The High-Kilted Muse

The High-Kilted Muse: Peter Buchan and HisSecret Songs of Silence

Edited by Murray Shoolbraid
With a Foreword by Ed Cray
Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 336
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt12f5sr
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  • Book Info
    The High-Kilted Muse
    Book Description:

    In 1832 the Scottish ballad collector Peter Buchan of Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, presented an anthology of risqué‚ and convivial songs and ballads to a Highland laird. When Professor Francis James Child of Harvard was preparing his magisterial edition of The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, he made inquiries about it, but it was not made available in time to be considered for his work. On his death it was presented to the Child Memorial Library at Harvard. Because of its unseemly materials, the manuscript has languished there ever since, unprinted, though referred to now and again, and a few items have from time to time made an appearance. The manuscript has now been transcribed with full annotation and with an introduction on the compiler, his times, and the Scottish bawdy tradition. It contains the texts (without tunes) of seventy-six bawdy songs and ballads, along with a long-lost scatological poem attributed to the Edinburgh writer James "Balloon" Tytler. Appendices give details of Buchan's two published collections of ballads. Additionally, there is a list of tale types and motifs, a glossary of Scots and archaic words, a bibliography, and an index. The High-Kilted Muse brings to light a long-suppressed volume and fills in a great gap in published bawdy songs and ballads.

    eISBN: 978-1-60473-431-7
    Subjects: Music

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. FOREWORD: Peter Buchan and the Authenticity Controversy
    (pp. ix-xvi)
    ED CRAY

    Probably no folk song or ballad collector has quite endured the feral-eyed scrutiny of rivalrous scholars as has Peter Buchan, printer of Peterhead, Aberdeenshire. Poor Buchan, embraced in his own time by the likes of C. K. Sharpe, James Maidment and William Motherwell (he who dedicated hisGleanings of Scarce old Balladsto the venerated Sir Walter Scott, Bart.), Buchan endured the contumely of no less than Francis James Child, godhead of ballad studies, who dismissed Buchan as ‘an unscrupulous falsifier’.¹

    By the third quarter of the nineteenth century, Buchan’s cold and carnal bones lay mouldering in London’s Norwood Cemetery...

  4. PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
    MURRAY SHOOLBRAID
  5. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. xix-xx)
  6. Peter Buchan: INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-42)

    Peter Buchan was born in Peterhead in 1790, to parents who were quite well off. On his father’s side he traced his descent (to his own satisfaction) through a General Buchan of Rathy House, Crimond, back to the Comyns, the Earls of Buchan, renowned in Scottish history: the Black Comyn, in the thirteenth century, was a candidate for the crown, being descended from King Duncan. Buchan’s grandmother, ‘Bonny Peggy Irvine’, was a lineal descendant of the ancient family of Irvine of Drum, in Aberdeenshire, one of whose scions lent money to James VI, and was a patron of learning in...

  7. Secret Songs of Silence: THE TEXT
    (pp. 43-186)

    [i]

    To

    William Gordon, Esq. Of Fyvie and Marycultre

    My Worthy and very Dear Sir,

    It is said by the late Bishop Burnett, that the greatest satisfaction a man can have on earth, is the making of another happy. If this is the case – You, My Good sir, must then have a liberal share for you have not only been the principal means in the hand of a kind Providence of makingmyself, but mywhole familyhappy.Friendshipis the cordial of life; and, were it not for that healing balm, who would wish to exist a day...

  8. COMMENTARY
    (pp. 187-248)
  9. TABLE OF TALE TYPES AND MOTIFS
    (pp. 249-250)
  10. GLOSSARY OF SCOTS WORDS AND ARCHAISMS
    (pp. 251-260)
  11. BIBLIOGRAPHY OF WORKS CONSULTED
    (pp. 261-276)
  12. APPENDIX 1. The Contents of the Two Editions of Peter Buchan’s Ancient Ballads and Songs of the North of Scotland (1828 and 1875); plus items in ASBNS not in Child, with notes
    (pp. 277-292)
  13. APPENDIX 2 The Contents of James Henry Dixon, Scottish Traditional Versions of Ancient Ballads (1845), with reference to Child ESPB
    (pp. 293-294)
  14. FIRST LINE AND TITLE INDEX
    (pp. 295-298)
  15. GENERAL INDEX
    (pp. 299-302)