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Lyr/Chords Req: Bonnie Maid of Fife (Nick Keir)

In Mudcat MIDIs:
The Bonny Maid of Fife (This song was written by Nick Keir of the McCalmans.It appears to have been transcribed from a record made by someone who had interfered with Keir's song, transposing the whole thing rather clumsily from the first to the third person. The River "Fourth" should of course be "Forth", and it should be noted that Keir spelled "Bonny" as "Bonnie". Lyrics available on various websites suggest that the unknown singers had also taken other liberties with Keir's text. midi from a pdf at Edgar's Song Book)


Ted from Australia 17 Mar 99 - 10:54 PM
skw@worldmusic.de 18 Mar 99 - 09:53 AM
alison 18 Mar 99 - 05:21 PM
Ted from Australia 18 Mar 99 - 07:14 PM
Ted from Australia 26 Mar 99 - 08:41 AM
skw@worldmusic.de 29 Mar 99 - 03:37 AM
Ted from Australia 29 Mar 99 - 04:10 AM
Mick Lowe 11 Dec 99 - 06:37 PM
Murray on SS 12 Dec 99 - 01:36 AM
Mick Lowe 13 Dec 99 - 06:35 PM
Bruce O. 13 Dec 99 - 08:11 PM
Mick Lowe 14 Dec 99 - 06:59 PM
Bruce O. 15 Dec 99 - 01:41 AM
Mick Lowe 15 Dec 99 - 08:41 PM
Bruce O. 16 Dec 99 - 04:52 PM
Mick Lowe 16 Dec 99 - 07:55 PM
Bruce O. 16 Dec 99 - 11:23 PM
Mick Lowe 17 Dec 99 - 09:05 PM
Bruce O. 17 Dec 99 - 10:38 PM
Mick Lowe 18 Dec 99 - 07:28 PM
Jim Dixon 31 May 08 - 04:42 PM
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Subject: Word & Chords- Bonnie Maid of Fife
From: Ted from Australia
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 10:54 PM

Can anyone help with the words (and chords if poss) for the Bonnie Maid of Fife ( Not Fife-E-O)

Regards Ted


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Subject: RE: Word & Chords- Bonnie Maid of Fife
From: skw@worldmusic.de
Date: 18 Mar 99 - 09:53 AM

I know I have the words, if you can wait till next week - or anyone beats me to it. - Susanne


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Subject: RE: Word & Chords- Bonnie Maid of Fife
From: alison
Date: 18 Mar 99 - 05:21 PM

Hi,

Have a tune called "Maid of Fife".. no words I'm afraid.

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Word & Chords- Bonnie Maid of Fife
From: Ted from Australia
Date: 18 Mar 99 - 07:14 PM

Susanne, Thanx, next week will be fine.
alison, i have the tune thanks, and have now worked out the chords (i think) from a piece of the song i have on a partially erased tape of Liz & John Munro. .
.
Regards Ted


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Subject: RE: Word & Chords- Bonnie Maid of Fife
From: Ted from Australia
Date: 26 Mar 99 - 08:41 AM

Found them, Thanx all, Ted

THE BONNY MAID OF FIFE


G D C D G D
ONE EVENING FAIR HE TOOK THE AIR DOWN BY THE RIVER FOURTH
G D Em Bm C D
FOR TO TAKE HIS EASE AND TO WATCH THE GEESE FLY IN SQUADRONS
G
FROM THE NORTH

G D C D G D
AND THERE HE SPIED ALL ON THE TIDE, HE KNEW IN ALL IS LIFE
G D Em Bm C D G C
HE'D NEVER SEEN SUCH A GENTLE QUEEN AS THE BONNY MAID OF FIFE

THERE HE SPIED ALL ON THE TIDE, HE KNEW IN ALL IS LIFE
HE'D NEVER SEEN SUCH A GENTLE QUEEN AS THE BONNY MAID OF FIFE

HER EYES WERE LIKE SOME SUMMER FAIR IN AUTUMS' WISDOMS' DOOR
A MAN COULD FIND MORE TREASURE THERE THAN IN ANY PIRATES' HOARD
A SMILE SO FREE AND RICH AS THE SEA PIERCED HIS HEART LIKE ANY KNIFE
AS SHE SKIPPED AND SHE DANCED ALL ON THE SAND THIS BONNY MAID OF FIFE

A SMILE SO FREE AND RICH AS THE SEA PIERCED HIS HEART LIKE ANY KNIFE
AS SHE SKIPPED AND SHE DANCED ALL ON THE SAND THE BONNY MAID OF FIFE

AND AS SHE DANCES SHE SANG THE TUNE OF A HUE BOTH SWEET AND SAD
HER GENTLE TONES COULD CHARM THE STONES OR CAPTIVATE OF ANY LAD
THE BIRDS BEGAN TO TUNE THEIR VOICES AND SET THE SKY ALIGHT
BUT THEIR NOTES WERE SHRILL BESIDE THE TRILL OF THE BONNIE MAID OF FIFE

THE BIRDS BEGAN TO TUNE THEIR VOICES AND SET THE SKY ALIGHT
BUT THE NOTES WERE SHRILL BESIDE THE TRILL OF THE BONNIE MAID OF FIFE

HE HAS BEEN A TRAVELLER BOLD FAR OFF FROM SCOTLAND'S GATE
THROUGH NORWAY ANF THROUGH HOLLAND HE'S PLIED THE ROVING TRADE
HE'S SEEN FAIR MAIDS IN LONDON TOWN HE'S LIVED A FREEMANS' LIFE
BUT HE'S HEART'S FULL SWELL HE'S IN THE SPELL OF THE BONNIE MAID OF FIFE

HE'S SEEN FAIR MAIDS IN LONDON TOWN HE'S LIVED A FREEMANS' LIFE
BUT HE'S HEART'S FULL SWELL HE'S IN THE SPELL OF THE BONNIE MAID OF FIFE


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Subject: RE: Word & Chords- Bonnie Maid of Fife
From: skw@worldmusic.de
Date: 29 Mar 99 - 03:37 AM

Many thanks, Ted! I wouldn't have made it before Easter, after all.
May I add that the song was written by Nick Keir of The McCalmans, and that the river concerned is the Forth?
Thanks again. - Susanne


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Subject: RE: Word & Chords- Bonnie Maid of Fife
From: Ted from Australia
Date: 29 Mar 99 - 04:10 AM

Thanx for the source and the thought

Regards Ted


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Subject: RE: Word & Chords- Bonnie Maid of Fife
From: Mick Lowe
Date: 11 Dec 99 - 06:37 PM

Just thought I'd refresh this thread because I would like the lyrics to Maid of Fife-e-o and I've checked the database, without success
Cheers
Mick


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Subject: RE: Word & Chords- Bonnie Maid of Fife
From: Murray on SS
Date: 12 Dec 99 - 01:36 AM

Check out "Fyvie" in the database. "Fife-e-o" is [may I say it] an ignorant rendition by the Clancy Brothers and other assorted ruffians. Fyvie is a real place in Scotland. I do admit of course that the original song (as Bruce O. will tell you) is about the bonnie lass of Derby.


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Subject: RE: Word & Chords- Bonnie Maid of Fife
From: Mick Lowe
Date: 13 Dec 99 - 06:35 PM

Murray
I am indebited to you for many reasons.. okay the first being you have pinted me in the right direction re the database..
The second and here I know I am going to call up the the wrath of various persons and one in particular, because I will agree with you re the Clancy Brohers.. they are the American equivalent of the Spinners.. i.e. done more harm than good as to promoting traditional music (I'm now cringing due to the expected backlash)
And then you go and grab my total attention re the comment of Bruce O and the "Bonnie Lass of Derby", I have only come across the song "Pretty Peg of Derby O", and since I was born and bred in Derby, my curiosty has been .. shall I say stimulated.. pray tell me more..


Mick


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Subject: RE: Word & Chords- Bonnie Maid of Fife
From: Bruce O.
Date: 13 Dec 99 - 08:11 PM

"Pretty Peggy of Derby, O": Mick, it's in the Scarce Songs 1 file on my website. www.erols.com/olsonw with a bit of its history. I left out the history of the Scots version, because that's in 'The Grieg-Duncan Folk Song Collection' Vol. I. There are now copies on the Bodley Ballads website that I haven't noted in the file on my website yet.


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Subject: RE: Word & Chords- Bonnie Maid of Fife
From: Mick Lowe
Date: 14 Dec 99 - 06:59 PM

Bruce
If it's of any help, Pretty Peggy of Derby O is featured in "A Book of British Ballads", edited by Roy Palmer, who seems to be "THE" man these days re English/British traditional music.. I've been trying to get in contact with him for the past couple of months, I suspect he has a wealth of source material that I would love to be able to persuade him to make accessible over the web.
I must admit I haven't checked out your site recently ( though it does feature prominently in my links) and I've not come across the Bodley's Ballad site you mentioned.. can you expound further?
And on a totaly unrelated matter, but one that has been ever present in my mind since first I came across your website, do you mind me asking where you get all your source material from?

Mick


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Subject: RE: Word & Chords- Bonnie Maid of Fife
From: Bruce O.
Date: 15 Dec 99 - 01:41 AM

Palmer is pretty good usually, which is why I can't see why he did something so stupid as to give Thomas Lyle's rewritten version of the song in 'Everyman's Book of British Ballads', p. 192. [More on Lyle's version in my website file, notein the original first verse that Lyle gave.]

I'm bought, and am awaiting delivery, of 'Pretty Peggy and Other Ballads', 1880, where the American version first appeared, probably revised by Rossina Emmit from a broadside version and to a different tune (on my website). If anyone has a question that this is the original American version, just compare the tune of 1880 on my website with the first in Sharp and Karpeles' 'English Folksongs of the Southern Appalachians'.


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Subject: RE: Word & Chords- Bonnie Maid of Fife
From: Mick Lowe
Date: 15 Dec 99 - 08:41 PM

Bruce
You never fail to keep on amazing me..
I've never got "personal" with you before but do you mind giving a hint as to where you live?
If it's anywhere near to me I'd love to get together for a good old chinwag and perhaps persuade you to let browse through your material.. so okay.. that's my Christmas wish for this year
Mick


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Subject: RE: Word & Chords- Bonnie Maid of Fife
From: Bruce O.
Date: 16 Dec 99 - 04:52 PM

Vicinity of Washington, DC.


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Subject: RE: Word & Chords- Bonnie Maid of Fife
From: Mick Lowe
Date: 16 Dec 99 - 07:55 PM

Bruce
You're not likely to pop down the Queen's Head for a pint or two then..
Are you able to give a hint where you purchase all your material or is it a "trade secret"?
Cheers
Mick


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Subject: RE: Word & Chords- Bonnie Maid of Fife
From: Bruce O.
Date: 16 Dec 99 - 11:23 PM

I've been collecting material from whereever I could get it since 1965. I retired late in 1988 and started going to the Library of Congress and Folger Shakespeare Library early the next year. I xeroxed Lyle's version of "Pretty Peggy of Derby, O" from the Folger Library copy of Lyle's book, and found the old chapbook with the original version in the Library of Congress. Also in LC is the pirated musical score for 'The Foundling of the Forest', with the tune for "The Landlady of France", mis-attributed to Michael Kelly, and Samuel Arnold's score for 'Two To One', 1784, with the earliest copy of the tune. The Library of Congress is lacking the 4th part of O'Farrell's 'Pocket Companion for the Irish or Union Pipes', so I didn't get the "Dandy O" version of the tune until recently (although I had figured out that's where O'Neill got his copy for his Irish Dance Music, since the index is in the third part). LC also has Brysson's collection of 1790 with the tune. I forgot how I found out the tune was in the 3rd volume of Aird's Airs, but the National Union Catalog showed one copy of the book in the USA. I wrote to the library that had it, requesting a copy, and got it. The book has subsequently been sold, and I don't know where it is now.

You look where you can and keep notes on just about everything you find, and it may take years, like on "Pretty Peggy of Derby, O" and "Druimion Dubh" before you have enough to start putting the pieces together and start looking for specifics to fill in the gaps on single songs or tunes.


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Subject: RE: Word & Chords- Bonnie Maid of Fife
From: Mick Lowe
Date: 17 Dec 99 - 09:05 PM

Bruce
Have you ever thought of producing a book encompasing your various findings over the years?
You must have compiled a vast amount of source material and I for one would be be grateful of the chance of conversing with you in more detail albeit via email regardings the origins of all sorts of material.
I don't know if you are aware of a project that has been started here in England called the "Village Music Project", I'm sure you could assist them greatly..
If you you want to chew the fat about any of the above, you can contact me here.. mick@prof.co.uk..
Keep up the good work
Mick


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Subject: RE: Word & Chords- Bonnie Maid of Fife
From: Bruce O.
Date: 17 Dec 99 - 10:38 PM

There's a folklorist now looking into possible ways to permanently archive my website on the web or elsewhere for future reference purposes. All this in the last few days, and tomorrow I've got to buy a ZIP drive and find I have to take out my 2nd hard drive, in order to install it, so I can make up a backup of files on the web, and my other raw source files, that can be stored elewhere in case of fire, or the like.
I'd much rather be doing research.


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Subject: RE: Word & Chords- Bonnie Maid of Fife
From: Mick Lowe
Date: 18 Dec 99 - 07:28 PM

Bruce
I sympathise with you.. there must be some organisation/body somewhere that recognises the value of sites such as yours and is willing to help albeit providing "up to date" hardware and if possible software support..
The internet afterall is the main media highway for at least the first 20 years of the new millenium.. i.e. before they invent something else..
I say that with a eye/mind on the U.S... here in Britain I think it will take a lot longer
Mick


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BONNIE MAID OF FIFE (Nick Keir)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 31 May 08 - 04:42 PM

Here's how Nick Keir really sings it. (At least I assume that's Nick Keir's solo voice on the McCalmans recording – see the link below.)

THE BONNIE MAID OF FIFE
Nick Keir

One evening fair, I took the air down by the river Forth
To take my ease and watch the geese fly in squadrons from the north;
And there I spied all on the tides, I knew in all my life,
That I had never seen such a gentle queen as the bonnie maid of Fife.

Her eyes were like some summer fair in autumn's wisdom's doors.
A man could find more treasure there than in any pirate's hoard.
A smile so free, as rich as the sea pierced my heart like any knife
As she skipped and she danced all along the sands, the bonnie maid of Fife.

And as she danced, she sang a tune of a hue both sweet and sad.
Its gentle tones could charm the stones or captivate any lad.
The birds began to tune their voices and set the sky alight,
Ah, but their notes were shrill all beside the trill of the bonnie maid of Fife.

And I have been a traveller bold far off from Scotland's gates,
And to Holland and to Norway I ply the roving trade.
I've seen fair maids in London town. I've lived a freeman's life;
But my heart's full swell is in the spell of the bonnie maid of Fife,
But my heart's full swell is in the spell of the bonnie maid of Fife.

[As sung by Nick Keir on The McCalmans' album "Scottish Songs," Ross Records, 1993.]

[You can listen to the entire song for free at the All Celtic Music web site, or download it for £0.67.]


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