Skip to comments.Amazing Audio: Confederate Veterans Sing "Bonnie Blue Flag" (Accents not what you think)
Posted on 04/05/2012 3:23:02 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
Check out this absolutely amazing AUDIO of actual Confederate veterans singing "Bonnie Blue Flag." Note the accent of the lead singer. His accent seems to be Ulster Scots-Irish, not what we think of as a Southern accent. I guess that accent lingered on until at least the Civil War.
Oh, and it was recently discovered via recordings, that what we think of as the Rebel Yell didn't sound a bit like the real thing.
I’d certainly think of it as a “southern” accent:
It still exists in modified form in the Appalachians.
When he sings “Bears,” it sounds “Bahrs” with the “r” mostly silent. It sounds more Ulster than southern. Same with other words.
Sounds Scot-Ulster to me. A large number of Irish and Scots were transplanted into the Civil War, including Dutch.
Thanks for posting this. I am Appalachian, my grandfather had such a thick “hillbilly” accent that made it hard for us to understand him sometimes. My ancestors were Scotch-Irish, coming from Ireland in the 1700’s. Fascinating culture. I’m going to forward this to my father, he will enjoy it.
“...not what we think of as a Southern accent.”
What we think of as a “southern accent” didn’t exist until after the Civil War.
The tune is Scots also.
Thanks, that was great. Sometimes it sounded just about like the stereotypical Indian war whoop.
That was awesome! Thank you! You know, one of my great-great-great?-grandfathers fought for the Confederacy and died in the war. Another one of my great-great-great-grandfathers fought for the Union. I guess that was common in Kentucky.
Unless intended exaggeration, English language accents seldom come through in a song. An Aussie can sing a country western song in Sidney, but little accent difference can be noted in the same song sung in Nashville by an American.
I would expect the tone and vigor of the yell to be lacking when done by very old men.
My dad was born in 1886, my paternal grandfather was born in 1841 and he fought with Forrest until the end came.
Wow. I bet your father had some interesting stories to tell.
My grandmother’s sister married an old Confederate veteran when she was quite young. When I was little, we would visit her. I remember in one of the bedrooms upstairs (big spooky house), there was an armoire with her late husband’s military uniform in it. Wish I could have got my hands on that.
People need to read their history. One very academic source about the migration of the Scots and Scot-Irish from Ulster is Albion’s Seed by David Hackett.
These clannish folk immigrated from the northern counties of England, Ulster, and Scotland in huge numbers in the mid 1700s. Most entered through Philadelhia because the pacifist Quakers wanted them to move to the West to serve as a buffer on the frontier. Many were indentured.
Naturally curious and adventurous, many soon broke free of whatever restraints the Quaker burgers wanted to impose and moved West of the Alleghenies. Many went into the Ohio country. But One wave went South as far as the Carolinas and then turned West.
These are the folk that became the rural Southern whites, many of whom lived in the mountain ‘hollers’ in ‘cabins’ which were similar in some ways to the glens of Scotland. These were some of the folk that Senator Jim Webb wrote about in his book, “Born Fighting: How the Scots Shaped America.
And fight they did. Not so much for slavery, but for their clans on both sides of the Civil War since most were part of the ‘common man’ and not rich gentry. Think of Bravehart warriors in Blue and Gray and you may not be far off.
In fact, many historians now think the Rebel yell was simply a ululation war cry from their Gaelic warrior past transplanted to America.
Actually no, dad said grandfather talked very little to none about the war.
Same thing happened in my family, except it was two brothers. My GGG Grandfather fought for the Confederacy, and his brother fought for the Union. They never met on the field, and both survived the war.
I’ve wondered what our Founders sounded like. Was the British accent similar to what it is today? Would the Founders have had a British accent? I was listening to an interview with historian Paul Johnson on Dennis Prager one time, and Johnson indicated that the British of that time wouldn’t have sounded like we think. Thanks for sharing the recordings.
The dogs are still agitated and have their ears pinned after that LOL
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