The Lads O The Fair

I found this video over at the Scotianostra Tumblr so thought I’d add a bit to it.  The Battlefield Band has been part of my life for decades.  I particularly appreciated their sentiment of “Home is where the Van is…”

Happy Birthday local Bairn, Brian McNeill born on April 6th 1950 in Falkirk.

Brian was a founder member of the Battlefield Band, one of our finest Folk Groups. He also joined several other top Scottish Folk musicians including Dick Gaughan in Clan Alba.

Enjoy a little music on this spring day and have a great weekend.

In case you want to know the lyrics, here they are as best as I can tell…

Come, bonnie lass, and lie near me
And let the brandy cheer ye
For the road frae Fife to Falkirk’s lang
And cold and wet an’ weary
My trade, it is the weaving
At the bonnie toon o’ Leven;
An’ we’ll drink to the health o’ the fairmer’s dames
Who’ll buy my claith the morn.

CHORUS after each verse:

For ye can see them a’, the lads o’ the fair
Lads frae the Forth an’ the Carron Water,.
Workin’ lads an’ lads wi’ gear
Lads that’ll sell ye the provost’s daughter
Soldiers back frae the German Wars,.
Peddlers up frae the Border;
An’ lassies wi’ an eye for mair than the kye
At the trysting fair o’ Falkirk

Come, Geordie, lead the pony for the path is steep an’ stony
An’ we’re three lang weeks frae the Isle o’ Skye
An’ the beasts are thin an’ bony
We’ll tak the last o’ the siller
An’ we’ll buy ourselves a gill or two;
An’ we’ll drink tae lads who’ll buy oor kye
In Falkirk in the morn.

I’ll stand here an’ I’ll show ye, there’s the toon below ye,.
But ye’d best bide here in the barn the nicht
For the nichtwatch dinna know ye
Ma brither, he’s a plooman an’ I’m for the feein’ noo, man;
Sae we’ll drink tae the price o’ the harvest corn
In Falkirk in the morn.

O, the wark o’ the weaver’s over, likewise the days o’ the drover
An’ a plowboy sits on a tractor noo; too high tae see the clover,
The workin’s no so steady, but the lads are past the ready
For tae drink a health tae the workin’ man in Falkirk in the morn.

Swallowtail Jig

Since my playing time is very limited I’ve learned to connect with other musicians via the internet.  Having a great selection of “Play Along” tunes lined up on YouTube has really helped me out, especially when trying to keep up or understand variations in a tune.  There are so many great garage artists out there that it’s easy to pick four or five versions of a tune to really learn it inside and out.  I suspect you would have been a lucky itinerant musician to have stumbled across such an assortment in the slower Pre-Industrial days.

Here’s a fine English fiddler performing the Swallowtail Jig.  I’ve been playing along with him recently and I suggest checking out the rest of his videos if this type of music suits you.  He has a nice version of the old classic Old Mother Flanagan I particularly like as well.