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Annachie Gordon

[ Roud 102 ; Child 239 ; G/D 5:1021 ; Ballad Index C239 ; trad.]

Nic Jones sang the ballad Annachie Gordon on his 1977 album The Noah's Ark Trap. This track was also included on the Trailer anthology Never the Same. He also recorded it twice for a BBC Radio 1 John Peel Session on July 8, 1976, broadcast July 23, 1976, and on April 19, 1977, broadcast April 26, 1977. Probably one of these versions is on his CD Unearthed but the liner notes didn't mention the actual source of the recording. Nic Jones commented though:

For Annachie Gordon I adapted the tune found in Christie's Traditional Ballad Airs and collated verses from Lord Saltoun & Auchanachie (Buchan's Ballads of the North of Scotland), Young Annochie (Murison MS), and Lord Saltoun & Annachie (Christie's Traditional Ballad Airs).

John Wesley Harding also sang Annachie Gordon on his Nic Jones tribute album, Trad Arr Jones.

June Tabor and the Oysterband also performed Anachie Gordon for a BBC Radio 1 John Peel Session recorded on November 27, 1990 and broadcast January 5, 1991. According to the Always sleeve notes, they weren't satisfied with this performance though and didn't use it again. June did perform it again in a duo with Mark Emerson playing drone and viola. A live recording from McCabe's Guitar Shop, Santa Monica on March 21, 1991 can be found on her 4CD anthology Always.

The Unthanks sang Annachie Gordon in 2009 on their CD Here's the Tender Coming. Becky Unthank sang lead and commented in the CD notes:

This is a song I've loved for years. The words are just heartbreaking and it's one of the stories that captured me growing up listening to Nic Jones. I got this version from him.

Jon Boden sang Anachie Gordon as the January 29, 2011 entry of his project A Folk Song a Day.

In this video, Jackie Oates sings Annachie Gordon accompanied by Belinda O'Hooley on piano as s part of the “In Search of Nic Jones” concert at the Ham Marquee, Sidmouth, on August 5, 2010:


Nic Jones sings Annachie Gordon

Buchan, it's bonny, oh and there lives my love;
My heart it lies on him, it will not remove.
It will not remove for all that I have done,
Oh never will I forget my love Annachie.
For Annachie Gordon, oh he's bonny and he's braw,
He'd entice any woman that ever him saw.
He'd entice any woman and so he has done me,
Oh never will I forget my love Annachie

Down came her father, standing on the floor,
Saying, “Jeanie, you're trying the tricks of a whore.
You care nothing for a man who cares so very much for thee;
You must marry with Lord Saltoun and leave Young Annachie.
For Annachie Gordon he's only but a man
Although he may be pretty but where are all his lands?
Saltoun's lands are broad and his towers they stand high;
You must marry with Lord Saltoun and forget Young Annachie.”

“With Annachie Gordon oh I'd beg for my bread
Before that I'd marry Saltoun with gold to my head.
With gold to my head and with gowns fringed to the knee,
Oh I'll die if I don't get my love Annachie.
And you that are my parents, oh to church you may me bring,
Ah but unto Lord Saltoun, oh I'll never bear a son.
Oh, A son or a daughter, oh I'll never bow my knee,
Oh, I'll die if I don't get my love Annachie.”

When Jeanie was married and from church she was brought home,
And she and her maidens so merry should have been.
When she and her maidens so merry should have been
Oh, she's gone to a chamber and she's crying all alone.

“Come to bed now Jeanie, oh my honey and my sweet,
For to style you my mistress it would not be meet.”
“Oh it's mistress or Jeanie, it's all the same to me,
For it's in your bed, Lord Saltoun, I never shall be.”
And up and spoke her father and he's spoken with renown,
“All you who are her maidens won't you loosen off her gown.”
But she fell down in a swoon, so low down by their knees,
Saying, “Look on, for I'm dying for my love Annachie.”

The day that Jeanie married was the day that Jeanie died
That's the day that young Annachie come rolling from the tide
And down came her maidens and they're wringing of their hands,
Saying, “Woe to you, Annachie, for staying from the sands.
So long from the land and so long upon the flood,
Oh they've married your Jeanie and now she is dead.”

“All you that are her maidens, won't you take me by the hand?
Won't you lead me to the chamber that my love lies in?”
And he's kissed her cold lips until his heart turned to stone,
And he's died in the chamber where his true love lay in.