Tune of the Day: Raggle Taggle Gypsy
Also known as “The Gypsy Laddie” or “Black Jack Davy” this song is an English/Scottish Border ballad, possibly written about 1720.
The theme of the wandering gypsy is frequently found in folk music. Although there are many versions of this song, the story is generally about a Gypsy called Johnny Faa who tries, successfully, to charm the unmarried daughter of a squire. He promises her wealth and she goes off with him. When the squire comes home and discovers what has happened he rides off in search of his daughter, and after a long chase he finds her, only to discover that she refuses to come home.
The ballad has been sung in many different variations in Scotland and England from the 18th century, and in the United States and Canada from the 19th century. In Ireland, however, it only appeared in the 1970s. Notable recordings have been made by The Chieftains, Celtic Thunder and Rapalje.