Milwaukee Record is proud to present Public Domain. The music video series features Milwaukee musicians setting up at Colectivo Coffee to adapt some of the world’s best-known songs in ways they’ve never been heard before. Watch the entire series here.
Most commonly known as “The Bonnie Lass o’ Fyvie,” the traditional Scottish folk ballad about a ship captain’s failed attempt to wed a young woman has gone by many names through the years. Factors like the passage of well over a century and the fact that it’s been shared between musicians scattered throughout the globe have brought about an array of different names—such as “Fennario” and “The Maid Of Fife”—and significant lyrical variations over the course of the generations since this unattributed song first came to be.
Bob Dylan was one of the first American songwriters to record a rendition of the standard, when “Pretty Peggy-O” wound up on the legendary troubadour’s 1962 debut. Since then, versions of “Peggy-O” (and “Fennario,” as well as “Frenario” in at least one instance) have been recorded and performed by the likes to Joan Baez, Simon and Garfunkel, The Grateful Dead, Trampled By Turtles, Jefferson Starship, and The National. “Peggy-O” has also become a staple in live performances by Milwaukee’s own Chicken Wire Empire.
Prior to the band’s two-show residency at The Back Room @ Colectivo, the local bluegrass outfit took the stage at that East Side venue to perform their gorgeous take on the Scottish song that so many have fallen in love with, regardless of what they might call it. You can watch Chicken Wire Empire perform “Peggy-O” (among other songs) at The Back Room on November 15 and November 16.