1856

Scotland, postponed

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John Collie (1834-1893)

Around this time (September 2020) I’d planned to travel to Scotland, on my first visit. There was to be a family gathering for my sister’s wedding in Edinburgh.

The trip’s now postponed indefinitely, for obvious reasons

The idea was to visit Boyndie, Banffshire, where my great-great-grandfather John Collie grew up.

In 1856, in his early 20s he published a book : Poems and Lyrics (in the English and Scotch Dialects).

I‘ve started setting some of it to music.

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Solitude

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Written in 1856, but timely perhaps?

This poem is the first of 44 pieces in the book Poems & Lyric by John Collie.

It was written by my great-great-grandfather in Scotland. 164 years later, living in 21st century coronavirus lockdown NZ, we’ve all had to bring back solitude. Creating music’s become a solitary pursuit again (or else a virtual one). Adapting this poem gave the chance for a 12-minute acoustic epic whose time had come (again).

lyrics

OH give me near some swelling stream to stray, 0r tread the windings of some pathless wood, For I am wearied of the bustling day, And long to meet thee, gloomy Solitude: That I with thee may climb those shelfy steeps, Which frown majestic o’er the boiling deeps. Read the rest of this entry »

Sonnet on Summer

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from Poems & Lyrics by John Collie (1856)

Rosemary Bromley, Dave Edwards, Hans Landon-Lane

Clever Hansel – ukulele vocal
Dave Edwards – guitar, harmonica, vocal

This was the last in-person collaboration before the COVID-19 shutdown, recorded in Lower Hutt, New Zealand, March 2020.

John Collie (1834-1893)

THE sweet breath of summer blows fresh o’er each plain,

The woods have resumed their lost grandeur again;

The groves with the notes of the blackbird are ringing,

By fountain and streamlet the wild flowers are springing.

And the breath of the heather bell sweetens the breeze,

And the old stormy ocean lies slumbering in peace;

And the wild bees are humming around the wild flowers,

Afar above earth the lark proudly soars;

The bleat of the lamb on the moss-cover’d hill,

The sound of the shepherd’s pipe jocund and shrill,

All tell in a language most striking and plain,

T hat summer, fair summer, is reigning again,

The old face of nature her smiles has put on,

And the blustery appearance of winter has flown.

The Land of My Youth (by John Collie, 1856)

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Poem by John Collie (1834-1893),

 

from his book Poems and Lyrics in the English and Scotch Dialects, published in Banffshire, Scotland in 1856

Performed by his great-great-grandson Dave Edwards on banjo at Wairarapa TV in Masterton, New Zealand, 4 May 2019.

John Collie emigrated to New Zealand in 1858. This poem seems to anticipate his leaving Scotland forever, to start a new life in a new country on the opposite side of the world.

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Here’s a Health to my Cronies (by John Collie, 1856)

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19th century Scottish drinking song, by John Collie (1834-1893), from his book ‘Poems and Lyrics

Played by his great-great-grandson Dave Edwards – first public performance of this piece, at Dragon Inn, Featherston, NZ, 6 Feb 2019 .

A couple of months later I played it at Wairarapa TV May Music Marathon on 4th of May 2019

which features on the Live 2019 album.

HERE’S A HEALTH TO MY CRONIES.

HERE’S a health to my cronies where’er they reside, Whether this side or that o’ yon big rowin’ tide ; I care na what country or kingdom they claim, Be they English or Irish to me it’s the same, Gif their hearts to a glass o’ gude whisky incline, I instantly class them as “Cronies o’ mine.”

Awa wi’ yon nabob purse-proud o’ his gear, Neither he nor his wealth hae charms for us here; Awa wi’ yon fop wi’ his clear headed cane, A bit trip through the warld, it’s use may explain; But welcome my cronies wherever ye be, To join in this gude reekin’ bumper wi’ me.

A fig for the wealth that this warld can gie, We naething brought here, sae we’ve naething to lea; The farmer wi’ ousen an’ acres galore, Has his crosses just now, an’ may sune count on more; Then come here, my cronies, let’s kick awa care, As lang’s we’ve a groat or a shilling to spare.

The Land of My Youth (by John Collie, 1856), January 2019 demo

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January 2019, looking for a new sound and a new project – after completing Other Islands: 2012-2018.

It’s a poem by John Collie (1834-1893), my great-great-grandfather

from his book Poems and Lyrics in the English and Scotch Dialects, published in Scotland in 1856

John Collie emigrated to New Zealand in 1858. This poem seems to anticipate his leaving Scotland forever, to start a new life in a new country on the opposite side of the world.

In May I performed it live on Wairarapa TV.

 

Lyrics

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