I'm a Stranger in this Country (The Darger Lad)
DESCRIPTION: Singer, a "darger loon" from a distant land, meets a "Scottish lass" in an alehouse. They drink. He takes her to his lodgings and they spend the night together. Next morning he leaves on the train as she cries on the station. At home he drinks her health
EARLIEST DATE: 1914 (GreigDuncan4)
KEYWORDS: sex parting Scotland separation train
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (1 citation):
GreigDuncan4 832, "The Darger Lad" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
Jimmy McBeath, "I'm a Stranger in this Country" (on Voice15)
cf. "The Indian Lass" (theme, verses) and references there
cf. "Little Mohee" [Laws H8] (theme, verses) and references there
NOTES: Hall, notes to Voice15, translates the text "darger loon" as "day-labourer lad."
Yates, Musical Traditions site Voice of the People suite "Notes - Volume 15" - 13.9.02: "It appears to be related to 'The Indian Lass,' a song collected by Frank Kidson - see Traditional Tunes (1891) pp.109-11." I'm convinced. Compare first verses:
Kidson's first version "from a person's singing in North Yorkshire":
As I was a walking on a far distant shore,
I went into an ale-house to spend half-an-hour;
And as I sat smoking beside of my glass,
By chance there came in a fine young Indian lass.
Jimmy McBeath's version on Voice15.
I'm a stranger in this country from a far distant land.
I went into an ale-house for half an hour to spend.
And as I sat a-drinking, a-musing in my glass,
Wha stepped in but an old Scottish lass.
Kidson, or his informant, has elided the sex -- which can be found in Creighton-NovaScotia 51 -- but, at the end,
So early next morning we were going to sail;
This lovely young Indian on the beach did bewail;
I took off my hankercheif and wiped her eyes, --
"O, do not go leave me, my sailor," she cries.
which McBeath has as
It was early next morning I ran to catch the train.
I left my bonnie lassie in the station to remain.
In drawing out her handkercheif, the tears dropped fae her ee.
'Oh, dinna gang and leave me, my darger loon,' cried she.
Neither of Kidson's tunes, nor Creighton's, match McBeath's. - BS
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