Caledonian Maid (The)

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CALEDONIAN MAID, THE. English, Air (2/4 time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. "The Caledonian Maid" is a song (1738-1819) by Peter Pindar from the early 1790's. 'Peter Pindar' [1] was the pseudonym of John Wolcott, a physician by trade who had also taken holy orders; he had a reputation as a wit and satirist, and was well-known in London. The first stanza goes:

Peter Pindar, AKA John Wolcott.

Oh, say, have you my Mary seen,
The Caledonian Maid;
Or heard the shepherds on the green
Say where my Mary's stray'd;
The damsel is of angel mien,
With sad and downcast eyes;
The shepherds call her sorrow's queen,
So pensively she sighs.
So pensively--so pensively,
So pensively she sighs.

A variant of the song begins:

Have you seen my Arabell,
The Caledonian maid;
Or heard the youths of Scotland tell
Where Arabell had stray'd;

The song was much anthologized in the late 18th and 19th centuries, and appears in numerous songsters and collections.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Aird (Sixth and Last Volume of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs), 1803; No. 93, p. 36. Skillern (Twelve Country Dances & Cotillons for the Year 1795), p. 3.

Recorded sources:




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