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Lighter Origins: Bonny Portmore (31) RE: Origins: Bonny Portmore 30 Jul 20


Peter Buchan's Ancient Ballads and Songs of the North of Scotland, Vol. II(1828), p. 158:


                               Portmore.

O Donaldie, Donaldie, where hae you been?
A hawking and hunting, go make my bed seen;
Gae make my bed seen, and stir up the strae,
My heart's in the Highlands wherever I gae.

Let's drink and gae hame, boys, let's drink and gae hame,
If we stay ony langer we'll get a bad name;
We'll get a bad name, and fill oursell’s fou,
And the lang woods o' Derry are ill to gae thro’.

My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart's in the Highlands a-chasing the deer;
A-chasing the wild deer, and catching the roe,
My heart's in the Highlands wherever I go.

O, bonny Portmore, ye shine where you charm
The more I think on you, the more my heart warms;
When I look from you, my heart it is sore,
When I mind upon Valiantny, and on Portmore.

There are mony words, but few o' the best,
And he that speaks fewest, lives langest at rest;
My mind, by experience, teaches me so,
My heart's in the Highlands wherever I go.


Buchan's note (p. 324):

"Donald Cameron was the author of this very beautiful and very old song. It is well known to most poetical readers, with how little success Burns endeavoured to graft upon this stock, a twig of his own rearing. Even Mr Cunningham, in his Songs of Scotland, admits the fact, and regrets that he could give no more than the first four lines of the original. The whole is now, for the first time, given complete, from the recitation of a very old person."

-------

"Tours and Detours in Scotland in the Summer of 1836," Tait's Edinburgh Magazine (July, 1836), p. 420:

"We walked, before breakfast, to St. Fillans, anciently Portmore - a neat but rather dressy village, charmingly situated, however, just where the Earne devolves from the parent lake. ...

"[Note:] Is this Portmore the locality of an old fragmentary song, which I must have learned in childhood, and which went to an exquisite air, resembling a good deal that of 'Bonny Dundee?'

    O bonny Portmore, thou shin'st where thou stands,
    And the mair I look to thee, the mair my heart warms;
    But when I look from the thee, my heart is aye sore,
    To think on the lily I left at Portmore."   

------
William Stenhouse [?1773-1827] ed., The Scotish [sic] Musical Museum;...
Originally published by James Johnson; and now accompanied with copious notes and illustrations of the lyric poetry and music of Scotland, by the late William Stenhouse. (Edinburgh, 1839), Vol.III, p. 313:

                "MY HEART'S IN THE HIGHLANDS.
'I subjoin the pretty words of the old song, which was a favourite with Sir Walter Scott, from a stall copy in my possession.'—(C[harles] K[irkpatrick] S[harpe])
   
                   "THE STRONG WALLS OF DERRY.

The first day I landed, it was on Irish ground,
The tidings came to me from fair Derry town,
That my love was married, and to my sad woe;
And I lost my first love by courting too slow.

CHORUS.
Let us drink and go hame, drink and go hame,
If we stay any longer, we'll get a bad name;
We'll get a bad name, and we'll fill ourselves fou,
And the strong walls of Derry it's ill to go through.

When I was in the Highlands it was my use,*
To wear a blue bonnet, the plaid, and the trews,
But now since I'm come to the fair Irish shore,
Adieu to Valendery and bonny Portmore.

Let us, &c.

O, bonny Portmore, thou shines where thou stands,
The more I look on thee, the more my heart warms,
But when I look from thee, my heart is full sore,
When I think on the lilly I lost at Portmore.

Let us, &c.

O, Donald, O, Donald, O! where have you been?
A hawking and hunting; gar make my bed clean,
Go make my bed clean, and stir up the straw,
My heart's in the Highlands wherever I go.

Let us, &c.

My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart's in the Highlands, a chasing the deer;
A chasing the deer, and following the doe;
My heart's in the Highlands wherever I go.

Let us, &c.

There is many a word spoken, but few of the best,
And he that speaks fairest lives longest at rest;
I speak by experience—my mind serves me so,
But my heart's in the Highlands wherever I go.

"'Due' in the original.—Sir W[alter] S[cott] has written on the margin, 'use,' perhaps."


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