Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Silly Wizard: The Queen Of All Argyll

Every Tuesday I feature a traditional song or a contemporary tune written and/or performed like a traditional song. Today‘s feature, “The Queen of all Argyll,” was penned by Andy M. Stewart and was first recorded by his band Silly Wizard in 1983.

Since Silly Wizard introduced “The Queen of all Argyll,” numerous other artists have covered this same tune. In my estimation, not one of the covers measures up to Andy’s performance as lead singer in Silly Wizard. On a personal note, I first heard the song from a cassette of “The Best of Silly Wizard” that I received as a gift in 1988 – the same year they disbanded.

Silly Wizard was one of the better known Scottish traditional bands and was known to exhibit considerable energy in concert. The band also utilized numerous varied instruments in performance and on their recordings. Although not the winner, Silly Wizard was nominated the best Scottish Folk Band Award in 2003.

Gentlemen it is my duty
To inform you of one beauty
Though I'd ask of you a favor
Not to seek her for a while
Though I own she is a creature
Of character and feature
No words can paint the picture
Of the Queen of all Argyll

And if you could have seen her there
Boys, if you had just been there
The swan was in her movements
And the morning in her smile
All the roses in the garden
They bow and ask her pardon
For not one could match the beauty
Of the Queen of all Argyll

On the evening that I mentioned
I passed with light intention
Through a part of our dear country
Known for beauty and for style
In the place of noble thinkers
Of scholars and great drinkers
But above them all for splendor
Shone the Queen of all Argyll

So my lads I needs must leave you
My intentions no' to grieve you
Nor indeed would I deceive you
Oh I'll see you in a while
I must find some way to gain her
To court her and attain her
I fear my heart's in danger
From the Queen of all Argyll

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