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GUEST,Ewan McVicar Lyr Req: Katie Bairdie / Katie Beardie (22) RE: Lyr Req: Katie Bairdie / Katie Beardie 30 Jun 11

I have written several pages on aspects of this in my 2007 book Doh Ray Me When Ah Wis Wee. Below is an extract or two.
The two tunes I have found employed for Katie Bairdie are 'Sherrifmuir' [more often on the west side of Scoland] and 'Whistle o'er the lave o't' [more often on the east side].

Emmerson (p229) tells us that in the Gillespie Manuscript, 1768, categorised under Hornpipes, Jiggs and Reels, item 206 is 'Will You Go To Sheriff Moor'. Donaldson (The Jacobite Song, p108) says that 'Will Ye Go To Sheriffmuir' appears as a song for the first time in Hogg's The Jacobite Relics Of Scotland, (1819-21), and must in Donaldson's opinion be considered Hogg's own work. In view of the earlier evidence for a tune with the 'Sheriffmuir' title it is not unreasonable to accept that Hogg followed the same practice often employed by Robert Burns, of selecting a one verse song to rewrite and expand. In The Songs Of Scotland, 1859, Graham quotes from Hogg's own note upon the song,
The air has long been popular, and I have often heard the first verse of the song sung, perhaps the first two, I am not certain.
But the tune has a Gaelic pedigree older yet.
In one of a series of articles in The Celtic Monthly on The Martial Music Of The Clans, Vol 10, April 1902, p131/2, the writer Fionn states that the song 'Gabhaidh Sinn An Rath Mor', there translated as 'We Will Take the Highway',(though in other music books it is titled 'We Will Take the Good Old Way') belonged to the MacIntyres of Cruachan. But it was appropriated by the Stewarts of Appin 'as early as the 16th Century', and played by them returning from the Battle of Pinkie in 1547. The Gaelic lyrics relate to the Battle of Inverlochy in 1644.
We (the writer) believe this tune was played by the Stewarts at the battle of Sheriffmuir in 1715, and this caused it to be known among the Perthshire Stewarts as the 'Sherra'muir March', and it is interesting to note that a Scotch song ('Will you go to Sherra'muir') is set to the air of this well-known pipe tune.
The Gaelic pipe march has in all nine parts. The first two only are used for 'Sheriffmuir'. Many performances of 'Katie Bairdie' to this tune only use the first strain. But Alison Robertson who attended primary schools in both Glasgow and Edinburgh in the 1950s / 60s recalls singing 'Katie Bairdie' using both strains of Sheriffmuir alternately.
Katie Bairdie is by no means the only Scottish children's song to employ the Sheriffmuir tune. Ones I have found include 'Cat And Mouse', 'Hot Peas and Barley', 'Green Peas and Barley', 'Oats and Beans and Barley', 'Off The Carpet', 'Two And Out', 'Skip The Ladder High High High', 'Glasgow Ships' and others.
But as my Ghanaian friend Kofi Gift Amu Logotse pointed out, if the first strain of the 'Sheriffmuir' tune is converted from 6/8 to 4/4 time, it becomes the tune now universally used for, and known as, 'London Bridge Is Falling Down'.
The attachment of the 'London Bridge' text to the 'Sheriffmuir' tune appears to have occurred approximately 120 years ago. Prior to that time the tune associated with London Bridge was one usually called 'Nancy Dawson'. Christopher North in a article in Blackwood's Magazine, 1821, lists 'London Bridge is broken down' as one of four songs sung by Edinburgh children 'To the favourite tune of 'Nancy Dawson'.'

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