The true story of Blackjack Davey / Gypsy Davey / Gypsy Laddie, whose name was not Davey

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The true story of Blackjack Davey / Gypsy Davey / Gypsy Laddie, whose name was not Davey

Post  pinhedz on Mon May 30, 2011 8:55 am

pinhedz
Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:34 pm

The story goes that a gallant knight named Sir John Faa was an old boyfriend of Lady Jane Hamilton, wife of John Kennedy, 6th Earl of Cassillis from 1621 to 1642. After she already had 3 children, Sir John and a bunch of accomplices disguised themselves as gypsies, and went to her castle to lure her away.

And the rest is history (i.e., legend):

"The gypsies came to the Earl o' Cassillis' yett,
And oh, but they sang sweetly;
They sang sae sweet and say very complete,
That doun came our fair lady."

"And she came tripping doun the stair,
Wi' all her maids before her;
As sune as they saw her weel-faured face,
They cuist their glamour o'er her."

Before the countess and the gypsy band had been gone long, the Earl returned, pursued them on horseback, and overtook and captured them at a ford over the river Doon, called the Gypsies' Steps. Johnnie Faa and his accomplices were hanged on the "dule-tree" opposite the castle gate of Cassillis, and the countess was imprisoned in an old family mansion at Maybole, where she spent the rest of her days working of tapestry. The Earl married another wife.

But thanks to careful research into preserved 17th century documents and letters, we know that the Countess never eloped and the whole story is bogus. The Earl married the Countess in 1621 and they remained happily married until she died in 1642. The Earl mourned for her, as is clear from letters he sent to friends and his minister, and he didn't remarry for 2 years after that.

As William Chambers writes in "Chamber's Journel of Popular Literature" (1875):

"So, down the wind to the limbo of malicious fabrications, must now float the versified legend of Johnnie Faa, with all it's picuresque particulars. How the worshippers of old ballads and mythic legends will hate the ransacking of charter-rooms!"


pinhedz




Hosni

I'm concerned that I'm not seeing Bob Dylan's name here anywhere. Very concerned.

So let me say that Blackjack Gypsy is one of the standout trax on GAIBTY.


John McLaughlin

Lifted.


pinhedz

DC folk DJ Mary Cliff has noted that folk music varies in attitude from what could be called "chamber folk" to "punk folk."

This song is one of those that have been recorded in all styles, from the most genteel to the most low-down and funky.

John McLaughlin

pinhedz wrote:DC folk DJ Mary Cliff has noted that folk music varies in attitude from what could be called "chamber folk" to "punk folk."

This song is one of those that have been recorded in all styles, from the most genteel to the most low-down and funky.
And Mary has probably played most of them on her radio show, a long-running treasure in the DC area.


pinhedz

btw--even though I often cite "House Carpenter" (aka "Daemon Lover") as the template for the 16-bar "blues tree trunk," I could just as well cite "Gypsy Laddie," it's the same format, so is "Lady Margaret," there are probably hundreds of them, all made from the same template.

pinhedz
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Re: The true story of Blackjack Davey / Gypsy Davey / Gypsy Laddie, whose name was not Davey

Post  Yakima Canutt on Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:51 am





















Yakima Canutt

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