The Wagoner's Lad

Today’s lesson is on the Bothie Ballad. Virtually all of American (and Canadian) folk music can trace its roots back to the border counties of Lowland Scotland. This was (and is) an agricultural area where large tracts of land are owned by “Lords” and are farmed by hired labour who reside in little cottaqes called “bothies”. It was a hard life over 200 years ago, with little time for leisure or entertainment. But after the work was done, the bothie lads would play and sing ballads that reflected the moral (and immoral) values of their little world. The Wagoner’s Lad is a perfect example of a bothie ballad, probably composed in the 1760’s and brought over to America during the early boom of immigration from the British Isles.

A Wagoners Lad

If anyone is interested, there is a great book called “The Wayfaring Stranger” which documents the course of bothie ballads, and how they evolved and morphed into the folk music of today.

There will be a test on Monday. Have a great weekend everyone.