Where the Gadie Rins (I)

DESCRIPTION: The singer wishes she were "Where the Gadie rins." She recalls her (ane/twa) richt love(s). "The ane he was killed at the Lowrin fair, and t'ither wis drowned in Dee." She has twice been a bride but never a wife. She recalls her mourning
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1908 (Greig)
KEYWORDS: love marriage death wife mourning
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Greig #10, pp. 1-2, "Where Gadie Rins" (3 texts plus 2 fragments)
GreigDuncan6 1223, "Gin I Were Where the Gadie Rins" (6 texts, 1 tune)
Ord, pp. 347-348, "Oh! Gin I Were Where Gaudie Rins" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: Kenneth Norman MacDonald, "The Gesto Collection of Highland Music," 1895 (reprinted 1997 by Llanerch Publishers), p. 125, "The Back of Bennichie" (1 tune, presumably this since it is footnoted as "Where Gaudie runs")

ST Ord347 (Full)
Roud #(5404)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Where the Gadie Rins" (II), etc. (tune, chorus)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Where the Gaudie Rins
NOTES: The melody "Where (the) Gadie Rins" is said to be a common pipe tune in Scotland. (MacColl and Seeger date it to 1815; Ord suspects the eighteenth century.) Like some other pipe tunes (e.g. "The Flowers of the Forest), it seems to have picked up various texts.
One may suspect that, like some fiddle tunes, it had a mnemonic verse or two. All the texts seem to have a lyric similar to:
Oh, gin I were whaur the Gadie rins,
The Gadie rins, the Gadie rins,
Oh, gin I were whaur the Gadie rins
At the back o Bennachie
or
But there's meal and there's ale whaur the Gadie rins,
The Gadie rins, the Gadie rins,
But there's meal and there's ale whaur the Gadie rins
At the back o Bennachie.
Ord calls the air "one of the best-known songs in the North of Scotland," but says that most people know only fragments of verses. This text gets pride of place as the only one I've heard recorded.
The "Lowrin fair" or "Lowren'-fair" is described by Kinloch as "a market held at Lawrence-kirk, in Mearnshire."
This has one of the saddest themes I can think of for a woman prior to the twentieth century, when it was hard to accomplish anything when unmarried:
Noo it's twice I hae been a bride,
Hae been a bride, hae been a bride,
Noo it's twice I hae been a bride,
But a wife I'll never be.
I cannot help but note the similarity of this to a couplet composed by Margaret of Austria to lament her fate:
Ci gist Margot la gentille demoiselle
Mariee deux fois,et si mourut pucelle.
("Here lies Margot, the willing bride, Twice married, but a virgin when she died." See Garrett Mattingly, Catherine of Aragon, 1941 [I use the 1990 Book-of-the-Month club edition], p. 17). - RBW
Of the five Greig #10 texts he considers only a fragment and one long text known to the traditional singer, "perhaps assigned to about the middle of the eighteenth century ... may be earlier." The others are literary texts. An attribution of one to Dr Arthur Johnston in the earlier part of the seventeenth century "must surely be a mistake." Another "was written by Dr John Park about 1826...." "John Imlah, a song-writer of considerable repute who was born in Aberdeen in 1799 and died in 1846 ... wrote two versions, " the second of which Greig reprints. As for the origin of the fragment -- the usual first verse -- "our theory is this. Some native of the Garioch serving in some of the continental wars -- say under Marlborough, had heard the regimental march, and ever thinking of his far-off home, had shaped its phrases into -- Oh gin I were where Gadie rins... At the back of Benachie."
Imlah, writing in 1827, in a note to his own "O! Gin I Were Whare Gadie Rowes!," has the usual chorus and says it is the chorus of "a jacobite ditty, but of which I am in no further possession than the chorus" (source: John Imlah, May Flowers (London, 1827 ("Digitized by Google")), p. 230).
GreigDuncan6 1223C shares a key verse with "My Mither Built a Wee, Wee House": "I canna keep my maidenhead Amo' sae mony men." That's in line with Ord's "twice I've been a bride..." verse.- BS
Last updated in version 3.2
File: Ord347

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