Uploaded on Mar 1, 2009
Song lyrics are included at the end of this description.
This song was written by Lady Carolina Nairne of Perthshire, Scotland (1766-1845) in about 1798. The air that she set her words to is a very old Scottish tune. In "The Scottish Review," Vol. 27, Pg. 115, published 1896, the air is called "Hey Now The Day Dawes." Subsequently an "anonymous versifier" set lyrics to the tune, which became known as "Hey Tuttie Taitie" or "Hey Tuttie Tattie." Robert Burns then set "Scots Wha Hae" to the tune, saying "I have met the tradition universally over Scotland, and particularly about Stirling, in the neighbourhood of the scene, that this air was Robert the Bruce's March at the battle of Bannockburn, which was fought in 1314." Thereafter, Lady Nairne set "Land O' The Leal" to the same tune. This information can be found in "The Scotish* Musical Museum, Consisting of Upwards of Six Hundred Songs, Vol. II," published 1839, pages 162-168, which contains the musical notation for the original tune, "Hey Now The Day Dawes." Link to the book on Google Books: http://goo.gl/uvqJ2 Please note that the lyrics to "Land O' The Leal" are introduced with the statement: "The ingenious author still unknown to the editor." The lyrics were later often attributed to Burns, until after Lady Nairne's death, when her sister published, in 1846, her collected works in a book titled "Lays from Strathearn."
A comprehensive history of the two songs can be found in the book "Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians," Volume 5, published 1910, pages 664-666, which is currently available for viewing on Google Books at this link: http://goo.gl/3imDb The article has also been transcribed and is available to read here: http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/ki... (do a search for "Scots Wha Hae").
The video was filmed in Atlanta, Georgia on April 1, 1988. This song has always been one of my favorites, but this performance is even more touching to me now that Johnny has passed away. I hope that he has found his own land o' the leal.
This song can also be found on Andy M. Stewart's CD "Man in the Moon."
Silly Wizard members in this clip:
Andy M. Stewart: lead vocals, tenor banjo, whistle
Phil Cunningham: accordion, piano, synthesizers, whistle, cittern, vocals
John Cunningham: fiddle, vocals
Gordon Jones: guitar, bodhran, vocals
Martin Hadden: bass guitar, keyboards, guitar, vocals
I'm wearin' awa, Jean,
Like snaw-wreaths in thaw, Jean
I'm wearin' awa' tae the Land o' the Leal
There's nae sorrow there, Jean,
There's neither cauld nor care, Jean
The day is aye fair in the Land o' the Leal
Ye aye were leal and true, Jean
Your task is ended noo, Jean
And I'll welcome you tae the Land o' the Leal
Our bonnie bairn's there, Jean
She was baith guid and fair, Jean
And oh, we grudged her sair, tae the Land o' the Leal
So dry that tearful ee, Jean,
My soul longs tae be free, Jean
And angels wait on me in the Land o' the Leal
So fare-thee-weel my ain Jean,
This world's care is vain, Jean
We'll meet and aye be fain, in the Land o' the Leal
*Not a typo - this is the original title of the book.
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