DESCRIPTION: "To the Lords of Convention 'twas Claverhouse spoke, Ere the King's crown go down there are crowns to be broke." The Jacobite army gathers and prepares to fight for James II and VII
AUTHOR: unknown (adapted by Sir Walter Scott)
EARLIEST DATE: 1862 (Cameron's Selection of Scottish Songs); believed to date to at least the eighteenth century
KEYWORDS: soldier drink political Jacobite
July 27, 1689 - Battle of Killiecrankie, at which Jacobites under Claverhouse/Dundee are victorious but their commander killed, resulting in the failure of their cause
REFERENCES (1 citation):
ADDITIONAL: Michael Brander, _Scottish and Border Battles and Ballads_, 1975 (page references to the 1993 Barnes & Noble edition), p. 179, "Bonnie Dundee" (1 text)
ST MBra179 (Partial)
cf. "Riding a Raid" (tune)
Riding a Raid (File: SCWF082)
Scalp Song ("To the base churls of Congress 'twas Brooksy who spoke," referring to the attack on Senator Sumner by congressman Brooks, and attributed to Maria Jane Peytoun Middletonne Fitz-Fysshe, believed to be a pseudonym for George Templeton Strong) (Lawrence, p. 333)
NOTES [156 words]: The common version of this is by Sir Walter Scott, who published it in the 1830 play "The Doom of Devorgoil" (so, e.g., Carroll/Gardner, p. 260, n. 13; Carroll/Green, p. 270; Williams/Maden/Green/Crutch, p. 313 say it is from Act II, scene ii), but there is enough variation in the publications that I am not entirely convinced that Scott originated it.
It is certain that Charles Dodgson/Lewis Carroll rewrote it for Through the Looking Glass, Chapter IX, "Queen Alice," where it becomes a poem that begins
To the Looking-Glass world it was Alice that said
"I've a sceptre in hand, I've a crown on my head.
Let the Looking-Glass creatures, whatever they be
Come dine with the Red Queen, the White Queen and Me!"
What is less obvious is why Dodgson picked this particular item to parody. It is not one of his more subversive pieces, and he uses only a few bits of the original lyric. Perhaps he just liked the poem and its form. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.2
- Carroll/Gardner: The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition by Lewis Carroll with Introduction and Notes by Martin Gardner, W. W. Norton, 2000
- Carroll/Green: Lewis Carroll, Alices Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, edited with an introduction and notes by Roger Lancelyn Green, 1971 (I use the 2008 Oxford University Press paperback edition)
- Williams/Maden/Green/Crutch: Sidney Herbert Williams and Falconer Madan, revised and augmented by Roger Lancelyn Green, further revised by Denis Crutch, The Lewis Carroll Handbook (earlier editions titled A Handbook of the Literature of the Rev. C. L. Dodgson, 1932, 1961, 1970); Dawson Books, 1979
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