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Location: Somewhere in the Heart of Dixie

Redeemed Sinner. Deep Roots. Southern Heart.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Music Of The Simple Life

In the "olden days", music was one of the main forms of entertainment. Funny songs, work songs, serious songs, drinking songs, ballads, even hymns. Now, their music was similar to ours in that some writers had poor taste in choosing lyrics, to say the least. The vast majority of songs, though, focused on the joys of living simply: home, family, land. One thing I have found absolutely fascinating, is the similairity between Celtic music and Southern traditional, or bluegrass, music. Many popular bluegrass songs have Celtic tunes. Songs like Whiskey before Breakfast, Turkey in the Straw, Soldier's Joy, Sally Goodin, and Bill Cheatum, to name a few. The impact of Celtic music on the South is even better illustrated in music sung during the War for Southern Independence.

Here's an example of a fight song with the old Scottish lyrics, then with the Southern lyrics. I think the tune is "Bonnie Dundee".

To the Lords o' Convention 'twas Claverhouse spoke
E'er the King's crown go down there are crowns to be broke
So each cavalier who loves honour and me
Let him follow the bonnets o' Bonnie Dundee

Come fill up my cup, come fill up my can
Come saddle my horses and call out my men
Unhook the West Port and let us gae free
For it's up with the bonnets o' Bonnie Dundee

Dundee he is mounted and rides up the street
The bells they ring backward, the drums they are beat
But the provost douce man says just let it be
For the toon is well rid o' that devil Dundee

There are hills beyond Pentland and lands beyond Forth
Be there lords in the south, there are chiefs in the north
There are brave downie wassles three thousand times three
Cry hey for the bonnets o' Bonnie Dundee

And awa tae the hills, tae the lee and the rocks
Ere I own a userper I'll couch with the fox
So tremble false whigs in the mid'st o' yer glee
For ye've no seen the last o' my bonnets and me

And the Southern lyrics...

'Tis ole Stonewall the rebel that leans on the sword
And while we are mounting, praise laud to the lord,
Now each cavalier that loves honor and right
Let him follow the feather of Stuart tonight

Come tighten your girth and slacken your rein
Come buckle your blanket and holster again
Try flick of your trigger and balance your blade
For ye must make sure, who go riding the raid.

Now gallop, now gallop, To swim or to ford,
And Stonewall still watching, praise land to the Lord,
Goodbye dear old rebel the river's not wide
And Maryland lights in the window to guide.

There's a man in the White House with blood on his mouth,
There's knaves in the North, there are braves in the South,
We are three thousand horses and not one afraid
We are three thousand sabers and not a dull blade

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Blogger Son3 said...

How very true.

I've grown such a fondness for traditional music that I find most other music to be nearly unbearable!

Good post, Stephen!

December 7, 2008 at 8:56 PM  
Blogger Ana Smith said...

Great continuation of a wonderful series!

Music was also more communal then. There were a few basic styles that were enjoyed and performed together with friends and family. Thanks to recorded music and Apple, music has become extremely diverse, opinionated, and personal.

December 8, 2008 at 2:18 PM  
Blogger Stephen Boyd said...

Thanks for the comments, folks.

Son3: I have come to enjoy some of what I call "contemporary Southern"
aka country. ;)

Ana: You're absolutely right! Recorded music is such a blessing!
BTW, I got your other comment. Why self-pity and pride?!

December 8, 2008 at 9:11 PM  
Blogger crazylotrfan said...

You missed a perfect opportunity to post "Simple life" by Ricky Skaggs! You could call that "contemporary Southern".

December 9, 2008 at 10:24 AM  
Blogger Stephen Boyd said...

Chris: Hey man, long time no see!
What makes you think I won't!? This series has at least one more post comin'.

December 9, 2008 at 12:16 PM  

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