Lass o' Killiecrankie, The
DESCRIPTION: When the singer was young he followed the Prince of Wales's call to join the army. Now Jane McPhail, the lass o' Killiecrankie, has him "turning old and frail." He met her, lent her a hankie, accepted her invitation to sit but sat on a thistle.
EARLIEST DATE: 1914 (GreigDuncan4)
KEYWORDS: courting humorous soldier
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (4 citations):
GreigDuncan4 736, "The Lass o' Killiecrankie" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
Behan, #36, "Join the British Army" (1 text, 1 tune, modified)
DallasCruel, pp. 45-46, "Join the British Army" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT, BRITARMY (partial text in the notes)
NOTES: Greig Duncan4 is a fragment; I have no book or "traditional" recording of a more complete version. The description follows the text of "Killiecrankie," "Traditional Arrangement The Black Family/Johnny McCarthy" on the Black Brothers site. There is a similar text of "Killiecrankie," "Words and Music by Harry Lauder" on "A Celebration of Sir Harry Lauder" site.
The first verse is very close to the first verse of "Join the British Army." - BS
Is there a political subtext here? The famous battle of Killiecrankie, fought in 1689, came about because King James VII and II had had a son, the Prince of Wales, who would be raised Catholic and succeed his father. So, in effect, the Prince of Wales called Stuart loyalists to come to Killicrankie. The pro-Stuart army was all Scots, but when their commander Dundee was killed, the army broke up even though it won the battle. And then, frankly, the Jacobites, having had no success supporting the thistle, went home and turned old and toothless. It's all a bit far-fetched -- except that it all fits, more or less, plus Killiecrankie is nowhere in particular, and would be forgotten but for the battle.
Behan's version gives a full text, with an Irish slant; I am not entirely sure it is the same song, given Behan's tendency to fiddle, but Roud appears to lump the two types, and unless a full set of versions turns up, there isn't much else to do. Dallas's version has a lot of Ewan MacColl in it, so it too is likely fiddled with. - RBW
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