Verse 1: 'The red moon is up on the moss-covered mountain; / The hour is at hand when I promised to rove, / With the turf-cutter's daughter by Logan's bright water, / And tell her how faithful her Donald can love.' The name of the publisher is not included and the sheet is not dated.
This broadside ballad contains a love song dedicated to Mary, 'The Star of Glengary'. As both lovers are shown to be in tune with nature, it is likely that this ballad was written during the Romantic era, in the latter part of the eighteenth century. The red moon eclipse mentioned in the opening line is probably a pagan symbol of female fertility. Glengarry is located between Loch Ness and Loch Lochy, in the heart of the Scottish Highlands' Great Glen.
Early ballads were dramatic or humorous narrative songs derived from folk culture that predated printing. Originally perpetuated by word of mouth, many ballads survive because they were recorded on broadsides. Musical notation was rarely printed, as tunes were usually established favourites. The term 'ballad' eventually applied more broadly to any kind of topical or popular verse.
View Transcription | Download PDF Facsimile