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Origin: Lassie with the Yellow Coatie

DigiTrad:
LASSIE WI THE YELLOW COATIE


Related thread:
Query: Lassie wi' the yellow coatie (33)


Bruce O. 11 Oct 99 - 01:06 PM
ditto 11 Oct 99 - 02:01 PM
Stewie 11 Oct 99 - 06:51 PM
Ferrara 11 Oct 99 - 09:52 PM
dick greenhaus 11 Oct 99 - 10:31 PM
Bruce O. 11 Oct 99 - 10:50 PM
Malcolm Douglas 11 Oct 99 - 11:40 PM
Stewie 12 Oct 99 - 07:17 PM
Barry Finn 13 Oct 99 - 10:27 PM
Bruce O. 13 Oct 99 - 10:47 PM
Barry Finn 13 Oct 99 - 11:04 PM
Barry Finn 13 Oct 99 - 11:07 PM
Murray on Saltspring 17 Oct 99 - 03:08 AM
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Subject: Lassie with the yellow Coatie: Note
From: Bruce O.
Date: 11 Oct 99 - 01:06 PM

RE: Comments at the FSGW as to where "Lassie w' the yellow Coatie" came from. It was announced as by Burns, but I don't find it in the Dick's 'Songs of Robert Burns' or Prof. Kinsley's 'Poems and Songs of Robert Burns'. The song is #870 in 'The Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection' and according to notes there was written and published by James Duff in 1816. This is another case of a new song written to fit an old tune title. The tune "Lassie wi' the Yellow Coatie" is in book 8 of Oswald's 'Caledonian Pocket Companion', c 1756, 2 or 3 years before Burns was born, then later in Bremner's 'Reels', c 1759 and in McGlashan's 'Reels', c 1786.


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Subject: Tune Add: LASSIE WITH THE YELLOW COATIE
From: ditto
Date: 11 Oct 99 - 02:01 PM

James Duff may have had the old tune title but not the tune itself, or, it has been suggested, he may have reworked an older song now unknown, when he wrote "Lassie with the Yellow Coatie". The old tune (below) doesn't sound much like the one known for Duff's song, or even fit the song very well. Duff didn't give the tune, and apparently didn't specify any for his song. At any rate, there seems to be not conntection between Robert Burns and any song or tune "Lassie wi' the yellow coatie".

X:1
T:Lassie with the Yellow Coatie
S:Oswald's CPC, book 8, c 1756
Q:40
L:1/4
M:C|
K:Em
GG/B/ d/e/ =f/d/|e/d/ g/d/ e/d/ d/g/|GG/B/ d/e/ g/d/|\
e/4g/4g/ d/B/ A3/4G/4 E||g3/4a/4 g/s/ a/e/ f/d/|\
B/d/ d/e/ =f3/4g/4 a/f/|g3/4a/4 b/g/ a/e/ f/d/|\
e/4f/4g/ d/B/ A3/4G/4 E|]


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Subject: RE: BS: Lassie with the yellow Coatie: Note
From: Stewie
Date: 11 Oct 99 - 06:51 PM

Lots of UK folkies probably first learnt it from the singing of Ewan MacColl. He included it in his 'Singing Island' (1960) which he compiled with Peggy Seeger. He merely noted that a volume of Duff's poems, including the text of 'Lassie', was published at Perth in 1816.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lassie with the yellow Coatie: Note
From: Ferrara
Date: 11 Oct 99 - 09:52 PM

Thanks, Bruce. I love this song. (For those who weren't there, it's the song I played on the zither and sang to start off the Mudcat Cafe Song Circle at the Getaway.)

Ewan MacColl and Jean Redpath each leave out one verse that the other sings. I usually sing them all. Does anyone know of any others? The DigiTrad contains Jean Redpath's version, except (forgive me Dick) there are a number of typos. She had the lyrics in the album liner of the "Laddie Lie Near Me" album.

Ewan MacColl's verse goes like this (feel free to correct the things I've misremembered or misheard): "Wi' my lassie and my doggie / O'er the hills and through the boggie / Nane on airth were aye sae jaunty / Or sae blithe as we will be."


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Subject: RE: BS: Lassie with the yellow Coatie: Note
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 11 Oct 99 - 10:31 PM

Hey Ferrara- if you notice typos in DigiTrad, it's your job (should you care to accept it) to let me know where and what they are. Same with mising verses. We can't afford proofreaders. dick


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Subject: RE: BS: Lassie with the yellow Coatie: Note
From: Bruce O.
Date: 11 Oct 99 - 10:50 PM

Thanks Rita, I like the song too, and I love your singing - anything, and every thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lassie with the yellow Coatie: Note
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 Oct 99 - 11:40 PM

"The Scottish Folksinger" gives the missing verse pretty much as Ferrara remembers it:

Wi' my lassie an' my doggie
O'er the lea an' through the boggie
Nane on earth was e'er sae vogie
Or as blythe as we will be

There's a variant for the final chorus:

Lassie wi' the yellow coatie
Ah! tak' pity on your Jockie
Lassie wi' the yellow coatie
I'm in haste, an' sae should ye.

I suspect that it's the "boggie" bit that leads some to omit that verse!

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: BS: Lassie with the yellow Coatie: Note
From: Stewie
Date: 12 Oct 99 - 07:17 PM

The stanza that MacColl omits, as given in Buchan and Hall, is:

Although my mailen be but sma'
An' little gowd I hae to shaw,
I hae a heart without a flaw,
An' I will gie it a' to thee.

He had no variant final chorus and in the 'doggie' verse had 'vaunty' for 'vogie'.

If Ted in Australia reads this thread, he will recall that our friend Paul Lawler used to sing this beautifully at the Top End Folk Club in the gun turret in the 1960s.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lassie with the yellow Coatie: Note
From: Barry Finn
Date: 13 Oct 99 - 10:27 PM

Hi Bruce, with the energy I had left I tried to retrace why I thought it came from Burns. Got in touch with John Nolan who had a book that I could've sworn I got that from twenty yrs. ago. After John's search, his reply was "you should've know that Bruce would've been right 99.99% of the time including this here time". Again I must bow with pleasure to your limitless grasp on song. It was sure nice to get to meet up with you, hope we'll get to meet again soon. Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Lassie with the yellow Coatie: Note
From: Bruce O.
Date: 13 Oct 99 - 10:47 PM

Thanks, Barry. I regretted it very much that I couldn't stay for your sea songs and shanties concert with David Diamond. I did finally get to talk to David a bit about an hour earlier. Now I want to find out were he got a tune for that song of about 1643-5 "Undone, undone the lawyers are" (The downfall of Charing-Cross).


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Subject: RE: BS: Lassie with the yellow Coatie: Note
From: Barry Finn
Date: 13 Oct 99 - 11:04 PM

Hi Bruce, I don't know the song but if it's funny it's possible it's his but ask him yourself, I'll send along his e-mail. Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Lassie with the yellow Coatie: Note
From: Barry Finn
Date: 13 Oct 99 - 11:07 PM

Hi again Bruce, I tried to send a personnal message but didn't find your name there. You can reach me though the Cat & I'll send Dave's address along. Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Lassie with the yellow Coatie: Note
From: Murray on Saltspring
Date: 17 Oct 99 - 03:08 AM

The words are definitely by James Duff, "the Methven Poet", flourished around 1810; they're in several anthologies (Ford, Harp of Perthshire, and also his Vagabond Songs & Ballads (without music, alas).(They're also in Duff's Poems of 1816. The tune NAME occurs elsewhere, but going by Bruce's tune, in E minor, and also by that in Robertson's Athole Collection (1884), it wasn't written to that or (probably) any other tune. It did acquire one, though, and it [or a very near relative] is found with other words, namely "Can ye lo'e me weel, lassie?", in (e.g.) Kyle's Scottish Lyric Gems, arranged by Gleadhill (Glasgow, 1882).


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Mudcat time: 25 October 4:49 AM EDT

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