Days Are Awa That I Hae Seen, The
DESCRIPTION: In words familiar from many songs, the girl says that she has been jilted through no real fault of her own. Her lover had bid her farewell. She will dress well and show no sorrow, and vows she will love him no more.
EARLIEST DATE: c. 1818 (GlenbuchatBallads, but see notes); 1906 (GreigDuncan6)
KEYWORDS: courting farewell abandonment
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (3 citations):
GlenbuchatBallads, pp. 192-193, "Lord Ogilvie" (1 text)
GreigDuncan6 1136, "Begone, Bonnie Laddie" (5 texts, 4 tunes)
Ord, p. 179, "The Days Are Awa That I Hae Seen" (1 text)
cf. "Farewell He" (subject) and references there
cf. "A-Growing (He's Young But He's Daily A-Growing)" [Laws O35] (lyrics)
I Went to Meet My True Love
I've Got Sweethearts
Come Back, Bonnie Laddie
NOTES [245 words]: This is one of those songs that seems to be assembled entirely out of floating materials. The first stanza in Ord's version, "The flowers are bonnie and the trees are green, But the days are away that I hae seen," is of course reminiscent of "A-Growing." Both the first and second stanzas have parts reminiscent of "I'll Be All Smiles Tonight." The overall effect is more like "Farewell He." And a couple of lines remind me of "No, Never, No."
The combined effect seems to be unique, though.
The Glenbuchat text "Lord Ogilvie" makes the problem even worse. Unlike Ord's version, it is coherent, although the opening is vague. A girl asks what she has done wrong that the man (later said to be Lord Ogilvie) has abandoned her. He says she has done nothing wrong; he has simply chosen another girl. She despairs; he says he was testing her; she rejects him; he dies for love. Only a few words of this appear in Ord's version, and the Glenbuchat "Lord Ogilivie" text is the only version to mention the lord by name
Personally, I would consider this two songs (possibly more): the Glenbuchat "Lord Ogilvie" ballad and the Ord floating verse collection (which happens to have some lines from "Lord Ogilvie"). But until more "Lord Ogilvies" turn up, I will follow the Glenbuchat editors in filing the song here, simply to facilitate referencing the versions.- RBW
GreigDuncan6 quoting Duncan: "From a young man called 'George' twenty-five years ago. Noted 29th June 1908." - BS
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