Women setting up men

Hillary Clinton's treatment of the President today puts me in mind of a favorite old song, "The Baron of Brackley" (Child Ballad #203):

From the YouTube poster:
[A] sobering tale of medieval Scottish married life.  It is believed the incident occurred in September 1666, but what the ballad does not tell us is that it is a reprisal raid by John Farquharson of Inverey on John Gordon of Brackley for a cattle raid.
The "Dee" and the "Spey" are rivers.  When the raiders arrive, Brackley's treacherous wife goads him into a hopeless opposition.

Down Dee side came Inverey whistlin' and playin',
And he is to Brackley's gates ere the day is dawnin'.
Saying, "Are ye there, Brackley, and are ye within?
There are sharp swords at your gates, they'll gar your blood spend."

"Oh, rise up, my Baron, and turn back your kye,
For the lads frae Dunmurray are driving them by."
"Oh, how might I rise up, and turn them again?
For where I have one man I'm sure he has ten."

"If I had a husband, the like I have nane,
He'd no lie upon his bed and watch his kye ta'en."
Then up spake the baron, said, "Gi'e me my sword;
There's nae man in Scotland but I'll brave at a word."

When the baron were buskit to ride o'er the close
A gallanter Gordon ne'er mounted a horse.
Saying, "Kiss me, my Peggy, nor think me tae blame,
For I maun go out, love, and I'll never come hame."

There rode wi' false Inverey full thirty and three,
But along wi' bonny Brackley just his brother and he.
Twa gallanter Gordons did ne'er the sword draw,
But against three and thirty, wae's me, what is twa?

Wi' swords and wi' daggers they did him surround
And they pierced bonny Brackley wi' monys a wound.
Tae the banks o the Dee, tae the sides of the Spey,
The Gordons will mourn him and ban Inverey.

"Oh, came ye from Brackley's yetts, oh, came ye by there?
And saw ye his Peggy a-rivin' her hair?"
"Aye, I came by Brackley's yetts, and I came by there,
And I saw his bonny Peggy:  she was makin' good cheer.

"She was rantin' and dancin', she was singin' wi' joy,
And she swears this very nicht she will feast Inverey.
She laughed wi' him, danced wi' him, welcomed him in,
And lay wi' him till morning he who slew her good man."

There's grief in the kitchen, but there's mirth in the hall,
For the Baron o' Brackley lies dead and awa'.
Then up spake his son on his own nurse's knee:
Saying "Afore I'm a man it's avenged I'll be."


Grim said...

This sounds to me like the start of a good poem, rather than the end of one. It's almost Arthurian.

Joseph W. said...

I love that song but recommend this interpretation even more highly.

Grim said...

These recent songs, by the way, an excellent warm-up for the Stone Mountain Scottish Highland Games this coming weekend.

Texan99 said...

I'm partial to the Jean Redpath version, but it's not on YouTube.

Anonymous said...

I like Cowboy Celtic's version, but traditionalists might wince a little.