Thou Bonnie Wood of Crigielee (2)

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X:1 % T:Thou Bonnie Wood of Craigie-lea [2] M:C L:1/8 C:James Graham B:Graham - Songs of Scotland Adapted to their Appropriate Melodies (1848, p. 218) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:F (A/B/)|c>d c A f>e d c|c>d (d/c/) (B/A/)|A G G (A/B/)| c A B c d e !fermata!f d|c F c>A G>A F|| (F/G/)|A>B G>A F A D F| C<F A F c (B/A/) G>A|F>G A F c A d f |c F c>A G>A !fermata!F||



THOU BONNIE WOOD O' CRAIGIELIE [2]. Scottish, Air and Country Dance Tune (2/4 or whole time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Craigielea lies to the northwest of Paisley, Scotland. "Thou Bonnie Wood o' Craigielie" is a song by poet Robert Tannahill (1774-1810) set to a tune by his close friend and long-time correspondent, James Barr (1770-1836), a professional musician in Kilbarchan, central Renfrewshire, Scotland. A weaver's apprentice, Barr was an autodidact on violin and flute, and taught instrumental music bands. In the second decade of the 19th century he moved to Glasgow where he found work in a music publishing firm, and established himself as a music teacher in the city. However, in 1832 he and his family emigrated to New Brunswick, Canada, where he farmed for twenty years. Barr returned to Scotland towards the end of his life and is buried at Kilbarchan. Tannahill paid Barr homage in an 1810 poem, "Epistle to James Barr (Whereever he may be found)" and in another of his songs, the convivial "The Five Friends," in the fourth stanza:

There is blythe Jamie Barr, frae St. Barchan's toun,
When wit gets a kingdom, he's sure o' the crown;
And we're a' noddin', nid, nid, noddin',
We're a' noddin' fu' at e'en.

Tannahill's words for "Bonnie Wood of Craigielie/Cragie-lea" begin:

Thou bonnie wood of Craigielea,
Thou bonnie wood of Craigielean,
Near thee I pass'd life's early day,
And won my Mary's heart in thee.
The broom, the brier, the birken bush,
Bloom bonnie o'er thy flow'ry lea;
And a' the sweets that ane can wish
Frae nature's hand, are strew'd on thee.

Unfortunately, within a few decades of Tannahill's writing his picturesque 'bonnie Cragielea' had been blighted by the erection of a gas works. There is a supposed connection with Barr's tune and the Australian anthem "Waltzing Matilda," for which see link for The Contemplator [1].

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 3), c. 1880's; No. 368, p. 41. Graham (The Songs of Scotland Adapted to their Appropriate Melodies), 1848; p. 218.

Recorded sources: - See also listing at:
See entry for song at The Contemplator [2]



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