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Origin: Out Over the Forth (Robert Burns)

GUEST 27 Jan 00 - 04:46 PM
Amos 27 Jan 00 - 05:06 PM
Hoolet 27 Jan 00 - 05:46 PM
Amos 27 Jan 00 - 05:50 PM
GUEST,Murray on Saltspring 27 Jan 00 - 11:04 PM
Amos 27 Jan 00 - 11:11 PM
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Subject: Origin of Scottish song
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Jan 00 - 04:46 PM

I have been listening to Lesley Hale's version of 'Out Over the Fourth, I look to the North' which I think is probably a Jacobite ballad. However, I wonder if anybody would know when the song was written and what it's about. Why did her love go over the sea to the west? And was it to Ireland or America? Any help would be appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Origin of Scottish song
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jan 00 - 05:06 PM

It would likely be the Firth of Forth, as in "Lads frae the Forth an' the Carron Water", the Western end of Scotland, if I remember my geography. But I don't know the song, and its not in the DT. On the WWW it is revealed as by Robert Burns hisself, 1791:

Out over the Forth, I look to the North;
But what is the north and its Highlands to me?
The south nor the east gie ease to my breast,
The far foreign land, or the wide rolling sea.

But I look to the west when I gae to rest,
That happy my dreams and my slumbers may be;
For far in the west lives he I loe best,
The man that is dear to my babie and me.

Given the year, he could be fighting in Canada or settling in Nova Scotia or the States.


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Subject: RE: Origin of Scottish song
From: Hoolet
Date: 27 Jan 00 - 05:46 PM

Far over the Forth is a traditional ballad with a tune based on the piping tradition. It concerns a situation still common in Scotland where families are split with the need to find work. In this song the husband presumably goes to America which in those days would be quite some undertaking. The Forth is a river with a wide Firth near Edinburgh, on the east coast of Scotland. Heather Heywood does a haunting version on her CD By yon castle wa'


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Subject: RE: Origin of Scottish song
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jan 00 - 05:50 PM

Oooops!!!! East, East! The _other_ West!

A.


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Subject: RE: Origin of Scottish song
From: GUEST,Murray on Saltspring
Date: 27 Jan 00 - 11:04 PM

The song seems to be entirely by Burns, but as usual it is based, however loosely, on a traditional theme. The tune is called"Mr Charles Graham's Welcome Home", in print 1788, slightly modified by Stephen Clarke to fit the words.-- There's no reason to suppose that the absent lover is anywhere but the west of Scotland, surely?


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Subject: RE: Origin of Scottish song
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jan 00 - 11:11 PM

Just that the implications of "far in the west" seem to stretch further than the lass could expect to be able to go. Just an opinion that. They're like possums -- everybody's got one. :>)

A.


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