Roy's Wife of Aldivalloch
DESCRIPTION: "Roy's wife of Aldivalloch (x2), Wat ye how she cheated me As I came owre the Braes o' Balloch?" Singer complains that Roy's wife has cheated him; she has sworn she loves him and will be his, but instead she has robbed him and left him
AUTHOR: Mrs Grant of Carron [not of Laggan] (c.1745-c.1814) (source: Whitelaw-Song)
EARLIEST DATE: 1791 (Herd)
KEYWORDS: adultery infidelity marriage betrayal bawdy wife
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland) US(SE)
REFERENCES (4 citations):
GreigDuncan4 748, "Roy's Wife of Aldivalloch" (2 texts plus a single verse on p. 534)
Whitelaw-Song, p. 8, "Roy's Wife" (1 text)
BrownII 125, "Roy's Wife of Aldivalloch" (1 text, with dialect retained; one suspects print influence)
WolfAmericanSongSheets, #2044, p. 137, "Roy's Wife of Aldivalloch" (1 reference)
Ewan MacColl, "Roy's Wife of Aldivalloch" (on Lomax43, LomaxCD1743)
Know Ye Not That Lovely River (by Gerald Griffin) (Kathleen Hoagland, editor, One Thousand Years of Irish Poetry (New York, 1947), p. 422)
NOTES [178 words]: According to Lomax, this was originally a bawdy song in folk tradition; the words were sanitized by, "Mrs. Grant of Carron" [in the eighteenth century], and the song then drifted back into tradition. - PJS
According to the notes in MacColl, Folk Songs and Ballads of Scotland, "John Roy of Aldivalloch was married to Isabel Stewart [on February 21, 1727). Roy was considerably older than his wife [who ran away with] David Gordon of Kirktown. She was pursued by Roy and brought back after a chase over the Braes of Balloch....
"Margaret Roy... said that the song had been made by a shoemaker living in the neighbourhood of Aldivalloch. The tune was first pubished in Walsh's 'Twenty-Four Country Dances' (1724) as Lady Frances Wemy's Reel, but is almost certainly considerably older."
There was an 1860 American printing of this by De Marsan, documented on p. 137 of Edwin Wolf 2nd, American Song Sheets, Slip Ballads, and Political Broadsides 1850-1870, Library Company of Philadelphia, 1963. I can't help but wonder what audience they were trying to reach. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.5
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.