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Peggy on the Banks of Spey



TRACK DURATION: 0:02:03

  • LANGUAGE:
  • Scots

GENRE: Song, Information

COLLECTION: SOSS

RECORDING LOCATION

  • County - Moray
  • Parish - Bellie
  • Village - Spey Bay

TRACK ID: 27945

ORIGINAL TAPE ID: SA1956.052

ORIGINAL TRACK ID: SA1956.52.A6

AUDIO QUALITY: Good

SOURCE TYPE: Reel to Reel tape

ITEM NOTE: 5 verses.

As with most versions of this song, this is a conflation of the man's love song usually called 'Peggy on the Banks o Spey' (Roud Folk Song Index no. 6846) with the seduction and abandonment song 'When I was Noo but Sweet Sixteen' (Roud 5138), also known as 'Hishie Ba' (Roud 3449). The conflation is probably a result of their sharing the same melody, though the resulting song usually features a sharp shift in perspective from the male singer, who hopes to court Peggy, to Peggy herself rueing having allowed herself to be seduced. All recorded versions from the North-East of Scotland are conflations.

In Rob Watt's version (on tape SA1960.249), this conflation has been partly 'corrected' by adjusting the perspective back to the man again, who now explains he will abandon Peggy, using verses modelled on Peggy's own plaint in 'Sweet Sixteen'.

An example of the 'original' love song is the version recorded by Hamish Henderson in Galloway 'Peggy on the Banks o Nith' on tape SA1962.77.

See:
Greig-Duncan vol. 6, p. 132, no. 1131
'The Seeds of Love' (S. Sedley, 1967) pp. 106-107
'The Scottish Folksinger' (Buchan & Hall, 1973) p. 81
'Scottish Studies' vol. 1 (H. Henderson, 1957) pp. 246-248
'Jeannie Robertson' (J. Porter & H. Gower, 1995) pp. 233-234
'A Collection of Scots Songs' (A. Munro & H. Henderson, 1972) p. 18
'Jeannie Robertson: The Lyric Songs' (H. Gower & J. Porter) in 'Scottish Studies' vol. 21 (1977) pp. 74-76
'Lyrica Erotica' vol. 2 'A Wee Thread o Blue' LP (Arthur Argo), Prestige International PR-INT 13048, Side 1, track 4

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