Edom o Gordon

Date 1956
Track ID 3192
Part 1

Track Information

Original Track ID

SA1956.45.B19; SA1956.45.B20

Original Tape ID



A recited fragment of the ballad 'Edom o Gordon':

Edom o Gordon says til his men,
"We maun draw til a ha.
And whatna ha will we go til,
My merry men and me?
We'll off to the castle [o] Corgarff,
And view the fair lady."

The contributor does not remember which of the old folk he heard singing this song. Corgarff Castle is the location he has heard mentioned. A comparison is made with 'The Bonnie Hoose o Airlie' - such acts would have been commonplace in much of Scotland's past.

Item Notes

6 lines (the last 2 lines of first verse and a complete second verse of 4 lines) recited. This fragment agrees closely with Child's D text.

This ballad refers to the burning of either Corgarff Castle or nearby Towie Castle (both strongholds of the Forbes family) on 9th October 1571 by Adam Gordon, or his deputy Captain Thomas Ker. The besiegers demanded that Margaret Campbell, the wife of the absent Alexander Forbes, surrender the castle; on her refusal, they burned the castle with her, her children and their servants inside.

'The Bonnie Hoose o Airlie' is Child no. 199, Roud Folk Song Index no. 794.

Greig-Duncan vol. 2, pp. 166-167
'Scottish Ballads' (E. Lyle, 1994) pp. 55-59
'The Scottish Ballads' (R. Chambers, 1829) pp. 67-72
'Scottish Ballad Book' (N. Buchan, 1973) pp. 157-159
'Scottish Tragic Ballads' (J. Pinkerton, 1781) pp. 43-49
'Ballads of Scotland' vol. 1 (W. E. Aytoun, 1858) pp. 19-25
'Book of Scottish Ballads' (A. Whitelaw, 1845) pp. 110-111
'Scotish [sic] Songs' vol. 2 (J. Ritson, 1794, 1869) pp. 362-367
'Traditional Ballad Airs' vol. 1 (W. Christie, 1876) pp. 56-57
'Gleanings of Scarce Old Ballads' (P. Buchan, 1825) pp. 180-184
'Ancient & Modern Scottish Songs' vol. 1 (D. Herd, 1869, 1973) pp. 8-13
'Last Leaves of Traditional Ballads' (A. Keith & G. Greig, 1925) pp. 110-113
'Andrew Crawfurd's Collection of Ballads & Songs' vol. 2 (E. Lyle, 1996) pp. 35-39

Item Subject/Person

Gordon, Adam; Campbell, Margaret; Forbes, Alexander; Ker, Thomas

Recording Location

County - Banffshire

Parish - Inveravon

Village/Place - Glenlivet

Item Location

County - Aberdeenshire

Parish - Strathdon

Village/Place - Corgarff






R80 GD231 C178

Source Type

Reel to reel

Audio Quality