Saturday, 8 August 2015

Cam Ye O'er Frae France, and sundries

First the sundries, because they're shorter:

1. I am in Williamsburg for my internship at the Millinery Shop, and have been for a month, and it's beautiful, and I'm learning all the things, and I'm enjoying myself very much.

2. I made a black silk market bonnet (using the excellent pattern put out by my fellow intern Maggie - "Undressing the Historical Lady" - which may be found here), and I wear it a lot, and I love it. If you want a market bonnet, I highly recommend it, as the instructions were very clear. This was my first experience with hats of any sort, and it was extremely smooth and quick to put together.

3. To prove item the first and item the second, here are some further photos:

And now for the entertainment part of the evening (that is, the song):

Earlier this summer I recorded another song, this time with the enormous help of Douglas Romanow, who arranged and produced the track. Obviously, it sounds way better than the stuff I normally post, and has actual instruments and stuff. This is fitting, since a) it's one of my favourite songs of all time, and, b) it's quite challenging to sing, which makes the recording studio setting more conducive to a good end result.

The song in question is Cam Ye O'er Frae France, an upbeat and gloriously insulting Jacobite rebellion song from about 1715. It's in early-18th century Scots, which can make it a bit difficult to understand, so I'll include a set of lyrics and my approximate translations below. An excellent and far more thorough work-through of the song may be found here.

And here are the lyrics:

Cam ye o'er frae France? Cam ye down by Lunnon? 
Saw ye Geordie Whelps and his bonny woman? 
Were ye at the place ca'd the Kittle Housie? 
Saw ye Geordie's grace riding on a goosie? 

[Did you come over from France? Did you come over through London? 
Did you see /King George/ and his /mistress/ (prostitute)? 
Were you at the place called the /brothel/ (the royal palace)? 
Did you see His Royal Grace riding on a /prostitute/ (his mistress)?] 

Geordie, he's a man there is little doubt o't; 
He's done a' he can, wha can do without it? 
Down there came a blade linkin' like my lordie; 
He wad drive a trade at the loom o' Geordie. 

[George is a man; there is little doubt of it. 
He's done all he can (sex w/ his wife); who can do without it (but it's not enough and she can't do without it - so...) 
Down there came a blade, acting like My Lord (A man came to be her lover and acted/slept with her/ like the king) 
He would drive a trade (weave cloth) at King George's loom (he would impregnate the Queen, perhaps)] 

Though the claith were bad, blythly may we niffer; 
Gin we get a wab, it makes little differ. 
We hae tint our plaid, bannet, belt and swordie, 
Ha's and mailins braid—but we hae a Geordie! 

[Though the cloth were bad (though the fruit of the Queen's loom - the prince - is ill-gotten), blithely may we gamble, 
For if we get that cloth, it makes little difference: 
We have lost our plaid, hats, belts, and swords, 
Our houses and broad lands - but we have a George! (Either way we get a George - the current king or his potentially-bastard son)] 

Jocky's gane to France and Montgomery's lady; 
There they'll learn to dance: Madam, are ye ready? 
They'll be back belyve belted, brisk and lordly; 
Brawly may they thrive to dance a jig wi' Geordie! 

[King James (in the Jacobites' view, the rightful king) has gone to France with the Queen; 
There they'll learn to make war: Madam, are you ready? 
They'll be back swiftly, belted, ready, and lordly; 
Strongly and battle-ready may they thrive to fight King George!] 

Hey for Sandy Don! Hey for Cockolorum! 
Hey for Bobbing John and his Highland Quorum! 
Mony a sword and lance swings at Highland hurdie; 
How they'll skip and dance o'er the bum o' Geordie! 

[Hey for /a highland general/! Hey for /a kin leader/! 
Hey for /another general - so called because he kept switching sides/ and his gathering of more highland leaders! 
Many a sword and lance swings at the horde of highlanders; 
How they'll skip and dance over the bum of George!] 

Repeat first verse.

See what I mean? Gloriously insulting! The history surrounding this song is well worth a read, as well. Some fascinating stuff.

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed the song and the photos! I'm posting pretty regular updates on my facebook page with photos from the Millinery Shop and from around town, so feel free to follow me there. I'm nearing completion on a new gown, so I'll be posting that soon, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment