To Daunton Me (I)
DESCRIPTION: "To daunton [subdue] me, and me sae young, And gude King James's auldest son, O that's the thing that ne'er can be, For the man's unborn that will daunton me." The singer claims that only poverty can keep him down: "Now I hae scarce to lay me on"
EARLIEST DATE: 1821 (Hogg2)
KEYWORDS: exile nonballad Jacobites
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Hogg2 44, "To Daunton Me" (1 text, 1 tune)
GreigDuncan6 1134, "To Daunton Me" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
cf. "To Daunton Me (II)" (tune, pattern)
cf. "To Daunton Me (III)" (tune, pattern)
NOTES [268 words]: Here the singer plays the part of The Old Pretender, James [III and] VIII.
Like "The Shan Van Voght" in Ireland, "To Daunton Me" provides a theme to be adapted to different situations and dates. Hogg provides two other examples: the singer of "To Daunton Me (II)" is a supporter of The Old Pretender who would see "King James at Edinburgh cross, Wi' fifty thousand foot and horse"; the singer of "To Daunton Me (III)" is a supporter of the [Young] Pretender ("For Charles we'll conquer or we'll die"). Then there's the Robert Burns version pitting youth against wealth and age ("An auld man shall never daunton me.") The fragment GreigDuncan6 1134 may belong to any of these or to some other version entirely; the editor, Elaine Petrie, writes that "Volume 6, is the Heartbreak Hotel of the collection" [p. xvii]. Maybe so, but I would put the fragment either here, with "To Daunton Me (I)," (as would, apparently, Duncan [p. 551]), or the Burns version. - BS
I might add that this is song is utterly uncharacteristic of the Old Pretender; it seems to describe an optimistic, go-for-it sort of guy. But every book I can recall reading describes him as a pessimist, almost morose, unwilling to take risks even when the potential reward was great. The 1715 rebellion was an obvious example: It might have had a chance had he hurried to Scotland -- but he waited until after Sheriffmuir, came ashore just long enough to say he'd come, and left. Susan Maclean Kybett Bonnie Prince Charlie, Dodd Mead, 1988), p. 16. notes that James came to be called "Old Mr. Melancholy," and I have to say that the name fits. - RBW
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