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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Pamela R Virtual House Concert (4) RE: Virtual House Concert 22 Jul 18

Thanks, Noreen,
First, I confirmed that in my settings the videos are set to accept comments. So if you could not comment, perhaps that is because you were not logged into YouTube.

Thanks for your question - it caused me to discover a mistake!

To me, "I'll take him at his word" means "I'll believe him" or "I'll trust him". But I think the intended meaning of the line is that MacPherson would gladly fight any man who challenged him to a fair fight (as against having been captured "by treachery"). So I thought even if "I'll take him" can also mean "I'll take him on", the phrase "I'll brave him" would rule out the first interpretation.

Because you asked, however, I did a little more digging and found that Robert Burns' poem has the line as "I'll brave him at a word," and some transcriptions of the earlier traditional MacPherson's Rant have "I'll brave him at his word". Which caused me to wonder if I had just mis-remembered Alan's singing in the first place? So I dug up the recording I had made of Alan (at a workshop at Swannanoa Gathering a few years back). Sure enough he sang "brave". The substitution of "take" had been my own mistake in the first place! So I'm going to remove that whole point from my liner notes.


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