Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafehuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Lyr Req: Ma Plaid (from The Poozies)

Related threads:
The Voice: Well Done Sally Barker (15)
Sally Barker's 'Joni Mitchell Project' (11)
poozies in Bungay (5)
Lyr Req: No Going Back (Poozies?) (11)
Lyr Req: Another Train (The Poozies) (2)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
This Is Nae My Plaid (from The Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection)


fairy godmother 16 Oct 99 - 11:46 AM
Susan-Marie 02 Dec 03 - 05:46 PM
Malcolm Douglas 02 Dec 03 - 06:50 PM
Susan-Marie 03 Dec 03 - 01:52 PM
GUEST,ozmacca 03 Dec 03 - 05:46 PM
Malcolm Douglas 03 Dec 03 - 06:13 PM
Joe Offer 04 Dec 03 - 03:16 AM
GUEST,MC Fat 04 Dec 03 - 07:06 AM
Susan-Marie 04 Dec 03 - 08:29 AM
Jim McLean 04 Dec 03 - 10:30 AM
Bearheart 06 Dec 03 - 03:26 PM
GUEST,Jon 01 Nov 05 - 02:03 PM
Malcolm Douglas 01 Nov 05 - 07:51 PM
GUEST 02 Nov 05 - 01:32 PM
Malcolm Douglas 02 Nov 05 - 08:07 PM
Jim Dixon 10 Nov 07 - 01:18 PM
Jack Campin 10 Nov 07 - 02:43 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:



Subject: lyrics please: ma plaid
From: fairy godmother
Date: 16 Oct 99 - 11:46 AM

There's a wonderful Poozies' song called Ma Plaid and I'm desperate to get my hands on the lyrics, and helpful mudcatters out there??? Many thanks


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: MA PLAID
From: Susan-Marie
Date: 02 Dec 03 - 05:46 PM

Well, I don't know if the fairy godmother is still out there, but I just bought the CD and can provide the lyrics. Then I have a question: just whose plaid is the singer wearing? SHe considers her true love's plaid to be "ma plaid" but she says she's not wearing it, so is she wearing her birth family's plaid, or is there a more intersting story like being held prisoner by another clan?

MA PLAID (trad.)

This is no' my plaid, my plaid, my plaid
This is no' my palid, bonnie though the colour be

The ground o' mine was mixed wi' blue
I got it frae the lad I lo'e
He ne'er has gied me cause tae rue
And oh the plaid is dear to me
For mine was silky soft and warm
It wrapped me round frae arm tae arm
And like himself it bore a charm
And oh the plaid is dear to me

Although the lad the plaid wha wore
Is now upon a distant shore
And cruel seas between us roar
I'll mind the plaid that sheltered me
The lad that gie'd me it like me well
Although his name I duarna tell
He likes me just as weel's himself
And oh the plaid is dear to me

Oh may the plaidie yet be worn
By Caledonians still unborn
Ill fa' the wretch whae'er shall scorn
The plaidie that's sae dear tae me
Frae surly blasts it covers me
He'll me himself protection gie
I'll lo'e him 'till tha day I die
And oh the plaid is dear to me

I hope he'll no' forget me now
Each aften pledged aith and vow
I hope he'll yet return to woo me
In the plaid sea dear tae me
And may the day come soon my lad
When we will tae the kirk and wed
Weel happit in the tartan plaid
The plaidie that's sae dear to me


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: lyrics please: ma plaid
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 02 Dec 03 - 06:50 PM

Number 6720 in the Roud Folk Song Index, and generally called This is no my plaid. Only one example with tune is listed at present (Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection, V, 576), but it also appeared with music in A.C. MacLeod and Harold Boulton, Songs of the North, I, c.1885, 22-4) described as "Words by W. Haley, traditional air arranged by Malcolm Lawson". The text was as above, though much shorter. A slightly longer text can be seen at Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads:

This is no my plaid (printer and date unknown).

There is a broadside issued by the Poet's Box, Glasgow, in 1850, set to the tune of This is no my plaid, so it will have been current at that time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: lyrics please: ma plaid
From: Susan-Marie
Date: 03 Dec 03 - 01:52 PM

Thanks Malcom. ANy thoughts on the meaning of the song?

In some ways it's similar to songs that refer to political themes in code - e.g.,
"Although the lad the plaid wha wore
Is now upon a distant shore....
...Although his name I duarna tell"

could refer to an exiled leader.

Wasn't there a period when the clan MacGregor was outlawed and it was illegal to speak the name or wear the plaid? Could that be why the singer isn't wearing "her" plaid?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: lyrics please: ma plaid
From: GUEST,ozmacca
Date: 03 Dec 03 - 05:46 PM

The MacGregors were certainly outlawed for a time, and the use of the name was punishable by law. However, the colour associated with the MacGregors was (and still is) red, while the plaid in the song is "mixed with blue". As the song seems to come from the period when it was fashionable (and safe) to be misty-eyed and romantic about all things caledonian, as well as the last failed threat to replace the House of Hanover, I'd suppose that in this case blue could be taken as being associated with the deposed Stewart kings. Doesn't "Bonny Moorhen" speak of blue as one of the colours for Charlie and all that?

Mind you, it could simply be a reference to a soldier laddie serving abroad at any time in Scottish history. Blue was a common enough colour associated with Scotland in arms. The "Blue Bonnet" for example was an accepted scots soldier's headgear, and the "Blue Blanket" was a battle flag carried to Flodden by men from Edinburgh if memory serves me right (not that I was actually there at the time you understand)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: lyrics please: ma plaid
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 03 Dec 03 - 06:13 PM

On the whole I wouldn't be looking for hidden meanings here, and Jacobite sympathies are usually stated specifically, as most songs on the subject were written after the event, once everything had settled down again. The MacGregors were proscribed for a while (and for a different reason, I think, but I may be mis-remembering) but there's no particular reason to think them connected in any way with this song.

If I were to make a guess (and I don't know that it's particularly important) I'd say that there might be a clue in the verse missing from the text quoted above, but present in the broadside edition I mentioned:

Farewell ye lowland plaids o' grey
Nae kindly charms for me ye hae
The tartan shall be mine for aye,
For O! the colour's dear to me.

There are a lot of songs dealing with love-matches between members of Lowland and Highland families of which both sides disapprove (particularly if the boy is a soldier); one of those romantic clichés of which people never tire, and which can make pretty songs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADD: This Is Nae My Plaid
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Dec 03 - 03:16 AM

THIS IS NAE MY PLAID

CHORUS
O this is nae my plaid, my plaid, my plaid,
O this is nae my plaid, bonnie tho' the colour be.

  1. The ground of mine wis mixed wi blue
    I got it frae the lad I lo'e
    He ne'er has gi'en me cause to rue
    An O the plaid is dear to me.

  2. For mine was silky saft an warm,
    It rap't me roun frae arm to arm,
    An like himsel it bore a charm
    An O the plaid is dear to me.

  3. Frae surly blasts it covers me
    He'll me himsel protection gie
    I'll lo'e him till the day I de'e
    His plaid shall aye be dear to me.

  4. The time may come my ain dear lad
    When we will to the kirk and wad
    Wed happit in thy tartan plaid
    That plaid shall aye be dear to me.

  5. For this will then be my plaid
    My plaid my plaid
    O this will then be my plaid
    An while I live shall ever be.


Singer: Mrs MARGARET GILLESPIE — D

Source: Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection, #1063

Click to play


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: lyrics please: ma plaid
From: GUEST,MC Fat
Date: 04 Dec 03 - 07:06 AM

The plaid would probably be a sort of crude harris tweed type cloth. The concept or notion of clans recognising each other by their tartan is quite prepostorous. Clan tartans were invented by Sir Walter Scott and were a victorian invention. It's more likely you could smell the Mcgregors coming because the highland folks lived and slept in their plaids.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: lyrics please: ma plaid
From: Susan-Marie
Date: 04 Dec 03 - 08:29 AM

Thanks again Malcolm, and everyone else. I couldn't get the link at Broadside to work yesterday so I didn't get to see the missing verses. They do explain the singers context. I always like to have a story to go with a song I sing, and now I do!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: lyrics please: ma plaid
From: Jim McLean
Date: 04 Dec 03 - 10:30 AM

Martin Martin's book 'Description of the Western Islands of Scotland', published in 1703 says 'Every Isle differs from each other in their fancy of making plaids, as to the Stripes in Breadth and Colours. This Humour is as different thro the main Land of the Highlands, in-so-far that they who have seen those Places, are able, at the first view of a man's Plad (sic), to guesse the Place of his Residence....' The same writer also tells us that weavers took great pains to give exact patterns of the tartan by having the number and colour of every thread upon a piece of wood.It is well known that these Maide dalbh, or pattern sticks served as guides for the weavers in making their tartans and Martin makes it perfectly clear that not only was care taken to keep an exact record of tartan setts but that also the people of each district could be identified by the pattern of their tartan. This book was completed circa 1695, long before Walter Scott's time. He didn't invent tartan but romanticised its use. Lots of new tartans were indeed 'invented' in Victorian times but tartan did exist long before then.
Jim McLean


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: lyrics please: ma plaid
From: Bearheart
Date: 06 Dec 03 - 03:26 PM

In fact it is believed that the beginnings of the plaid started as much as 3000 years ago. Mummies found in Western China who look quite Celtic and who wear a prototypic plaid are dated to at least that long ago. They are clearly not Oriental. (See "The Mummies of Urumchi", Elizabeth Wayland Barber, also author of "Prehistoric Textiles, Archaeological Decipherment, and Women's Work: The First 2000 Years". Ms. Barber is considered the world's foremost authority on ancient textiles, and was part of a team who painstakingly worked with the mummies, documenting and preserving them.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: lyrics please: ma plaid
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 01 Nov 05 - 02:03 PM

The song is indeed a Jacobite-era song. The lyrics are coded speech about the exiled Charles Edward Stuart, better known as Bonnie Prince Charlie. After the 1745 Jacobite Uprising, much of the familiar trappings of Scottish culture were outlawed. To openly speak support for the Jacobite cause would have been folly, so this (and probably many other) songs were written to communicate love (that is, the love of a patriot, disguised as a romantic love in the song) for Bonnie Prince Charlie. The plaid is a symbol of the loss of an independent Scotland. After the 1707 Act of Union bound Scotland and England, many Scots were left feeling that their country was no longer their own. (...this is no ma plaid, bonnie though the colours be...)

Hope that helps.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: lyrics please: ma plaid
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 01 Nov 05 - 07:51 PM

How do you know?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Ma Plaid / This Is Nae My Plaid
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 01:32 PM

Partly from an interview given to Fiona Richie (host of the Thistle & Shamrock radio program) a few years back. I don't remember the name of the scholar who was discussing Jacobite songs with Fiona, but this background was given in the interview. I'm rather familiar with the period from my research on the political history, but not so much with the folk songs of the era. I know many Jacobite songs were written later during the decline of Jacobitism (late 18th-early 19th century) and, as you mentioned in an earlier post, openly mention Bonnie Prince Charlie, etc. There are, though, many songs (Ma Plaid I belive to be one of them) that were either derived from an earlier source, or were simply written with the coded references to begin with. If I can find a transcript of the interview with Fiona Richie, I'll post it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Ma Plaid / This Is Nae My Plaid
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 08:07 PM

Please do. Most songs that people (and a lot of folk are taken for "scholars" when they are really nothing of the kind; I include myself) fondly imagine to have multiple layers of meaning turn out to be pretty straightforward once romantic speculation is replaced by evidence.

Does anybody know who "W Haley" was? My guess (and it is only that) would place him in the early 19th century, writing a lyric to the tune used by Ramsay for This is no my ain House, and Burns for This is no my ain Lassie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: THIS IS NO MY PLAID
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Nov 07 - 01:18 PM

From Vagabond Songs and Ballads of Scotland: With Many Old and Familiar Melodies by Robert Ford, 1901.

THIS IS NO MY PLAID.

O THIS is no my plaid,
My plaid, my plaid;
O this is no my plaid,
Bonnie though the colours be.

The ground o' mine was mixed wi' blue,
I gat it frae the lad I lo'e;
He ne'er has gi'en me cause to rue,
And O! the plaid is dear to me.

Fareweel, ye lowland plaids o' gray,
Nae kindly charm for me ye ha'e;
The tartan shall be mine for aye,
For O! the colour's dear to me.

For mine was silky, saft and warm,
It wrapp'd me round frae arm to arm;
And like himsel' it bore a charm,
And O! the plaid is dear to me.

Although the lad the plaid wha wore
Is now upon a distant shore,
And cruel seas between us roar,
I'll mind the plaid that shelter'd me.

The lad that ga'e me't likes me well,
Although his name I daurna tell;
He likes me just as weel's himsel',
And O! the plaid is dear to me.

O may the plaidie yet be worn,
By Caledonians still unborn;
Ill fa' the wretch whae'er shall scorn
The plaidie that's sae dear to me.

Frae surly blasts it covers me,
He'll me himsel' protection gi'e,
I'll lo'e him till the day I dee,
And O! his plaid is dear to me.

I hope he'll no forget me now,
Each aften pledgèd aith and vow;
I hope he'll yet return to woo
Me in the plaid sae dear to me.

And may the day come soon, my lad,
When we will to the kirk and wed,
Weel happit in the tartan plaid—
The plaidie that's sae dear to me.

O! this will then be my plaid,
My plaid, my plaid;
O! this will then be my plaid,
And while I live shall ever be.

This is one of the commonest songs in the Scottish chap-books, from which fact I presume it to have been a popular favourite in the end of last century. Whitelaw prints an abridged version, and attributes the authorship to W. Halley, of whom, by the by, he gives no biographical or other particulars.

[Note: The typography suggests that the first 4 lines are a chorus, and the last 4 lines are a variant of the chorus that is sung at the end.]


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ma Plaid (from The Poozies)
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Nov 07 - 02:43 PM

The tune is also known as "Deil Stick the Minister", in David Young's collection of dances of the year 1740. (No relation to the modern Shetland tune of the same name that I can see). It has survived in tradition to the present day in that form, as a slow reel.

Anybody know of a song text that relates to that title?

I doubt the Jacobite use of allegorical symbols had anything to do with serious risk of repressive measures. They just enjoyed feeling persecuted and the (completely transparent) allegorical machinery was literary convention.

But we may be about to see a new era of coded poetry as a result of this...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7068945.stm

(The first conviction in the UK for thought crime since the time of Thomas Muir, I think).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 23 September 2:15 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.