Love It Is a Dizziness
DESCRIPTION: Singer complains that love "winna lat a puir body gang about their business." "I drill the land that I should plow" and other foolish things. Love makes him more drunk than whiskey. "I first grew dizzy then gid daft and noo I'll dee for Peggy"
AUTHOR: James Hogg (source: Chambers and Whitelaw)
EARLIEST DATE: 1829 (Chambers)
KEYWORDS: courting love nonballad
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (3 citations):
GreigDuncan5 934, "Love It Is a Dizziness" (7 texts, 6 tunes)
Whitelaw-Song, p. 122, "Love It Is a Dizziness" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Robert Chambers, The Scottish Songs (Edinburgh, 1829), Vol I, pp. 152-153, "Love's Like a Dizziness"
cf. "Paddy's Wedding" (tune, per GreigDuncan5 and Whitelaw)
NOTES: Apparently, Whitelaw has his text from Hogg (1770-1836). That text says "Were Peggy's love to hire the job and save my heart frae breakin O I'd ... gang an spear for Mungo Park through Africa sae dreary O." That would date the text to between 1795 and 1806. "In 1795 the Association appointed Mungo Park [1771-1806] to explore the course of the River Niger" (source: "Biography: Mungo Park" at About: African History site).
Chambers has as Hogg's tune an earlier version of "Love's Like a Dizziness." - BS
According to Fleming, p. 15, Sir Joseph Banks, president of the Royal Society, in 1799 proposed an exploration of the Niger. Nothing came of it at the time, but Banks also headed the African Association, which sent out various exploratory parties.
Mungo Park had led an expedition to the East Indies which had gathered useful scientific data from 1792 to 1794 (Brumwell/Speck, p. 283). This brought him to the attention of Banks and his colleagues. He was the leader of the first expedition to the Niger to actually get there and back: "Then came Mungo Park, an intrepid Scot who was to become a legend in the annals of exploration. He went out twice, in 1795 and then in 1805. His first journey was under the auspices of the African Association and was funded accordingly: he was given two days' provisions. He did, however, reach the Niger after many vicissitudes..." (Fleming, p. 16).
"Many visissitudes" is an understatement; he was robbed of all his possessions, and also was imprisoned for a time, according to Kunitz/Haycraft, p. 393. But his journal -- the oly book he ever wrote -- became quite popular, and he met Sir Walter Scott. It was almost a decade before anyone found funding for a second trip, however.
Park's "second [expedition] was sponsored by the government... and saw him leading a band of fourty-four British redcoats to find the rest of the river. One by one the soldiers died. By the time Park reached the Niger at the town of Bussa only five of his original contingent were alive. Then, on some undetermined date in 1805, he was attacked on the river and the entire expedition was wiped out. As soon as the disaster became common knowledge, Park was revered as a hero" (Fleming, pp. 16-17).
The diseases which had killed so many of Park's men continued to be a problem for many years. In 1827, Park's son tried again to explore the Niger and complete his father's expedition. He too died of disease (Kunitz/Haycraft, p. 393). - RBW
Last updated in version 3.2
- Brumwell/Speck: Stephen Brumwell and W. A. Speck, Cassell's Companion to Eighteenth-Century Britain, Cassell & Co., 2001
- Fleming: Fergus Fleming, Barrow's Boys, Grove, 1998
- Kunitz/Haycraft: Stanley J. Kunitz and Howard Haycraft, Editors, British Authors Before 1800: A Biographical Dictionary, H. W. Wilson, 1952 (I use the fourth printing of 1965)
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