Mormond Braes

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MORMOND BRAES. AKA - "Fareweel ye Mormond Braes," "By Mormond Braes." Scottish, Bothy Ballad (2/4 time). D Major. One part (Hunter): AB. Mormond Hill is a large hill in Aberdeenshire, Scotland not far from Fraserburgh; 'Mormond Braes' refers to the slope of the hill, or hillside. The ballad tells of a a girl who's lost her lover and is preparing herself to face the world and get another. The lyric begins:

As I cam in by Strichen Toon,
I heard a fair maid mournin'
She was makin' sair complaint
O' her true love ne'er returnin'

Chorus:
Fair thee weel ye Mormond Braes,
Whaur oft times I've been cheery
Fair thee weel ye Mormond Braes,
For it's there I lost my dearie.

Gavin Grieg (Folk-Song in Buchan) noted that the song is usually attributed to Dr. Gavin of Strichen (a village located at the foot of the hill), but that the song also is very similar to "Fareweel fo Blairgowrie," with perhaps significant borrowings, whichever came first. Notes to Jock Duncan's 1996 give: "This was one of Gavin Greig's early favourite songs. He first came across the song around 1895 and included it in his serial story Logie o Buchan. It was then printed in Ford's Vagabond Songs (in 1899) and Greig gave it pride of place in the first of his weekly articles in the Buchan Observer in December 1907, a series that eventually extended to 180 weekly articles containing numerous versions of over a thousand North East songs and ballads (FSNE 1; GD 1142)."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Hunter (Fiddle Music of Scotland), 1988; No. 357.

Recorded sources: Folkways Records FW3517A 103, Lori Holland - "Scottish Folksongs for Women" (1958). Old Blind Dogs - "Legacy." Springthyme SPRCD 1039, Jock Duncan - "Ye Shine Whar Ye Stan!" (1996). Topic TOP68 (extended play), Dolina MacLennan and Robin Gray - "Songs of the Islands and Lowlands of Scotland" (1961).

See also listing at:
Hear the Corries' version on youtube.com [1]
Hear Old Blind Dogs' version on youtube.oom [2]
See entry on the song at the Ballad Index [3]




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