Derwentwater's Farewell

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DERWENTWATER'S FAREWELL. English, Waltz and Air. England, Northumberland. G Major (Hall & Stafford, Bruce & Stokoe, Raven): F Major (Martin). Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. "James [Radcliff], Earl of Derwentwater, having unhappily engaged in the (Jacobite) rebellion of 1715, was beheaded on Tower Hill on the 24th February, 1716. His youth amiability, his rank, his bravery, drew forth the sympathy of the whole nation, but especially of the inhabitants of Northumberland. This song first appeared in Hogg's Jacobite Relics of Scotland, having been communicated to the editor by Mr. Surtees, of Mainsforth. Mr. Surtees, in writing to the Ettrick Shepherd, says: 'I send you all I can recover of it, just as I had it'. The elegance of the composition, and its resemblance to some of his other poems, renders it more than probable that Mr. Surtees was himself the author. The tune to which this ballad is set is of considerable antiquity. It originally appears in the 'Commonplace Book' of John Gamble (a musical composer), dated 1659, under the title of 'My Dear and Only Love Take Heed." Numerous songs more or less popular have been written to it from that date to later times; amongst others being the song written by the celebrated James Graham, Marquess of Montrose, commencing-

My dear and only love I pray,
This noble world of thee.

This song made the tune very popular in Scotland, where it often appears in collections under the title of 'Montrose Lynes.' Oswald, in his 'Collection of Scottish Airs,' 1781, inserts this melody, but gives it as the tune to which the ballad of 'Chevy Chase' is sung; and in Sir Walter Scott's Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, a mutilated fragment of the tune is given as the melody of the ballads of 'Jock o' the Syde', 'Dick o' the Cow,' etc. These adaptations are both erroneous, as the ballads named have each their own particular melodies, which are given in this volume" (Stokoe).

Farewell to pleasant Dilston Hall,
My father's ancient seat,
A stranger now must call thee his,
Which gars my heart to greet.
Farewell each friendly, well-known face,
My heart has held so dear,
My tenants now must leave their lands
Or hlad their lives in fear.... (Bruce & Stokoe)

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Hall & Stafford (Charlton Memorial Tune Book), 1956; p. 53 (arranged as a duet by editor W.J. Stafford). Martin (Traditional Scottish Fiddling), 2002; p. 110. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 134. Bruce & Stokoe (Northumbrian Minstrelsy), 1882; pp. 71-73.

Recorded sources:




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