Hey, Johnnie Cope, Are Ye Waking Yet?

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"Hey, Johnnie Cope, Are Ye Waking Yet?"
Written by Adam Skirving
Music by Traditional
Written 1745[1]
Language Scots
Recorded by The Corries, Planxty

"Hey, Johnnie Cope, are Ye Waking Yet?", also "Hey Johnnie Cope, are you awake yet?", "Heigh! Johnnie Cowp, are ye wauken yet?", or simply "Johnny Cope" is a Scottish folk song.

The song, written by Adam Skirving to a well known tune, gives an account from the Jacobite viewpoint of the Battle of Prestonpans.[1] In the battle, which took place during the Second Jacobite uprising, Sir John Cope was the commander of the government troops, and was defeated in a dawn attack by the Jacobites.

The song includes several apocryphal incidents, including challenges conveyed by letters between Cope and his rival Bonnie Prince Charlie, as well as exaggerated accounts of Cope's cowardice. It also includes an account of him fleeing from the battle all the way back to Berwick, being the messenger of his own defeat, which is also doubtful. The battle, however, was a decisive victory for the Jacobites.

Usage[edit]

It has been recorded by Ewan MacColl, The Corries, Natalie MacMaster, The Tannahill Weavers, Charlie Zahm, Planxty, Emerald Rose, Back o' the Moon and many others. "Johnnie Cope" has been arranged many times for both solo voice and choirs, most notably by Ken Johnston for the National Youth Choir of Scotland and the National Boys' Choir. It was performed at the Glasgow leg of Proms in the Park 2007, along with other Johnston arrangements.

The tune, set for pipes, is the regulation pipe call for Réveillé in Highland Regiments of the British Army and also the Scots Guards Regiment, in which John Cope served between 1710 and 1712.[2]

In McAuslan in the Rough, George MacDonald Fraser writes whimsically of being woken by the song while serving as a young subaltern in the Gordon Highlanders.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1897). "Skirving, Adam". Dictionary of National Biography 52. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 359. 
  2. ^ Scots Guards Standard Settings of Pipe Music (4th edition) Patterson's Publications London 1960
  3. ^ MacDonald Fraser, George. 'McAuslan in the Rough' 1974

External links[edit]