Wednesday, May 7, 2014

About a Song ...

The Parting Glass

Last week Roger-the-Knowledgeable attested that The Parting Glass is a very old song of Scottish-border origin.

Dogsbody didn't know that.

Indeed, it is true!

It first appeared in print as a broadside of 1770, although there are earlier references.

Some say that it derives from a poem written by one Thomas Armstrong.
The Armstrong family was notorious as border reivers.
Thomas was executed in 1601 for the murder of Sir John Carmichael of Edrom, Warden of the Scottish West March.

Sir Walter Scott published Armstrong’s Goodnight in Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border in 1802/3 …

By his own hand Sir Walter is circumspect about the original words.
Other authorities contend that such attribution is simply apocryphal. 
Nevertheless, the romantic notion that it was composed by a convicted felon awaiting the gallows remains rather attractive, (in a macabre sort of way!)

Acknowledgement with thanks to:

Now here's a triumphant variant composed/arranged by Shaun Davey ...

Then there's The High Kings' rendition
(Skip those annoying adverts!)

You will discern an additional reprise ...

So fill to me the parting glass,
And drink a health whate'er befalls.
Then gently rise and softly call:
Good night and joy be to you all.

We need only a uillean piper, a harp, a solo flautist, full orchestra and chorus ...
Next time, maybe!

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