Geordie Sits In Charlie's Chair
DESCRIPTION: "Geordie sits in Charlie's chair ... Charlie yet shall mount the throne." "Weary fa' the Lawland loon, Whae took frae him the British crown" whom the clans fought at Prestonpans. Cumberland's adventures in hell are recounted.
EARLIEST DATE: 1821 (Hogg2)
KEYWORDS: Hell nonballad political Jacobites
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Hogg2 105, "Geordie Sits In Charlie's Chair" (1 text, 1 tune)
GreigDuncan1 131, "Highland Laddie" (1 text, 1 tune)
cf. "Hieland Laddie" (tune and structure)
cf. "The Lovely Lass of Inverness" (tune [Hogg2 pp. 162-164], according to Hogg)
NOTES: The alternate lines are "[My] bonny laddie, Highland laddie."
Hogg2: "I have been told the song was originally composed by an itinerant ballad-singer, a man of great renown in that profession, ycleped 'mussel-mou'ed Charlie'" and that the original had only two verses about Cumberland in hell, viz., "Ken ye the news I hae to tell, Cumberland's awa to hell, The deil sat girnin in the neuk, Riving sticks to roast the Duke," "They pat him neist upon a spit, And roasted him baith head and feet, But a' the whigs maun gang to hell, That sang Charlie made himsel'"
For more about Cumberland see the notes to "The Muir of Culloden." - BS
Mussel-mou'ed Charlie is a fairly well-documented figure of the eighteenth century (dates supposedly 1687-1792), whose real name was Charles Lesly; there is a short biography at the beginning of Kinloch's Ballad Book, along with a drawing of the singer. Kinloch, p. iv, says that he resided in Aberdeen in his later years, so it is reasonable to find his songs there.
Kinloch quotes this song on p. vi, though with different verses from those cited above.
Incidentally, at the time this song was presumably written, the throne of England upon which Geordie sat was *not* Charles's even under Jacobite reckoning; the titular James III and VIII, Bonnie Prince Charlie's father, lived until 1766. - RBW
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