Annotation:Laird o' Cockpen

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X:1 T:Laird of Cockpen, The M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Jig B:William Gunn - The Caledonian Repository of Music B:Adapted for the Bagpipes (Glasgow, 1848, p. 107) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:Amix e|AAA cdc|B/B/AG GGB|AAA a>da|gfe e2f| gag afe|ded Bcd|efe e2d|[ce]AA A<A:| |:e|AAa a>da|gfe g2d|efg a>da|gfe e2f| gag gfe|ded Bcd|efe e2d|[ce]AA A<A:|]

LAIRD O' COCKPEN. AKA and see "Boys in the Gap (1)," "Cat in the Hopper," "Lord Doneraile," "My Mother-in-Law," "Straddle the Donkey," "When she cam ben (She Bobbit)," Scottish, Jig and Air. E Dorian (Kennedy): E Minor (Harding, Kerr): G Minor (Howe): A Mixoldyian (Gunn). Standard tuning (fiddle). One part (Harding, Howe): AABB (Gunn, Kennedy, Kerr). Cockpen is located in the east of Edinburghshire, also called Mid-Lothian. The tune was originally "When she cam ben she bobbit" (or "when she came through the parlour, she curtseyed"), until about 1810 when it became known as "The Laird of Cockpen," after Lady Nairne's (Caroline Oliphant) popular words set to it. The song was one of the ones selected by Queen Victoria for a recital by noted singer of Scots songs John Wilson, during her visit to Taymouth Castle in 1842. The tune can be found in the Davies Collection. Lady Nairne's lyric goes:

The laird o' Cockpen, he's proud an' he's great,
His mind is ta'en up wi' things o' the State;
He wanted a wife, his braw house to keep,
But favour wi' wooin' was fashious to seek.

Down by the dyke-side a lady did dwell,
At his table head he thought she'd look well,
McClish's ae daughter o' Claversha' Lee,
A penniless lass wi' a lang pedigree.

His wig was weel pouther'd and as gude as new,
His waistcoat was white, his coat it was blue;
He put on a ring, a sword, and cock'd hat,
And wha could refuse the laird wi' a' that?

He took the grey mare, and rode cannily,
An' rapp'd at the yett o' Claversha' Lee;
"Gae tell Mistress Jean to come speedily ben,
She's wanted to speak to the Laird o' Cockpen".

Mistress Jean was makin' the elderflower wine;
"An' what brings the laird at sic a like time?"
She put aff her apron, and on her silk gown,
Her mutch wi' red ribbons, and gaed awa' down.

An' when she cam' ben, he bowed fu' low,
An' what was his errand he soon let her know;
Amazed was the laird when the lady said "Na",
And wi' a laigh curtsie she turned awa'.

Dumfounder'd was he, nae sigh did he gie,
He mounted his mare - he rade cannily;
An' aften he thought, as he gaed through the glen,
She's daft to refuse the Laird o' Cockpen.

And now that the laird his exit had made,
Mistress Jean she reflected on what she had said;
"Oh, for ane I'll get better, it's waur I'll get ten,
I was daft to refuse the Laird o' Cockpen".

Next time that the laird and the lady was seen,
They were gaun arm-in-arm to the kirk on the green;
Now she sits in the ha' like a weel-tappit hen,
But as yet there's nae chickens appear'd at Cockpen.

"Lard of Cockpen's Scotch Measure (The)" is a different tune. "Laird o' Cockpen" also has musical similarities to the Playford air "Woodicock."

Additional notes

Printed sources : - William Gunn (The Caledonian Repository of Music Adapted for the Bagpipes), Glasgow, 1848; p. 107. Frank Harding (Harding's Original Collection), 1897; No. 172, p. 54. Howe (1000 Jigs and Reels), c. 1867; p. 122. Kennedy (Jigs & Quicksteps, Trips & Humours), 1997; No. 98, p. 24. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 2), c. 1880's; No. 306, p. 34.

Recorded sources : - Celestial Entertainment CECS001, Brenda Stubbert (Cape Breton, N.S.) - "In Jig Time!" (1995).

See also listing at :
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recording Index [1]
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [2]

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