> Folk Music > Songs > Gin I Were Where Gaudie Rins / Back of Benachie

Gin I Were Where Gaudie Rins / Back of Benachie

[ Roud 5404 ; G/D 6:1223 ; Ballad Index McCST046 , Ord347 ; Mudcat 27891 ; trad.]

Norman Buchan 101 Scottish Songs Norman Buchan and Peter Hall The Scottish Folk Singer Ewan MacColl, Peggy Seeger Travellers' Songs from England and Scotland John Ord Bothy Songs and Ballads

John Strachan sang Where the Gadie Rins to Alan Lomax and Hamish Henderson in Turiff, Scotland, on 17 July 1951. This recording was included in 2002 on his Rounder anthology in the Alan Lomax Collection, Songs from Aberdeenshire. Hamish Henderson and Ewan McVicar noted:

In the early nineteenth century John Imlah wrote two other texts using the tune and title, but this is the ‘traditional’ song, composer unknown. The little Gadie Burn runs to the north and east of the mountain of Bennachie. The confidence of the chorus singing suggests that this was one of a group of songs learned in the school classroom.

Robin Gray sang Gin I Wa' Fer the Gaudie Rins in 1961 in Dolina MacLennan's and his Topic EP of songs of the islands and lowlands of Scotland, By Mormond Braes. He noted:

Gin I Wa' Fer the Gaudie Rins in spite of its snappy rhythm tells a sad story of a lass who was twice married but never a wife. Both husbands met untimely deaths, one by the sword and the other drowning in the Dee.

Charlie Allan sang Gin I Were Where Gadie Rins on his 1980 album It's Lonely in the Bothy.

The Old Blind Dogs sang Benachie in 1991 on their CD New Tricks. and in 1999 on their Live CD. Iain Clavey noted on the first album:

O! Gin I Were Where Gaudie Rins, as it is more popularly known, was written by one John Imlach of Aberdeen in the year 1779 and appeared in A Scots Minstrelsey, edited by John Greig of the Greig/Duncan collection. Ironically, we recorded the tune in a Cajun style, before Dave Shannon of Kelvingrove imparted this information on us. It's a small world indeed.

Lyrics

John Strachan sang Where the Gadie Rins

O gin I were where Gadie rins, where Gadie rins, where Gadie rins,
O gin I were where Gadie rins, at the back o Bennachie.

O I never there come back again, come back again, come back again,
O, I should ne’er come back again, yer Lowland lads tae see.

I never hid but twa rieht lads, but twa rieht lads, but twa rieht lads,
I never hid but twa rieht lads that dearly loved me.

The teen was killed in Lowrin Fair, in Lowrin Fair, in Lowrin Fair,
The teen was killed in Lowrin Fair and the tither was drooned in Dee.

Hid they gien my lovie man for man, man for man, man for man,
Hid they gien my lovie man for man, or yet’s the man for three.

He widna lyin so low the day, so low the day, so low the day,
He widna lyin so low the day at the fit o yonder tree.
[Spoken:] Good enough.

Old Blind Dogs sing Benachie

Chorus (after each verse):
Gin I were whaur the gaudie rins, the gaudie rins, the gaudie rins
Gin I were whaur the gaudie rins, oot the back o' Bennachie

I niver had but twa richt lads, twa richt lads, twa richt lads
I niver had but twa richt lads, that dearly courted me

An' ane was killed at the laurin' fair, the laurin' fair, the laurin' fair
O' ane was killed at the laurin' fair, the ither was droont in the Dee

An' I gaed tae him the haunin' fine, the haunin' fine, the haunin' fine
I gaed tae him the haunin' fine, this mornin' dressed tae be

Well he gaed tae me the linin fine, the linen fine, the linen fine
Gaed tae me the linen fine, big windin' sheet it be

Gin I were whaur the gaudie rins, wi the bonny broom an' the yellow whims
Gin I were whaur the gaudie rins, oot the back o' Bennachie