minstrel: song question

mn13189 at WCUVAX1.WCU.EDU mn13189 at WCUVAX1.WCU.EDU
Tue Apr 29 10:20:45 PDT 1997


I have a question as to the origins of a specific song.
I recently found out that the root word of my name (eo) is Gaelic for yew
tree, and "Eogan" means "one who sprung from the yew."
This reminded me of a song I haven't thought about in a while, and got me
interested in it.
It's called "Bonny Yew Tree."
It's a Scottish song, and the version I know is in modern English.
A quick summary of the song:  The first verse starts out describing this
1000 year old yew tree that supposedly knows the future.  Each subsequent
verse describes an event in Scottish history that the yew tree witnessed
(i.e. Flodden, John Knox, etc.)  In the final verse, the singer
contemplated cutting down the tree in an act of mercy, and then changes
his mind.
I have heard it numerous times in the SCA, and I also have a copy of it on
tape.  However, the band who recorded it did not write it, and they give
no notes as to where they got it from.  
I also haven't been able to find it in any book I look in.
So I was wondering if anyone knew of it's origins.  Who wrote it?  I
suspect it has a modern author.  If it is traditional, how far back can we
date it?  I'm just curious.
If it would help, I could transcribe the complete lyrics (it's been so
long since I've sung it, I'd have to look them up again).  
The chorus is simple: "My bonny yew tree, tell me what did you see."
Aye,
Eogan


           "I brought ye to the ring.  Now dance best ye can."
    ------------------------<mn13189 at wcu.edu>-------------------------
   Matthew Allen Newsome            |	    Lard Eogan Og Mac Labruinn
   intern consultant/curator	    |       Altantian Royal Bard
   Scottish Tartan Museum           |	    Chronicler, MSoB
   & Heritage Center	    	    |	    (Militant Society of Bards)
   http://intertekweb.com/tartans/  |	    Clan Og, SCA
   <tartans at dnet.net>               |       "IT'S ONLY A GAME!"
    --------------------"Bring Forrit The Tartan"---------------------


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