Logie of Buchan (1)

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LOGIE O' BUCHAN [1]. AKA and see "Before I Was Married (1)," "March of the Corporation of Tailors (The)," "Taylor's March." Scottish, Air or Country Dance (3/4 time). C Major (Neil): D Major (O'Farrell): F Major (Saunders). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. This version of the air (there are several) is attributed to Napier (1792). It was derived from "The March of the Corporation of Tailors" or "The Tailor's March," a guild tune usually played at the annual meeting when they chose their deacons and other officers of the society (Stenhouse, Illustrations of the lyric poetry and music of Scotland, 1853, p. 206). John Glen (Early Scottish Melodies), however, disbelieves Stenhouse's assertion, and suggests that the "Tailor's March/Taylor's March/Tailor's Old March" may in fact have derived from "Logie o' Buchan". Glen further states:

A tune in the Atkinson Manuscript, 1694, called "Tak tent to the ripples gudeman," is supposed to be the parent melody, but we think this rather too far fetched. Oswald, however, gives an air in the Caledonian Pocket Companion, book xi., entitled "Beware of the Ripples," which is identical with "The Taylor's March" in Aird, minus the embellishments.

The words to "Logie o' Buchan" were written by George Halket, a schoolmaster at Rathen and an ardent Jacobite (for another song he wrote describing king George II in league with the devil, the Duke of Cumberland offered a reward of 100 pounds for his head). "Logie O' Buchan" is the tale of love and longing for Jamie (James Robertson, in real life a gardener at the mansion-house of Logie, in the parish of Crimond, belonging to Gordon of Logie and near Halket's home), despite the lure of rich Sandie. The heroine was Isobel Keith, who died in 1826 at the age of 89.

O Logie O' Buchan, O Logie the laird,
They hae ta'en awa Jamie, that delved in the yaird,
Wha play'd on the pipe, an' the viol sae sina'
They ha'e ta'in awa' Jamie, the flow'r o' them a',
He said 'Think na lang, lassie, th' I gan awa',
For I'll come and see thee in spite o' tham a'.
Though Sandie has owsen, has gear and has kye,
A house, an' a' hadden, and siller forbye,
Yet I'd tak' my ain lad, wi' his staff in his hand,
Before I'd ha'e him, wi' his houses and land,
But simmer is comin', cauld winter's awa
And he'll come and see me in spite o' them a'.

Burns contributed the second and fourth verses to an older song set to the for the Scots Musical Museum, an "earthy" lyric called "The Tailor Fell Through the Bed, Thimble an' a'", Song 212 in the Scots Musical Museum, vol. III (p. 221). The melody is essentially the same as "Logie o' Buchan"/"Corporation March"/"Beware of the Ripples" tune family." Burns's "Tailor" song begins:

The Taylor fell thro' the bed, thimble an' a',
the Taylor fell thro' the bed thimble an' a';
The blankets were thin and the sheets they were sma',
The Taylor fell thro' the bed, thimble an' a'.

Burns also included an older bawdy song to his Merry Muses of Caledonia (1800) that also uses the melody, called "I rede ye beware o' the Ripples" which is similar in title to Oswald's "Beware the Ripples." It goes:

I rede you beware o' the ripples, young man,
I rede you beware o' the ripples, young man;
Tho' the saddle be saft, ye needna ride aft,
For fear that the girdin' beguile ye, young man.

I rede you beware o' the ripples, young man,
I rede you beward o' the ripples, young man;
Tho' music be pleasure, tak' music in measure,
Or ye may want wind in your whistle, young man.

I rede you beware o' the ripples, young man,
I rede you beward o' the ripples, young man;
Whate'er ye bestow, do less tan ye dow,
The mair will be thocht o' your kindness, young man.

I rede you beware o' the ripples, young man,
I rede you beward o' the ripples, young man;
Gif you wad be strang, and wish tae live lang,
Dance less wi' your airse to the kipples, young man.

Variations on "Logie of Buchan" composed around 1799 are often attributed to pianist-composer John Field (1782-1837), a prominent expatriate Irish musician, but may not have been composed by him. See also Francis O'Neill's 6/8 time version "Before I Was Married (1)," from his Music of Ireland (1903).

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 4), 1796, No. 110, p. 44. O'Farrell (Pocket Companion, vol. 1), c. 1805; p. 37. Neil (The Scots Fiddle), 1991; No. 81, p. 109. Riley (Flute Melodies, vol. 1), 1814; p. 10. Saunders (New and Complete Instructor for the Violin), Boston, 1847; No. 59, p. 35. Sime (Edinburgh Musical Miscellany, vol. 2), 1793; pp. 364–366.

Recorded sources:




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