Bob of Dunblane (2)

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BOB OF DUNBLANE [2], THE. Scottish, Air (6/8 time). E Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. To bob in Scots dialect is to dance, and the title can be understood as 'the dance of Dunblane'. This Jacobite song was collected by poet Allan Ramsay, published his A New Miscellany of Scots Songs (London, 1727), although it predates him.

Lassie, lend me your braw hemp heckle,
And I'll lend you my thripling kame;
For fainness, deary, I'll gar ye keckle,
If ye'll go dance the Bob of Dunblane.
Haste ye, gang to thee ground of ye'r trunkies,
Busk ye braw, and dinna think shame;
Consider in time, if leading of monkies
Be better than dancing the Bob of Dunblane.

Be frank, my lassie, lest I grow fickle,
And take my word and offer again;
Syne ye may chance to repent it meikle
Ye did na accept of the Bob of Dunblane.
The dinner, the piper, and priest, shall be ready,
And I'm grown dowie with lying my lane;
Away then, leave baith minny and daddy,
And try with me the Bob of Dunblane.

Dunblane is two miles south of Sheriffmuir, the scene of the battle fought in 1715 by the Jacobites under the Earl of Mar, and the Royalist forces of the Duke of Argyle. The outcome was that both of the right wings of each army were victorious, defeating the other's left wing, yet Argyle carried the field. When someone remarked to the Duke that the rebels would probably claim the victory, he replied:

If it wasna weel bobbit, weel bobbit, weel bobbit,
If it wasna weel bobbit, we'll bobb it again.

A reference to the well-known old song [Black's Picturesque Tourist of Scotland (1842)]

Poet Robert Burns crafted a ribald version that goes:

Lassie, lend me your braw hemp-heckle,
And I'll lend you my thripplin kame;
My heckle is broken, it canna be gotten,
And we'll gae dance the Bob o' Dumblane.

Twa gaed to the wood, to the wood, to the wood,
Twa gaed to the wood, three cam hame:
An't be na weel bobbit, weel bobbit, weel bobbit,
An't be na weel bobbit, we'll bob it again.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Thomson (Orpheus Caledonius, vol. 1), 1733, No. 43, p. 53.

Recorded sources:




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