02/04/10 08:25:35PM
Because of discussion started on Jock O'Hazeldean, I got to thinking last night about the lyrics to a ballad I was playing "Leezie Lindsay" normally atributed in part to Robert Burns.

Once upon a time I played a version of this song that is commonly found in songbooks, but then I heard the Corries sing it. I liked their wording better, except for the fact that they changed Lord Ronald MacDonald to "the gallant Argyll is my name". Being a member of Clan Donald U.S.A., I tend to strongly object to an Argyll, which is a Campbell title, surplanting a MacDonald as Leezie Lindsay's groom. So I changed the Corries' lyrics slightly. Interestingly enough Ronnie Browne, the surviving member of the Corries duo, has gone back to a more traditional version of the song with Ronald back in the picture, but with more of a taste of some of the older verses than the Burns' version has.

In doing a search for information on Jock O'Hazeldean, I found the original Child ballad, "John O'Hazelgreen" which has far more verses than Sir Walter Scott used for Jock O'Hazeldean. This set me to searching for the original or origins of Leezie Lindsay. Needless to say, it has been considerably shortened too.

What I'm doing is going through the Child ballad 226 and adding some of these unused verses back into the song I sing. So at the moment my version of Leezie Lindsay has gone from 4 verses (Burns style) through the Corries revamp of 4 verses plus a chorus, to 8 verses plus a chorus that's sung 3 times amongst the verses. There are about 4 more verses that I'm going to see about working back into my version from the above selection of various "Lizie Lindsay" Child Ballads.

Does anyone else do this???? Does anyone out there sing Mary Hamilton rather than The Four Maries? Or The Battle of Otterbourne rather than "The Lammas Tide" I've been working on trying to tab the Battle of Otterbourne. It's only about 38 verses!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where did all the old long ballads go????????