There'll never be peace 'til Jamie comes hame

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X:1 T:There’ll ne’er be peace till Jamie come hame M:3/4 L:1/8 R:Air Q:"Slow" S:Gow – 4th Repository (1817) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G Minor ~G>A|~B2 (cB)(AG)|A2 (BA)(GF)|C>D F2F2|F4 G>A|~B(c/d/) (cB)(AG)| (A2d2) ^F>=E|D2G2 G>A|G4 GA|(BA)(Bc)(de)|f3ed2| dcBA f(g/a/)|F4 GA|~B2 (cB)(AG)|(A2d2) ^F>=E|D2G2 GA|G4:| |:~g>a|b2a2g2|{b}a2g2f2|cd f2f2|f4 ~g>a|{ga}b2a2g2| {b}a2g2f2|d2g2 ~g>a|{a}g4 GA|(BA)(Bc)(de)|f3 e d2| (dc)(BA) fg/a/|F4 ~G>A|B2 (cB)(AG)|(A2d2) ^F>=E|D2G2 ~G>A| G4:|



THERE’LL NEVER BE PEACE ‘TIL JAMIE COMES HAME. AKA and see "By Yon Castle Wa'," "There are few good fellows when Jamie's awa." Scottish, Air (3/4 time). G Minor (Gow): A Minor (O’Farrell). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The song "There'll never be peace 'til Jamie comes hame" was published by James Johnson in his Scots Musical Museum IV (1791) with words by Robert Burns, probably rewritten from fragments of an older song, perhaps the Jacobite "Bonny Moor-Hen (The)" (an allusion to Bonnie Prince Charlie, the "New Pretender", although the James in the song refers to James VIII of Scotland, the "Old Pretender"). Burns knew the melody as that of an old Jacobite air called “There are few good fellows when Jamie's awa”, but wrote "I never have been able to meet with anything else of the song than the title." Burns wrote the song in 1791 (the year of Mozart’s death), and was inspired by the just completed French Revolution, which also served to feed Jacobite sentiment in Scotland, never very dormant in Burns' time. Burns included this remark when he sent the song to Alexander Cunningham (lawyer) in Edinburgh in a letter dated March 12, 1791:

You must know a beautiful Jacobite air "There'll never be peace till Jamie comes hame." When political combustion ceases to be the object of princes and patriots, it then, you know, becomes the lawful prey of historians and poets. If you like the air, and if the stanzas hit your fancy, you cannot imagine, my dear friend, how much you would oblige me if, by the charms of your delightful voice, you would give my honest effusion to "the memory of joys that are past" to the few friends whom you indulge in that pleasure.'

Burns's first stanza goes:

By yon castle wa' at the close of the day,
I heard a man sing tho' his head it was grey;
And as he was singing the tears down came,
There'll never be peace 'till Jamie comes hame.
The Church is in ruins, the state is in jars,
Delusions, oppressions, and murderous wars,
We dare na weel say't, but we ken wha's to blame,
There'll never be peace 'till Jamie comes hame.

See also the related Irish song tunes “There's an End to My Sorrow” and “My sorrow is greater than I can tell.” A similar Scottish air is “Nuair chì thu caileag bhòideach.”


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Gow (Complete Repository, Part 4), 1817; pp. 6-7. James Johnson (Scots Musical Museum, vo. IV), Song 315, pp. 326-327. McGibbon (Scots Tunes, book III), 1762; pp. 86-87. O’Farrell (Pocket Companion, vol. III), c. 1808; p. 53. Oswald (Curious Scots Tunes), 1740; p. 22. Oswald (Caledonian Pocket Companion, vol. 1), 1760; p. 20 ("There are few good fellows when Jamie's awa ").

Recorded sources : - Chaconne Recordings, CHAN 0581, Scottish Early Music Consort - "Robert Burns: Songs & Music" (1995). Chandos CHAN 8636, Scottish Early Music Consort - "Robert Burns: Songs & Music" (1988).




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