Braes o' Abernethy, The

DESCRIPTION: The singer sees a lass behind her father's locked gates. If she were cold he would give her his "plaidie to rollabout her." If he were rich he'd give everything for one night with her. There's another girl he likes better but she's far away.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1905 (Greig/Duncan4)
KEYWORDS: sex nonballad
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Greig/Duncan4 867, "The Braes o' Abernethy" (6 texts, 5 tunes)
Roud #3784
cf. "The Lad Wi' the Tartan Plaidie" (tune, per Greig/Duncan4)
cf. "Over Hills and Mountains" (theme: singer would give up the crown or great wealth he doesn't have for love)
The Braes o' Invernessie
Ye'll Bring to Me
NOTES [236 words]: Greig/Duncan4 quoting Greig: "The author ... was Alexander Lesley, Esq. of Edin, on Doverin side .... The fair one whom he thus immortalizes was Helen Christie, who afterwards proved with child to him.... The song was composed in the year 1636." Greig, as quoted by Greig/Duncan4, notes "Cf. 'Banks of Invernessie', etc." Roud also lumps "The Banks o' Deveron Water" with "The Braes of Abernethy." I am not convinced. The songs share some lines and themes. For example, Ord includes
Tho' I had a' King Croesus' rents,
And all possessed by Alexander;
I'd gie it all, and ten times mair,
For ae poor nicht to be beside her.
The closest Greig/Duncan4 versions agree, replacing Croesus by Caesar or Queen Sheba. Other songs come close to the same sentiment. "The Belfast Beauty" includes
Had I wealth and grandeur like Great Alexander
That noble commander who lived in days of yore
All earthly treasure I'd resign with pleasure
To wed with this damsel whom I do adore.
"Lough Erne Shore" includes
"O had I the Lamp of Great Aladdin, [I think I've heard "Alexander" - RBW]
His rings and his genie, that's more,
I would part with them all for to gain you
And live upon Lough Erne Shore.
"The Braes o' Abernethy" includes up to three verses of a theme not in Ord at all: the singer is from the lowlands, a girl that loves him is in a nearby town, but his sweetheart is in the highlands behind her father's locked gates. - BS
Last updated in version 2.5
File: GrD4867

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