FENNARIO

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs
  • FENNARIO
    The oldest known version of the Scottish ballad is called “The Bonnie Lass O’ Fyvie”.
    Another early transcribed version is given under the title Bonnie Barbara-O [3]. An early
    English version Handsome Polly-O is also present, though in slightly different settings.
    Another English version is called “Pretty Peggy of Derby”. The song probably travelled
    with Scottish immigrants to America. It is recorded in the classic English Folk Songs
    From the Southern Appalachians” by Cecil Sharp. Variants of the song refer to the War of
    1812 and the American Civil War. A Dixie version of the song makes the final resting
    place of the captain to be Louisiana.
    Over time, the name of Fyvie” also got corrupted, and often nonsense words like
    “Fennario”, “Fernario”, “Finario”, “Fidio”, “Ivory” or “Ireo” were placed in its stead to fit
    the metre and rhyme [6]. As a result, the song is commonly referred to as “Fennario”. The
    1960s folk music movement saw it transform to another title “Peggy-O” become a
    common song in many concerts owing to its clear melody and lilting rhyme.
    As we rode out to Fennario
    As we rode out to Fennario
    Our captain fell in love with a lady like a dove
    And he called her by name pretty Peggy-O
    Will you marry me, pretty Peggy-O
    Will you marry me, pretty Peggy-O
    If you will marry me, I will set your cities free
    And free all the ladies in the area-O
    I would marry you, sweet William-O
    I would marry you, sweet William-O
    I would marry you, but your guineas are too few
    And I fear my mama would be angry-O
    What would your mama think, pretty Peggy-O
    What would your mama think, pretty Peggy-O
    What would your mama think if she heard my guineas clink
    And saw me marching at the head of my soldiers-O
    If ever I return, pretty Peggy-O
    If ever I return, pretty Peggy-O
    If ever I return, all your cities I will burn
    Destroy all the ladies in the area-O
    Come stepping down the stairs, pretty Peggy-O
    Come stepping down the stairs, pretty Peggy-O
    Come stepping down the stairs, combing back your yellow hair
    And bid a last farewell to young William-O
    Sweet William he is dead, pretty Peggy-O
    Sweet William he is dead, pretty Peggy-O
    Sweet William he is dead, and he died for a maid
    And he’s buried in the Louisiana country-O
    As we rode out to Fennario
    As we rode out to Fennario
    Our captain fell in love with a lady like a dove
    And he called her by name pretty Peggy-O