Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 6 of 8 from 1860 edition - online book

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some reference to our hero." [See the Musical Mu­seum, ed. 1853, vol. iv. p. 336.]—Scott's Minstrelsy, i. 402.
The ballad as here given is to be found in A Col­lection of Old Ballads, 1723, vol. i. p. 170. The whole title is: Johnny Armstrang's Last Good-night, shewing how John Armstrong, with his eightscore men, fought a bloody battle with the Scotch King at Eden-borough. It had previously appeared in Wit Restored, 1658, p. 123, in very good shape, except the want of some stanzas towards the end. It is in this form, says Motherwell, that the story is preserved in the mouths of the people. Nevertheless, Allan Ramsay has in­serted in his Evergreen quite a different version, taken down from the mouth of a gentleman of the name of Armstrong, " the sixth generation from this John," which the reciter maintained to be the genuine ballad, " and1 the common one false."
Ramsay's copy is subjoined, and the imperfect edi­tion from Wit Restor'd finds a place in the Appendix.
The following verses, generally styled Armstrong's Good-night, are said to have been composed by one of that tribe who was executed in 1601 for the murder of Sir John Carmichael, Warden of the Middle Marches. They are from Johnson's Museum, p. 620, and are also found in Herd's Scottish Songs, ii. 182. In Buchan's Ballads of the North of Scotland, ii. 127, there is a twaddling piece called The Last Guid Night, which is a sort of imitation of these stanzas.
The night is my departing night,
The morn's the day I maun awa, There's no a friend or fae of mine,
But wishes that I were awa.

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