Cam Ye O'er Frae France
|"Cam Ye O'er Frae France?"|
|English title||Came You Over From France?|
After the death of Queen Anne the British crown passed on to George, the Elector of Hanover. In his entourage George I brought with him a number of German courtiers, including his mistress Melusine von der Schulenburg, whom he later created the Duchess of Kendal (known as the Goose) and his half-sister Sophia von Kielmansegg (commonly referred to as the Sow). George I's wife Sophia Dorothea of Celle remained in Hanover, imprisoned at Ahlden House after her affair with Philip Christoph von Königsmarck – the blade in the song. Another historic personality in the song is John Erskine, Earl of Mar (Bobbing John) who recruited in the Scottish Highlands for the Jacobite cause. The nickname Geordie Whelps is a reference to the House of Welf, the original line of the House of Hanover.
Cam ye o'er frae France? Cam ye down by Lunnon?
Saw ye Geordie Whelps and his bonny woman?
Were ye at the place ca'd the Kittle Housie?
Saw ye Geordie's grace riding on a goosie?
Geordie, he's a man there is little doubt o't;
He's done a' he can, wha can do without it?
Down there came a blade linkin' like my lordie;
He wad drive a trade at the loom o' Geordie.
Though the claith were bad, blythly may we niffer;
Gin we get a wab, it makes little differ.
We hae tint our plaid, bannet, belt and swordie,
Ha's and mailins braid—but we hae a Geordie!
Jocky's gane to France and Montgomery's lady;
There they'll learn to dance: Madam, are ye ready?
They'll be back belyve belted, brisk and lordly;
Brawly may they thrive to dance a jig wi' Geordie!
Hey for Sandy Don! Hey for Cockolorum!
Hey for Bobbing John and his Highland Quorum!
Mony a sword and lance swings at Highland hurdie;
How they'll skip and dance o'er the bum o' Geordie!
(Repeat first verse)
a, a' = adj all
bannet = n bonnet
belive (belyve) = quickly, soon, immediately
blade = a person of weak, soft constitution from rapid overgrowth; Count Philip Christoph von Königsmarck of Sweden
blithe = adj festive; glad; happy; joyful. n gladly, happily.
Bobbing John = John Erskine, Earl of Mar. So called because he switched sides 6 times before his death.
bonny = pretty, beautiful, attractive
bonny woman = a woman of loose character
braid = broad
braw = adj fine; handsome; splendid; admirable; well-dressed; worthy
brawly = well
ca = v call
claith = cloth
cloth = George Augustus
cockalorum = a young cock, or little man with a high opinion of himself. Alexander Gordon, Marquis of Huntly
differ = n difference; dissent. v dissent.
Don = diminutive of Gordon (the last syllable).
frae = from
gane = gone
Geordie = diminutive of George. George I and/or George Augustus
Geordie's grace = His Grace King George I
gin = if, whether
goose = a goose; a prostitute
goosie = diminutive of goose; a pig; a fat and gross person; derisive nickname for the King's mistress; 'The Goose', Countess Ehrengard Melusine von der Schulenburg, later Duchess of Kendal
ha = n hall; house; mansion.
ha's and mailins = houses and farmlands
hae = v have; take; credit (believe/think)
Highland hurdie = a Highland soldier
Highland quorum = either the hunting party on 27 August 1715 or the planning meeting on 3 September 1715
hurdie = buttock
Jocky = a Scotsman. James III
kittle = adj adept; ticklish; tricky; v arouse, enliven; tickle; perplex; tease; titillate
kittle housie = brothel; St. James's Palace
link = n skip; v walk smartly; to make love
linkin = tripping along
loom = a loom; a metaphor for female sexual organs
loom of Geordie = George I's former wife, Princess Sophia Dorothea of Celle
lordie = George I
Lunnon = London
mailing = a leased smallholding, a farm
mailings braid = broad farmlands
Montgomery = Sidney, Earl of Godolphin
Montgomery's lady = Queen Mary Beatrice of Modena, wife of James II and mother of James III
mony = adj many
niffer = haggle or exchange; to exchange, to barter with objects hidden in the fists
o'er = over; excessively; too
o't = of it
plaid = James III
Sandy = diminutive of Alexander.
Sandy Don = Major-General Alexander Gordon of Auchintoul
thrive = success
tint = lost; lost (past participle of tine = to lose)
to dance = to raise funds, to raise troops and prepare to fight. Compare the song To Auchindown, which has the lines: "We joined the dance, and kissed the lance, / And swore us foes to strangers."
to dance a jig with Geordie = To fight with George I.
trade = a business; an exchange or substitution
wab = web (or length) of cloth); a length of woven cloth from one loom
wad = n pledge, security; wager, bet; forfeit. adj wedded. v pledge; wager, bet; wed.
wha = pron who
whelp = a puppy; an ill-bred child; Guelph, a political faction (left over from the Middle Ages) to which the House of Hanover belonged. George I and/or George Augustus
For a more in depth explanation of the background of this song, please see
House of Tudor (Extreme Background)
|House of Tudor (Extreme Background)|
House of Stuart
|House of Stuart|
House of Hanover
|House of Hanover|
- The Church of Scotland
- The Parliament of Scotland
- Highland Clearances
- The political rights of the Parliament of England
- Episcopalian rule of the church by the monarch
- Freedom of religion, History of Freedom of religion in the United Kingdom
- The Wars of Religion
- The English Reformation (1533)
- Royal prerogative
- The Gunpowder Plot (1605), a.k.a. the Gunpowder Treason Plot or the Jesuit Treason
- The Thirty Years' War (1618–1648)
- Petition of Right (1628)
- The Divine Right of Kings, and the Personal rule of Charles I, 1629–1640
- Wars of the Three Kingdoms Scotland, England and Ireland (1639 – 1651)
- The Scottish Bishops' Wars (1639, 1640)
- The English Civil War (1642–1651)
- The Siege of Oxford in 1646
- Second Civil War (1648 – 1649)
- Pride's Purge of December 1648
- Commonwealth of England, or the English Interregnum (1649 – 1653)
- "Rump Parliament" (1649 – 1653)
- Third Civil War (1649 – 1651)
- The Protectorate (1653 – 1659)
- Poor Relief Act 1662 a.k.a. Settlement Act or, more honestly, the Settlement and Removal Act
- The Irish Confederate Wars (1641 – 1653)
- The execution of the Three Kingdoms' monarch, Charles I, by the English parliament (30 January 1649)
- The restoration of the English monarchy (1660)
- The Test Acts
- Exclusion Crisis (1678 – 1681)
- The Exclusion Bill (15 May 1679 – 1681)
- The English Bill of Rights 1689
- The Act of Settlement 1701, which states that the monarch was forbidden to be Catholic or to marry a Catholic (extant)
- The War of the Grand Alliance on mainland Europe
- The Revolution of 1688
- Convention Parliament of England (1689)
- The Williamite War in Ireland a.k.a. Jacobite War in Ireland, the Williamite–Jacobite War in Ireland and in Irish Cogadh an Dá Rí, "the War of the Two Kings" (12 March 1689 – 3 October 1691)
- The Dundee's rising in Scotland
- Nine Years' War (1688 – 1697) a.k.a. (1688–97) – often called the War of the Grand Alliance, the War of the Palatine Succession, or the War of the League of Augsburg
- Daniel Szechi (1994-05-15). The Jacobites: Britain and Europe, 1688-1788. Manchester University Press. p. 35. ISBN 978-0-7190-3774-0.
- Ewan MacColl, 'The Jacobite Risings'
- Scots-English English-Scots Dictionary. New Lanark ML: Lomond Books. 1998. p. 256. ISBN 0947782265.
- Unriddling Came Ye o'er frae France?
- Folk Songs and Ballads of Scotland
- Older texts may refer to the war as the War of the English Succession, or, in North American historiography as King William's War. This varying nomenclature reflects the fact that contemporaries – as well as later historians – viewed the general conflict from particular national or dynastic viewpoints.