Catherine Ogie

  1. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin

    I was reading a story by c19th American author Thomas Tracy in which our heroine is described as playing German and Scottish tunes and in particular the plaintive strains of Catherine Ogie.
    Looking on the Session I found the tune described as a Barndance. If anyone wants to sing along here are the lyrics;


    As walking forth to view the plain,
    ⁠Upon a morning early,
    While May's sweet scent did cheer my brain,
    ⁠From flowers which grew so rarely:
    I chanced to meet a pretty maid,
    ⁠She shin'd though it was foggie,
    I ask'd her name, sweet sir, she said,
    ⁠My name is Cathrine Ogie.

    I stood awhile, and did admire
    ⁠To see a nymph so stately;
    So brisk in air she did appear
    ⁠In a country maid so neatly;
    Such ⟨natural⟩ sweetness she display'd;
    ⁠Like lilies in a bogie,
    Diana's self was ne'er array'd
    ⁠Like this same Kathrine Ogie.

    Thou flow'r of females, beauty's queen,
    ⁠Who sees thee, sure must prize thee;
    Tho’ thou art drest in robes but mean,
    ⁠Yet these cannot disguise thee:
    The hansome air and graceful look
    ⁠Excell each clownish rogie;
    Thou'rt match for laird, or lord, or Duke,
    ⁠My charming Cathrine Ogie.

    O were I but some shepherd swain,
    ⁠To feed my flocks beside thee
    At bughting-time to leave the plain,
    ⁠In milking to abide thee;
    I'd think myself a happier man
    ⁠Wi Kate, my club, and dogie,
    Than he that hugs bis thousand ten,
    ⁠Had I but Cathrine Ogie.

    Then I'd despise th' imperial throne,
    ⁠And statemens dangerous stations;
    I'd be no king. I'll wear no crown,
    ⁠I'd smile at conquering nations,
    Might I caress and still posess
    ⁠This lass of whom I'm vogie,
    For they are toys, and still look less,
    ⁠Compar'd with Cathrine Ogie.

    I fear the gods have not decreed
    ⁠For me so fine a creature
    Whose beauty rare makes her exceed
    ⁠All other works in Nature.
    Clouds of despair surround my love,
    ⁠They are both dark and foggie;
    Pity my case, ye powers above!
    ⁠Else I die for Cathrine Ogie.
  2. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    The Session calls every tune a "barndance" -- their definition appears so wide as to be effectively meaningless. Catherine Ogie appears in Playford's Dancing Master and is also sometimes attributed to the Scottish 17th century harpist Rory Dall (note that there was an Irish harpist of the same name a few decades earlier, the two getting confused all the time). I recorded this tune almost exactly ten years ago, in early 2011:

    It's a fun tune -- thanks for reminding me!

  3. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    A new one for me, Duncan. Clean picking and tone. Thanks for posting.
  4. Gelsenbury
    It's an interesting tune, which is new to me also. I don't think it sounds like a dance at all. It has a more poetic quality to it, like something by O'Carolan perhaps. Thank you both for introducing this nice melody.
  5. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    While I was writing my comment yesterday Martin actually posted his ten-year-old version above. Interesting comparing the two offerings. As Martin says, the Session site does not cover all the genres we play; it is a site dedicated principally to Irish traditional music. Barndance is used to cover a wide range of tunes - in Irish terms I believe it is simply a label for music played at dance sessions, unlike our Canadian Barn Dance which is a specific, recognised dance, often danced in Scotland to 2/4 pipe march tunes. If you look at the Session it lists 12 "tune types" and slow air is not one of them. When you look at the lyrics that Duncan posted with his video they certainly seem to call for a slow air rather than a dance tune, and I can see distinct shades of Robert Burns' style in many of the lyrics and phrases and use of some Scots words.

    By the way, heartiest congratulations to Dennis (Gelsenbury) who I reckon can claim the record here for the most consecutive posts submitted. I think I counted 25. That, sir, is dedication!
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