DESCRIPTION: The Devil, to seal a deal with a jealous suitor, wins a bet with a betrothed maiden. She flees and her silent prayer to evade the Devil is answered: she is turned into a stone pillar that reminds maidens to "guard the vows that love has made"
EARLIEST DATE: 1847 (Thom)
LONG DESCRIPTION: A jealous suitor makes a deal with the devil to damn the betrothed "Maiden of Drumdurno" -- "the beauty of five parishes' -- and Jamie. She makes a lighthearted bet -- that she can bake bread before he can pave a road -- with a stranger for her self, which she loses. Realizing that she has lost to the Devil she runs -- "fast she flies, as fast pursued" -- and is turned into stone in answer to her silent prayer. The stone "bids the maids of Garioch Guard the vows that love has made" Now, "quick the pace, and quick the pulse" of those who wander there alone "atween Pittrodie's haunted wood An' the dowie Mayden Stane"
KEYWORDS: jealousy courting love bargaining wager disguise food Devil
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Greig #55, p. 3, "Maidenstone" (1 fragment)
GreigDuncan8 1916, "The Maidenstone" (1 fragment)
ADDITIONAL: William Thom, Rhymes and Recollections of a Hand-Loom Weaver (London, 1847 (3rd edition, "Digitized by Google")), pp. 58-61, ("And quick the pace, and quick the pulse") [narrative and one verse]
Jeanie M Laing, Notes on Superstition and Folk Lore (Brechin, 1885 ("Digitized by Google")), pp. 63-65, "The Mayden Stane of Bennachie" [narrative and three verses]
cf. "The Standing Stones" (subject: the sculptured stones)
NOTES [142 words]: Laing: "Those ancient sculptured stones which we find here and there throughout the island, and about the origin and significance of which antiquarians are undecided, have, in many cases, legends attached to them by the superstitious. One of the most remarkable of these is the "Mayden Stane of Bennachie," situated in the parish of Chapel of Garioch, Aberdeenshire.... The 'causey' [road] is said to be still extant, although overgrown with rank heather; and the neighborhood bears the reputation of being haunted."
The GreigDuncan8 note adds this comment to Greig's about the stone: "which has Pictish carvings."
Both Thom and Laing repeat the verse Greig has from Orr. Laing adds two more verses. There may be more verses in Andrew Galloway Fordyce, Reminiscences of the Maiden Stane of Bennachie, published by the Banffshire Journal in 1975. - BS
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.