Complete Songs Of Robert Burns - online book

360+ songs with lyrics, sheet music, historical notes & glossary.

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I. LOVE-SONGS : PERSONAL                  359
quoting authority, she married her cousin, by whom she had three sons; he fell into some scrape which compelled him to abscond. Polly afterwards contracted a quasi-matrimonial alliance with a farmer named George Welsh, but, as they could not agree, they separated. In 1806 she lived with her father at Maxwelton, who was no longer factor of Closeburn. There Polly picked up an acquaintance with a Swiss soldier named Fleitz, with whom she went abroad, and after many wanderings died at Florence in 1847.
Burns's song was formed on one of the Jacobite ballads made after the rebellion of 1745. The tune is entitled Queensberry House in Bremner's Keels, 1758, 40, and Aird's Airs, 1782, i. No. 101. It is said to be in Walsh's Cale­donian Country Dances, c. 1736, under the title The Confederacy. In 1749, on the anniversary of the Battle of Culloden, some English officers in the dress circle of the Canongate Theatre, Edinburgh, called on the orchestra to play Culloden, which incensed the audience, who retaliated by demanding ye're welcome, Charlie Stewart. A riot ensued, and the officers got the worst of it. The lively air Culloden is very little known; the following is a copy from Johnson's Two Hundred A'ew Country Dances, 1748: —
M"o. 27. From thee, Eliza, I must go. Kilmarnock edition, 1786, 227. ' Tune, Gilderoy.' Burns recommended Thomson to insert the song in his collection ; bnt in Scotish Airs, 1793, i. if, he set it to a wrong tune. ' Eliza' was very likely one of the Mauchline belles.
Gilderoy is the tune of a celebrated seventeenth century ballad of the same name. It is a corruption of Gillieroy, the red-haired lad, applied to Patrick Macgregor, a native of the Lomonds, of the same clan, or sept, as the notorious Rob Roy. He pursued the business of a cattle-lifter, and by his courage and audacity raised himself to be the leader of a band of Caterans, who scoured the country from Strathspey to Strathdee. According to the Privy Council Records, Gillieroy and his band sorned through the whole bounds of Strathspey, Brae-mar, Cromar, and the districts thereabouts, oppressing the common people, violently taking from them their meat, drink, and provisions, and their 'hail! goods.' In those days the Argyle family acted as the hereditary police, and Lord Lorn tried to stamp out the system of robbery carried on by the lawless Celts. He captured Gillieroy about July, 1636, and nine other notorious ruffians, who were charged with plundering the house of William Stewart on the romantic isle of Inchcailloch in Loch Lomond, and making a clean sweep of the island and the premises, including the title-deeds of the property. The whole band were convicted and hanged in Edinburgh, Gillieroy and his






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