Complete Songs Of Robert Burns - online book

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378
HISTORICAL NOTES
could compete with Abelard or Sterne in that style of epistolography. On the lady's part it was a more serious affair, and during all her long life she cherished the memory of Burns.
Mrs. Ml.ehose wrote verses, and Burns assisted her with his criticism. The eight lines in the text were added to twelve written by her, four of which were omitted in the Museum.
The tune, rather commonplace, was taken from McGibbon's Scots Tunes, 1755, 2j; it is also in Caledonian Pocket Companion, xi. 10. A different Banks ofSpey is in McGlashan's Keels, 1786,7.
No. 78. Thine am I, my faithful fair. Thomson's Scotish Airs, 1799, _ro. ' Written for this work by Robert Burns.' The MS. is in Brechin Castle. There is no record of this song before 1793, but it probably is one of the Clarinda series. On sending it to Thomson the only remark Burns makes is :' The verses I hope will please you as an English song to the air' (i. e. 7*ke Quaker's wife). In 1795, two lines were altered to fit Jean Lorimer. He was at that time under the 'Chloris' enchantment, and he threatened to anathematize Thomson if he did not make the proposed alterations. The song was published as desired, but to the melody Up in the morning early, without authority.
For the tune, The Quaker's wife, or Merrily dance the Quaker, see Song No. 40.
No. 79. Behold the hour, the boat arrive! Cnrrie, Works, 1800, iv. 111. 'Tune, OrangaoiV; Thomson's Scotish Airs, 1805, 1^4. A song altered in December, 1791, to connect it with Mrs. McLehose, who was about to leave for the West Indies. The original begins :
' Behold, the fatal hour arrive, Nice, my Nice, ah, farewell.'
The tune Oran Gaoil is referred to in a letter to George Thomson of August, 1793. 'They have lately in Ireland, with great pomp, published an Irish air as they say, called Caun du delish. The fact is, in a publication of Corri's a great while ago, you find the same air called a Highland one, with a Gaelic song set to it. Its name there, I think, is Oran Gaoil, and a fine air it is.' More than a year afterwards he returns to the subject. ' The other one in your collection Oran gaoil, which you think is Irish, they claim as theirs by the name of Caun du delish, but look into your publications of Scottish Songs, and you will find it as a Gaelic Song, with the words in that language, a wretched translation of which original words is set to the tune in the Museum. Your worthy Gaelic priest gave me that translation, and at his table I heard botk the original and the translation sung by a large party of Highland gentlemen, all of whom had no other idea of the tune than that it was a native of their own country.' The authorities referred to by Burns are Corri's Scots Songs, 1783, ii. 29, and the Scots Musical Museum, 1790, No. 27J. The old Jew, in the Caledonian Pocket Companion, c. 1753, v. 19, has only a remote resemblance to this admirable Celtic melody.
Wo. 80. Clarinda, mistress of my soul. Scots Musical Museum, 1788, No. ipS, entitled Clarinda. Signed ' B.' Written early in 1788, during the Clarinda craze. Thomson inserted them in his Select Melodies, 1822, I'll. ijt altering some, of the lines without authority. He set them to an original melody of little merit by Stephen Clarke, the friend of Burns.
The tune in the Museum is the composition of Schetki, according to Burns in the Interleaved Museum, where he acknowledges the verses. The music, in the style of a psalm-tune, does not resemble the secular music of the country.
No. 81. Now in her green mantle blythe Nature arrays. Thomson's Scotish Airs, 1799, op. ' Written for this work by Robert Burns.' On December 9, 1794, Burns wrote to Thomson that he had just framed this song. A short time before he had styled Clarinda a ci-devant goddess of his. His last letter






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