The Maid of the Cowdenknowes

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Tiotal a' Chlàir - The Maid of the Cowdenknowes
Tiotal Eile a' Chlàir - The Broom o the Cowdenknowes
Fiosraichean - Alan J. Bruford
Luchd-clàraidh -

Geàrr-chunntas - A fragment of the ballad version of 'The Broom o the Cowdenknowes'.

A maid from the Cowdenknowes is milking her father ewes on a wet winter's night. A troop of men comes riding by, who have overheard her singing. One man rides towards her and tells her to keep milking, "for fear that we do you wrong". [Part of the narrative is missing. For the missing verses the singer jokingly says "asterisk asterisk asterisk".] The girl takes her milk pails in her hand and runs home crying. All her father says is, "Ye've tarried lang frae hame." She tells her father there was a wily tod [fox] amongst the flock, and that rather than take the lamb that he did take, she'd rather he had taken three.

Alan Bruford learned the song from the late Ethel Findlater of Orkney, who had learned part of it from her husband. He had refused to teach it to her, and she only got some of the words from his sister after his death. As such the version is incomplete.

Fad a' Chlàir (h:m:s) - 00:03:25
Àm Clàraidh - 1979.02.15
Cànan - Beurla, Albais
Seòrsa - Òran, Fiosrachadh
Cruinneachadh - Sgoil Eòlais na h-Alba

Àireamh a' Chlàir - 68614
Àireamh an Teip Thùsail - SA1979.018
Àireamh a' Chlàir Thùsail - SA1979.18.1
Càileachd an Fhuaime - Math
Cruth Inneal a' Chlàir - R2R

Seòrsachadh - C217; GD838; R92;

Àite Clàraidh:
  Siorrachd - Meadhan Lodainn
  Paraiste - Dùn Èideann
  Baile/Àite - Dùn Èideann

Notaichean a' Chlàir - 5 verses, fragment only. This is a fragment of the ballad version, not the lyrical Jacobite version popularised by some 18th-century broadsheets and collections such as 'The Scots Musical Museum'. Also known as 'The Ewe Buchts', or variants thereof, in Aberdeenshire. The original recording, made by Alan Bruford from Mrs Ethel Findlater (tape SA1967.109), is transcribed in Tocher 5, where it is called 'The Maid o the Cowdean Knowes', reflecting the pronunciation also used here.
Recorded at a School of Scottish Studies cèilidh.
'Tocher' 5, (Spring 1972) pp. 164-165
Greig-Duncan vol. 4, pp. 268-275, no. 838 and extensive notes on the song's ancestry, pp. 554-555

Ceangal Maireannach -

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BBC Alba
The National Trust for Scotland
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