Whigs of Fife (2)

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X:1 T:Whigs of Fife [2] M:2/4 L:1/8 R:Air B:Hogg - Jacobite Relics of Scotland (1821, Song XVII) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:F f|c F d F|A G G A |c F A F |f g a g|c F d F| A G G A|F D E ^C|D3|| e| f c c f |g d d e | f c c e|f g a g |f c c f|g d d e|f (g/a/) g f|d3!D.C.!||



WHIGS OF FIFE [2], THE. Scottish, Air (2/4 time). F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. The song, fiecely hostile to the Whig party, begins:

O wae to a' the Whigs o' Fife,
The brosy tykes, the lousy tykes,
O wae to a' the Whigs o' Fife,
That e'er they came frae hell!

There's gentle John, and Jock the slorp,
And skellied Jock, and bellied Jock,
And curly Jock, and burly Jock,
And lying Jock himsel.

Despite its original hostile intent, the tune appears to have been adopted by the Whig party and played with pride. The following passage is from John Melish's Travels in the United States of America, in the Years 1806 & 1807, vol. 1 (p. 335–336) and tells of the Whig gathering on the birthday of Charles James Fox, a founder of the party. A friend managaged an invitation, and they were seated near the band:

The first toast, "The glorious and immortal memory of Charles James Fox," was drank in silence, and standing. This was followed by a dirge from the band of vocal music; after which we had the song of "Scots wha hae wi' Wallace bled," followed by the air to which Burns originally composed it, by the inimitable band of Nathaniel Gow; and so mournfully pathetic did they play it, that it brought a plentiful shower of tears from the eyes of many of the company.

Every toast was followed by music, and never did I hear music more elegant or better arranged. Nathaniel Gow, a son of the celebrated Niel Gow, led the band, and, to use the language of my Liverpool friend, he "handled his elbow in great style;" and was well supported by the other performers.

The notice of a few of the leading sentiments, with the music that followed, will serve to illustrate the spirit of the company.

Toast—The whig party of Scotland.
Music—Whigs of Fife.
Toast—Whigs of England.
Music— O the roast beef of Old England.
Toast—Whigs of Ireland.
Music—Erin go bragh.
Toast—A speedy adjustment of our differences with America, and justice to foreign powers.
Music—Yankee Doodle.

See "Whigs of Fife (1)" for dance versions of the melody.


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Hogg (Jacobite Relics of Scotland, vol. 2), 1821; no. 17, p. 40.






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