, the last Lord of the Isles, died in 1545. And since this Donald crossed so much territory, the reference is more likely to Donald II, who fought at the Battle of Harlaw in 1411 (for details on that, see "The Battle of Harlaw" [Child 163] ). A song from that time would be extremely unlikely to survive into the nineteenth century unless it told a more coherent story -- and besides, a follower of Donald II would probably sing in Gaelic, not English, and a soldier in 1411 would not be carrying a powder-horn! - RBW
Last updated in version 2.5
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.