Harry Lumsdale's Courtship
DESCRIPTION: "First when Harry cam' to Clatt," he asks bonnie Jean, "wilt thou go Up to Auchindoir we' me?" Jean and her mother hesitate. Harry decides to turn to Betty Brown. After he leaves, Jeannie says, "O for him back again!"
EARLIEST DATE: 1908 (GreigDuncan4)
KEYWORDS: love courting mother rejection separation
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Greig #32, p. 3, ("O Jeannie will ye go, Go to Auchindoir wi' me?") (1 fragment)
GreigDuncan4 766, "Harry Lumsden," GreigDuncan8 Addenda, "Harry Lumsden" (2 texts)
Ord, pp. 427-429, "Harry Lumsdale's Courtshhip" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: James Hogg and William Motherwell, editors, The Works of Robert Burns (Glasgow, 1841 ("Digitized by Google")), Vol. II, pp. 197-200, ("First when Harry came to Clatt") (1 text)
NOTES: Ord describes this as the original for Burns's "My Harry Was a Gallant Gay" (aka "Highland Harry.") This strikes me as unlikely. The common material is a single verse, near the end of Ord's text and clearly not integral to it; it seems more likely that "Highland Harry" is a genuine traditional song and that Ord's obscure poem has picked up its chorus. - RBW
Burns says, "The chorus I picked up from an old woman in Dunblane; the rest of the song is mine." The quote is from Cunningham [probably The Complete Works of Robert Burns 1835] in Hogg and Motherwell. That "chorus" is from "Harry Lumsdale's Courtship."
Hogg and Motherwell tell the story that Harry "was the second son of a Highland chieftain who came downj to the Garioch, a district in Aberdeenshire, and made love to Miss Jeanie Gordon, daughter to the laird of Knockhaspie. This lady ... was afterwards married to her cousin Habichie Gordon [who later "lopped off several of Lumsdale's fingers" when the couple accidentally met, leading to Lumsdale's death]. - BS
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