Will You Go to Flanders?

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WILL YOU GO TO FLANDERS? AKA and see "Harp that once through Tara's halls (The)," “Harp that Once (The)," "Gramachree," "Gradh mo chroidhe," "Molly Asthore," "Little Molly O!" Scottish, Reel and Air. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABBCCDDEE. Johnson (1984) says this tune was an army song (with drawing room accompaniment, as set by Bremner) perhaps dating from the Flanders campaign of the 1740's, though other writers believe it refers to the Duke of Marlborough's 1708 Flanders campaign. O'Sullivan (1983) finds the earliest printed form of the melody in William McGibbon's Scots Tunes, book II (1746), reprinted in Moffat's Minstrelsy of Ireland (p. 351). The tune also appears in the William Trotter Manuscript, a fiddle book of 1780. These words appear in David Herd's Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs (1776), volume II:

Will you go to Flanders, my Mally O?
Will you go to Flanders, my Mally O?
There we'll get wine and brandy,
And sack and sugar candy;
Will you go to Flanders, my Mally O?

The tune and song were adapted, with additional words, by Billy Ross of the group Ossian who recorded it on their album “Dove across the Water.”

Source for notated version: Bremner's Curious Collection of Scots Tunes, 1759; p. 20 (set by Robert Bremner, c. 1713-1789) [Johnson].

Printed sources: Johnson (Scottish Fiddle Music in the 18th Century), 1984; No. 23, pp. 56-60. McGibbon (Scots Tunes, Book II), c. 1746; p. 30. Alfred Moffat (The Minstrelsy of Ireland), 1898; p. 351. James Oswald (Caledonian Pocket Companion, vol. 1), 1760; p. 36.

Recorded sources: Kicking Mule KM 327, "Scartaglen" (1984. Song version).

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]




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