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a stanza giving us some insight into song :-on the death of Alexander III. in 1286, 'this song was made'
Quhen Alysander oure kynge wes dede,
That Scotland led in luwe and le,
Off wyne and wax, off gamyn and gle;
Cryst, borne into vergynyte,
That stad in his perplexite! The fate of Wallace was, as we may well suppose, the subject of several songs, some of which are referred to by Fordun ; and the Battle of Bannockburn was sung of in a strain, pronounced by Ritson, ‘not inelegant for the time : according to Fabyan, 'the Scottes enflamyd with pride, in derysyon of Englyshemen, made this ryme as followeth :'
Maydens of Englande, sore may ye mourne
With heue a lowe.
Wyth rumbylowe. * Thys song,' the old chronicler continues, after many daies song in daunces, in the caroles of ye maydens and mynstrellys of Scotland, to the reproofe and dysdayne of Englyshemen, with dyuerse other whych I ouerpasse. Mr. Motherwell supposes these lines to form all that ever existed of the song.*
* Minstrelsy, p. xlviii.
Barbour in his Life of Bruce, refrains from tell ing a victory gained by Sir John de Soulis over the English, for
whasa liks, thai may her
The two ballads of the Battle of Otterbourne, the English and Scottish copies, and the famous Chevy Chase, belong to the reign of King James, the first of that name. Godscroft speaking of the ballad on the Battle of Otterbourne, says, “the Scots song made of Otterbourne, beginneth thus'
It fell about the Lammas tide
When yeomen win their hay
Hist. of Douglas, vol. i. p. 195.
cleikit up a high rough sang
My hony heart, how says the song?
In a curious medley of nonsense called Colkelbie Sow, we find the names of several airs popular before the middle of the fifteenth century. With stok hornis,' pipes made of 'borit boutre,' and 'bagpype's,' 'Copyn Cull,' and his followers
Jed the dance and began
Sum Symon sonis of Quhynfell
Laing's Ancient Pop. Poet. of Scotland.
Gawain Douglas, in the Prologue to the Twelfth
Sic as we clepe wenches and damosels,
* Twysbank,' Leyden suspected to be the appropriate tune of a song, or rather ballad, preserved in the Bannatyne MS. commencing,
Quhen Tayis bank wes blumyt brycht,
Laing's Ant. Pop. &c.
and singing ring sangs, dances, ledes and rounds, till all the dale re-echoes their music; one nymph sings
“ The schip salis ouer the salt fuem
In the Thirteenth Prologue, allusion is made by Douglas to a song called 'The joly day now dawis,' which we learn from Dunbar and others, was popular at that period. The following verses preserved in the Fairfax MS. (A. D. 1500), are supposed to be the original.
This day, day dawes,
And I must home gone.
In a glorious garden grene,
And ever she sang
The Gaberlunzie Man,' and the 'Jolly Beggar,' are generally allowed to be the productions of King James V. (Ob. 1542),' he was naturally given to poesie,' says Drummond of Hawthornden, ‘as many of his works yet extant testifie.'t We owe these
+ 'Hey the day dauis,' is the first line of a song in Montgomery's Pocms by Laing, p. 219.
† History of Scotland,
two popular, clever, and ludicrous songs to tradition ; they have lived upon the tongues of the people for three centuries, and judging from the songs of even a later period, had they been preserved in the MS. of the period they would have little interest, save to antiquarians, they certainly would not have their present popularity. Their humour no one need think to exceed.
In a curious and valuable little book printed at St. Andrews in 1549, called ' The Complaynt of Scotland,' the author gives us the names of' sum of the sueit sangis' that he heard a band of shepherds sing in the wholesome green fields. 'I herd amang them as eftir followis : in the first Pastance vitht gude cumpanye ; The breir byndis me soir, Stil under the leyuis grene,* Cou thou me the raschis grene, Allace I vyit zour twa fayr ene, Gode zon gude day vil boy, Lady help zour presoneir, Kyng Villzamis note, The lange noune nou The Abirdenis nou, Brume brume on hil, Allone I veip in grit distres, Trolee lolee lemmendou .. The frog cam to the myl dur ... O lusty Maye Vitht Flora Quene... The battel of the Hayrlau, The huntis of Cheuet, Sal I go vitht zou to Rumbelo fayr, Greuit is my sorrow, Turne the sueit Ville to me, My lufe is lyand seik, Send him ioy send him ioy, Fayr luf
* This is a very beautiful poem, one hundred and sixty-two lines in length, it is preserved in the Maitland MS. See Laing's Early Me. trical Tales, p. 249.