Songs & Ballads Of the American Revolution

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80
BANKS OF THE DEE.
time, endeavoring " to quell the proud rebels " of Columbia ; but the issue of that contest was very different from the anticipations of tho bard.
2 The banks of the Dee. Robert Burns, in a letter to George Thomson, dated 7th April, 1793, says, " The banks of the Dee, is, you know, literally Langolee, to slow time. The song is well enough, but has some false imagery in it, for instance,
4 And sweetly the nightingale sang from the tree.1
" In the first place, the nightingale sings in a low bush, but never from a tree; and in the second place, there never was a nightingale seen or heard on the banks of the Dee. or on the banks of any other river in Scotland. Exotic rural imagery is always comparatively flat."
The justice of these remarks seems to have been allowed by Mr. Tait; for in a new edition of the song, retouched by himself, some years after, for Mr. Thomson's collection, the first half stanza is printed thus:
'"Twas summer, and softly the breezes were blowing, And sweetly the wood pigeon eoo'd from the tree. At the foot of a rock, where the wild rose was growing, I sat myself down on the banks of the Dee."
Shenstone's Lyrics.






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III