Awa' Whigs Awa'

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AWA' WHIGS AWA'. Scottish, Slow Air (whole time). G Major (Oswald): E Dorian (Aird): E Minor (Davie). Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB (Davie): AABB (most versions). "Away Whigs Away" was reputed to have been a song that was a great favorite of the Stuart kings, however, it was written long after the final defeat of the Stuarts at Culloden. It appears in James Johnson's Scots Musical Museum, vol. 1 (1789, No. 272) and the first series of poet James Hogg's (1770–1835) Jacobite Relics (1819, pp. 76-77). Hogg remarks:

There is a tradition, that, at the battle of Bothwell Bridge, the piper to Clavers' own troop of horse stood on the brink of the Clyde, playing it with great glee; but beign struck by a bullet, either by chance, or in consequence of an aim taken, as is generally reported, he rolled down the bank in the agonies of death; and always as he rolled over the bag, so intent was he on this old party tune, that, with determined firmness of fingering, he made the pipes to yell out two or three notes more of it, till at last he plunged into the river, and was carried peaceably down the stream among a great number of floating Whigs.

The words in the Scots Musical Museum begin:

Our thrissles flourish'd fresh and fair,
And bonie bloom'd our roses;
But Whigs cam' like a frost in June,
An' wither'd a' our posies.

Chorus:
Awa' Whigs, awa'!
Awa' Whigs, awa'!
Ye're but a pack o' traitor louns,
Ye'll do nae gude at a'.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish, and Foreign Airs, vol. 3), 1788; No. 511, p. 196. Davie (Davies Caledonian Repository), Aberdeen, 1829-30; p. 21. Manson (Hamilton’s Universal Tune Book, vol. 2), 1846; p. 9. Oswald (Caledonian Pocket Companion, Book 6), 1760; p. 19.

Recorded sources:




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