19th century

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

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 demo version

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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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The Bolton and the Harris rose, Wellington NZ

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I was born in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand.  My earliest NZ ancestors are my great great great grandparents Abraham and Sophia Harris, from Essex, England.  They arrived in Wellington in 1840 aboard the sailing ship Bolton.

Abraham Harris 1810-1874

Sophia Harris 1810-1888

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South Island Sessions

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1861 revisited – my first pakeha (European) Edwards ancestors, Totara Jack and Mary, arrived in the South Island of New Zealand on board the Olympus and settled in Nelson.

John ‘Totara Jack’ Edwards

When I lived nearby a century and a half later,

I found the address where they’d lived, just below a spot on a hill that marks the geographical centre of NZ.  To the north is Tasman Bay, and south are the foothills of the Southern Alps.

I jammed with South Island musicians; studied at the Nelson School of Music; played in Hokitika, Greymouth, Westport, Nelson, Blenheim, Lyttelton and Dunedin (as well as Brisbane, Australia); and recorded the sound of tui and makomako (native birds) in Nelson Lakes National Park.

Music by:

Dave Black – acoustic guitar, banjo, drums, harmonica, laptop, field recordings, tenor sax, and vocals

Cylvi M – vocals & phat beatz

Hayden Gifkins / Matt Thornicroft – electric guitars

Frey – no-input mixing desk

Haz / Cookie – drums