Wae’s Me For Prince Charlie hornpipe

Also known as The Bonny Hoose O Airlie, Johnny Faa, Wae’s Me For Charlie.

There are 3 recordings of a tune by this name.

Wae's Me For Prince Charlie has been added to 6 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: Wae's Me For Prince Charlie
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amix
dB||A3B d3B|BABd e3f|A3B dfed|B3A !fermata!A2:||
||:e3f a3b|afef d3f|1 e2ef aaba|f3e !fermata!e3d:|2 A2AB dfed|B3A !fermata!A2||
X: 2
T: Wae's Me For Prince Charlie
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmix
D2 | G2 A>B {d}c3 B | A>G A>B G2 dB| G2 AB ce dB |
{B}A4 G2 G>A | B2 B>c d3 d | {d}e2 e>d d2 dB | GG AB ce dB |
{B}A4 G3 c | BA Bc d3 d | e2 e>d d2 dB | GG AB ce dB |
{B}A4 G2 |]

Four comments

Wae’s Me For Prince Charlie

The words (and sleeve notes) for this beautiful Scottish song can be found here:
http://mysongbook.de/msb/songs/w/waesmefo.html

NB:
This tune is obviously not a hornpipe but can be played as a slow march.
By the usual standards of ITM, the Key should probably be D major, but I prefer to err on the controversial side here with ‘A mixolydian’ since the attraction to the A is very strong.
If in A, the mode is ‘authentic’, not ‘plagal’, that is, it displays a rare anhemitonic pentatonic structure which includes neither the 3rd nor the 7th of the scale. This mode, which is common in other traditions (Tatar and Mari for instance) is rather difficult for our ‘Western ear’ to construe.

Re: Wae’s Me For Prince Charlie

This ballad air is more commonly known as "The Bonny Hoose o Airlie", and has been used and re-used many times.
I suspect this mode, lacking the 3rd and 7th notes, is actually not that uncommon in the music of Scotland.

Re: Wae’s Me For Prince Charlie

I suspect that much myself ampocar, thanks for your comment.
It is probably due to the musicologists who did the sorting and labeling: paradoxically enough, I suspect that the same generation of musicologists construed Tatar, Chinese or Mongolian tunes as 4th- & 7th-less pentatonic in order to ‘exoticise’ them or perhaps because they trusted too much in the ‘last note gives the key’ approach to tonality. In the absence of a native theory on the subject, the tunes are probably only ‘what they are’, regardless of what modal system they’re supposed to fit in.

Wae’s Me For Prince Charlie, X:2

This is tune for "The Bonnie Hoose o’Airlie", taken from "The Scottish Minstrel" (1820-4). The song is extremely gloomy (though not to be taken as historically true as it seems no-one was at home when the house was sacked). Words as follows:- (not sure I got the verse length right?)
The Bonnie House of Airlie

It fell on a day, on a bonny summer’s day
When the sun shone bright and clearly,
That there fell oot a great dispute
Between Argyll and Airlie.
Argyll he has mustered a thousand o’ his men,
And he’s marched them in right early;

He’s marched them up by the back o’ Dunkeld,
Tae plunder the bonnie hoose of Airlie.
Lady Ogilvie she looked frae her window sae high,
And oh but she grat sairly,
To see Argyll and a’ his men
Come plunder the bonny hoose of Airlie.

Come doon, come doon, Lady Ogilvie,” he cried:
“Come doon and kiss me fairly,
Or I swear by the hilt on my broadsword
I’ll never leave a standin’ stane in Airlie.”
“Oh I wadna come doon, ye cruel Argyll,
And I wadna kiss ye fairly;

Oh I wadna kiss, nay, false Argyll,
Though ye wadna leave a standin’ stane in Airlie.”
“Come tell me whaur your dowry is hid,
Come doon and tell me fairly.”
“l winna tell ye whaur my dowry is hid,
Though ye wadna leave a standin’ stane in Airlie.”

Oh they sought it up and they sought it doon,
And aye they sought it early;
And it was ablow yon bowling green
They found the dowry of Airlie.
Oh they sought it up and they sought it doon,
And aye they sought it early;

And it was ablow yon bowling green
They found the dowry of Airlie.
“Gin my guid lord had been at hame,
But he’s awa’ for Charlie,
There wadna be a Campbell in a’ Argyll
Set foot on the bonny hoose of Airlie.”

He’s ta’en her by the milk-white hand,
But he didna lead her fairly;
And he’s led her up to the top o’ the hill,
Where she saw the burnin’ doon o’ Airlie.
The smoke and the flames they rose so high
And the walls they blackened fairly;

And the lady’s laid her doon on the green grass to die
When she saw the burnin’ doon o’ Airlie.