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Mormond Braes

[ Roud 2171 ; G/D 6:1142 ; Ballad Index FVS171 ; trad.]

John Strachan sang Mormond Braes at the 1951 Edinburgh People's Festival Ceilidh.

Jimmy McBeath sang Mormond Braes to Alan Lomax in London on November14, 1953. This recording was included in 2002 on his Rounder anthology Tramps and Hawkers.

Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger sang Mormond Braes in 1956 on their Tradition album Classic Scots Ballads, and in 1962 on their Folkways album Popular Scottish Songs. He commented in the former album's sleeve notes:

It was the practice in Northeast Scotland for ploughmen to be housed in shacks (bothies) away from the main farm building, and when the day's work was finished the evening would be given over to the singing of songs. The heroine of this song, though jilted, has the comfort of a sound philosophy—a philosophy shared by the countless Scots ploughmen in whose bothies Mormond Braes has always been a great favourite.

Davie Stewart sang Mormond Braes to Alan Lomax in London in 1957. This recording was included in 2002 on his Rounder anthology Go On, Sing Another Song.

Robin Gray sang Mormond Braes in 1961 on Dolina MacLennan's and his Topic EP By Mormond Braes. He commented in the album's sleeve notes:

Mormond Braes is an Aberdeenshire ballad telling the story of a rejected but defiant love. The lassie is determined to erase the memory of her old love with the attention of at least one new one.

Robin Hall and Jimmie MacGregor sang Mormond Braes in 1961 on their Decca album Scottish Choice and a year later on Two Heids Are Better Than Yin!.

Alex Campbell sang Mormond Braes in 1965 on his eponymous Transatlantic album Alex Campbell.

Daisy Chapman sang Mormond Braes at the Aberdeen Folk Festival in October 1968. This recording made by Peter Shepheard was included in 2000 on her Musical Traditions anthology Ythanside. Rod Stradling commented in the accompanying booklet:

As sung by Daisy Chapman at the Aberdeen Folk Festival Sunday afternoon traditional concert in October 1968 shortly after returning from her successful first appearance at the Blairgowrie Festival in August 1968. This characteristic song from the Buchan countryside of north east Scotland was a favourite of Daisy's—the Mormond Hill beside Strichen is a prominent landmark of the area and within sight of her birthplace. Gavin Greig took great delight in the song when he first heard it and he included it in his serial story Logie o' Buchan, and gave it pride of place in the first of his weekly articles in the Buchan Observer in December 1907.

Dougie MacLean sang Mormond Braes in 1978 on Alan Roberts and his Plant Life album Caledonia.

Jim Reid sang Mormond Braes in 2005 on his Greentrax album Yont the Tay. He commented in his liner notes:

Alex Campbell was a bit of a forerunner to Billy Connolly. I love his version of this song for its sheer energy.

Jackie Oates sang Mormond Braes in 2006 on her eponymous first album, Jackie Oates, and on Wistman's Wood's eponymous EP, Wistman's Wood.

Lyrics

Ewan MacColl sings Mormond Braes Daisy Chapman sings Mormond Braes

As I gaed down by Strichen Town
I heard a fair maid mournin',
She was makin' sair complaint
For her true love ne'er returnin'.

As I gaed doon tae Strichen Toon,
I heard a fair maid mournin;
She was makin sair complaint,
For her true love ne'er returnin.

Mormond Braes far heather grows,
Far afttimes I've been cheery;
Mormond Braes whaur heather grows,
'Twas there I lost ma dearie.

Chorus (repeated after each verse):
Fare ye weel, ye Mormond Braes,
For ofttimes I've been cheery,
Fare ye weel, ye Mormond Braes,
For it's there I lost my deary.

Chorus (repeated after every other verse):
Sae fare ye weel, ye Mormond Braes,
Far afttimes I've been cheery;
Fare ye weel, ye Mormond Braes,
'Twas there I lost ma dearie.

But I'll pit on the goun o' green,
It's a forsaken token;
And that will let the young men know,
That the bands o' love's been broken.

There's mony a horse has snappet and fa'n
And risen again full rarely,
Many a lass has lost her lad
And gotten another right early.

There's mony a horse has snappert an fa'en,
And risen an gaed fu rarely,
There's mony a lass has lost her lad,
And gotten anither richt early.

There's as guid fish intae the sea
As ever yet was taken,
I'll cast my line, and I'll try again,
For I'm only ance forsaken

There's as guid fish intae the sea,
As ever there's been taken;
I'll cast ma nets and try again,
For I've only been aince forsaken.

Sae I'll gae down tae Stricken town,
Where I was bred and born in,
And there I'll get another sweetheart
Will marry me in the mornin'.

But I'll ging doon tae Strichen Toon,
Far I wis bred and born;
Far I will get anither sweethert,
That'll mairry me the morn.