Saturday Night Serenade–Side Effects of Research

Confession…
I’m a Girl Scout from waaayyyy back, y’all. I went to troop meetings, sold cookies, the whole nine yards. I even went to camp a couple of times as a young camper, then later in high school as a CIT (Counselor In Training) which meant that I attended for free and did normal Counselor duties without being paid.

One of the things I loved most about camp was singing all the old campfire songs. After every meal, we’d gather in the center of the dining hall and sing old songs like A Ram Sam Sam, Barges, and the Billboard Song among others.

One of my favorites was The Gypsy Rover. It tells the story of a wealthy young lady who leaves the comfort of her lord and castle to run away with her Gypsy love. Go figure, I was drawn to a song about love and romance.

Currently, I’m writing the third and final book in my Redheads & Ranchers series. It’s called ANNA’S HEART, and the hero of the story is a world-famous Scottish actor. As I envisioned the story, I saw a scene where Angus would play a guitar and sing a Scottish folk song by the campfire, and the song I kept hearing was The Gypsy Rover.

So I began to do a little research. Copyright law is very particular when it comes to music. And unfortunately for me, that song, which is actually called The Whistling Gypsy, was composed and copyrighted by songwriter Leo Maguire.

But as it turns out, that song, and a handful of others like it, are based on a traditional Scottish border ballad that dates back to around 1720 called The Raggle Taggle Gypsy. Which makes this song public domain, meaning I’m free to use it in my book.

And to be honest, I actually like this song better. I found there are various versions. I chose this one because it includes all the lyrics. But I’ll add the Celtic Thunder version below, because it’s very good.

I hope you had a happy Halloween. Hello, November! I guess we’re heading full-tilt into the holiday season.

Be sure to hug those you love. Happy Saturday night!