“Queen Victoria's Welcome to Deeside”
"Ye hills and ye mountains surrounding Balmoral, ye groves and ye valleys, ye surely can tell." "The eighth of September will ne'er be forgotten... We ran and we jumpit... to welcome the Queen." Victoria and Albert's visit are toasted
The details in the song are not really enough to date it (no real indication of place; a date on the eighth of September, but no year), but it does mention "the Queen and her consort and three bonnie bairnies," as well as mentioning that the queen's husband in Albert. Thus Queen Victoria (1819-1901; reigned 1837-1901) and Prince Albert (1819-1861) are clearly indicated.
There is one minor curiosity in the song. Balmoral had been tenanted by Sir Robert Gordon until 1847, when that worthy died unexpectedly. Victoria and Albert then leased the house. They in fact first arrived on September 8, 1848. But the song mentions only three children; by 1848, Victoria had no fewer than six: Victoria (future Empress of Germany), Edward (future Edward VII), Alice, Alfred, Helena, and Louise, with the oldest, Victoria, still a few months shy of eight years old.
One suspects a political motive to the song. This was the era of the Highland Clearances, and not everyone in northern Scotland was happy with the English monarchy....
There seem to have been a *lot* of songs written about Queen Victoria's visits to Scotland. Broadsides on the theme include:
NLScotland, L.C.Fol.74(218), "The Queen's Visit to Scotland" ("The Queen is coming here they say, / To Scotland coming down"), unknown, n.d. but probably published in connection with an 1842 visit; also as Bodleian, Johnson Ballads 2781
NLScotland, ABS.10.203.01(128), "The Queen's Welcome to Scotland" [by Andrew Park] ("The queen she is coming, hurra! hurra! / To the land of the thistle, hurra! hurra!"), unknown, n.d.; same broadside as L.C.Fol.74(219b)
There are also broadsides on Victoria's trip to Ireland, plus there is a sort of a parody on these praise ballads, Harding B 14(123), "The Queen's Return from Scotland," J. Paul (London), n.d.; also 2806 c.16(121a), "The Queen's return from Scotland," G. Jacques (Manchester), etc. - RBW
- Sep 8, 1848 - Queen Victoria takes possession of Balmoral Castle
- Ord, p. 337, "Queen Victoria's Welcome to Deeside" (1 text)
- Roud #5605
- BI, Ord337