DESCRIPTION: Verses 1-2: A shepherdess mourns that her lover, now in the wars, no longer sees her at church or convoys her home. Verses 3-6: A soldier hears her complaint, reveals that he is her lover "free of war's alarms" and they marry.
AUTHOR: John Mayne (1759-1836) (source: Whitelaw; dates from Contemplator site)
EARLIEST DATE: 1789 and 1816 (see Whitelaw's explanation in notes below)
KEYWORDS: love wedding war reunion separation shepherd soldier
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (3 citations):
GreigDuncan6 1123, "Logan Water" (1 text)
Whitelaw-Song, p. 24, "Logan Braes" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Robert Chambers, The Scottish Songs (Edinburgh, 1829), Vol I, pp. 31-32, "Logan Braes"
cf. "Logan Water" (tune, per Whitelaw)
NOTES [308 words]: Apparently broadside Bodleian, 2806 c.11(31)), "Logan Braes" ("By Logan streams that rin sae deep"), unknown, no date is this song but I could not download and verify it.
Chambers: "This song, the author of which is still alive, was written as a substitute for one or two old rude verses which were formerly sung to the same air" [see "Logan Water" for one rude verse]. The first verse and a half of GreigDuncan6 are very close to Mayne's text but the last half verse ("O an Catrin wad come to peaceful terms An Britons a' lay doon their airms, An' soldiers view the British shore Syne I micht see my lad once more") is someone else's invention.
Whitelaw: As first printed in 1789 in Star Newspaper "we believe consisted originally of only the first two stanzas [that is the base of GreigDuncan6 text], to which indeed, the song in singing, is generally limited. The four additional stanzas first appeared in the Pocket Encyclopedia of Songs, published at Glasgow in 1816, and are probably not by Mayne." - BS
The "invention" of the half-verse mentioned above nonetheless seems to hearken back to the time of the original song. I assume that "Catrin," since she is significant enough to have to come to peace terms, is Catherine the Great of Russia, who died in 1796 (having reigned, formally illegally, since 1762). - RBW
Wild speculation with no chance of being proven or disproven: Katherine the Great was Czarina when the Russians took the Crimea in 18C. Is the Catrin reference noted above a misconception by a singer that she was Czarina in 1855 during the Crimean War? - BS
Ben and I came the the Catherine the Great speculation independently (which is why I am leaving in both of our semi-redundant notes). My feeling is that the reference is simply a holdover from an earlier form of the song written when Catherine was still alive. - RBW
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