So Dear Is My Charlie to Me (Prince Charlie)
DESCRIPTION: The lady bids her listeners to lament for her, "for so dear is my Charlie to me." She tells how she turned down many nobles because of her love for Charlie. She admits that he is Catholic and she Presbyterian, but she will accept Rome for Charlie
EARLIEST DATE: before 1890 (broadside, Bodleian 2806 c.11(146))
KEYWORDS: love courting separation Jacobites
1720-1788 - Life of Charles Edward Stuart, "Bonnie Prince Charlie"
1745 - The (last) Jacobite Rebellion
1746 - Prince Charlie's rebellion crushed at Culloden. Charlie spends months fleeing the English. One of those who helps him escape is Flora MacDonald
FOUND IN: Ireland
REFERENCES (2 citations):
SHenry H533, p. 292, "So Dear Is My Charlie to Me" (1 text, 1 tune)
Tunney-StoneFiddle, pp. 162-163, "Prince Charlie Stuart" (1 text, 1 tune)
Paddy Tunney, "Prince Charlie Stuart" (on IRPTunney01)
Roisin White, "So Dear Is My Charlie To Me" (on IRRWhite01)
Bodleian, 2806 c.11(146)[useless for determining text, but see NOTES], "Charlie Stuart" ("Come join in lamentation queens and princesses"), R. McIntosh (Glasgow), 1849-1889; also Harding B 15(40b), 2806 c.14(129)[beginning and ending verses illegible], "Charlie Stuart"; Firth b.26(4) [end missing], "Flora Macdonald's Lament for her Charlie" ("Come join in lamentation you queens and you princes")
cf. ""Flora's Lament for Her Charlie" (subject)
cf. "Flora MacDonald's Lament" (subject)
NOTES [357 words]: Broadside Bodleian, 2806 c.11(146), "Charlie Stuart" ("Come join in lamentation queens and princesses"), R. McIntosh (Glasgow), 1849-1889 large image could not be downloaded but the small image could be magnified enough to verify that the broadside is for this ballad.
As for the Flora Macdonald text of Bodleian Firth b.26(4) there is no question but that this particular text is an example of "So Dear Is My Charlie to Me."
This is not the same song as either Hogg 92, Jacobite Relics of Scotland, "The Lament of Flora Macdonald" or "Flora's Lament for Her Charlie."
SHenry H533, p. 292, Tunney-StoneFiddle pp. 162-163, and the Bodleian broadsides listed are all clearly the same ballad and seem likely to have all sprung from the same broadside.
As for Flora MacDonald, here is part of the commentary to broadside NLScotland RB.m.168(178): "Flora MacDonald, born on South Uist in 1722, is now the most famous heroine of the Jacobite cause and one of its most romantic stories. Bonnie Prince Charlie was fleeing Scotland after his Culloden defeat. When the situation became perilous on the Isle of Skye, Flora was persuaded to participate in her foster-father, Clanranald's, plan to help Charles' escape." - BS
The text of this song in Sam Henry looks troubled; the first verse doesn't fit particularly well with the last two. And there are so many songs on this theme that it's hard to tell which are the same and which distinct.
Some equate this with the various "Flora MacDonald's Laments." This has problems both textual and historical. There is no indication, in the Henry text, that the singer is Flora MacDonald; it's just some woman of the many who desired the handsome "Young Pretender."
Historically, I know of no indication that Charlie had any sort of actual relationship with Flora MacDonald. His only real liaison, during the period of the Forty-Five, was with Clementina Walkinshaw, who would become the mother of his only child. It appears that he was faithful to her during this period.
For background on Flora MacDonald, see in particular "Flora MacDonald's Lament." For the broader context, see "Culloden Moor." - RBW
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