Complete Songs Of Robert Burns - online book

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384
HISTORICAL NOTES
The English melody in Playford's Dancing Master, 1650, copied into Chappell's Popular Music, 18j, is not the same as that in the Scots Musical Museum, 1790, No. 218. The Scottish tune is also in McGibbqp's Scots Tunes, 1768, iv. 116; and Caledonian Pocket Companion, c. 1760, xii. /. See Tune and Notes, No. 142.
No. 102. O, poortith cauld and restless love. Thomson's Scotish Airs, 1798, 49. 'Written for this work by Robert Burns,' and in honour of Jean Lorimer, who eloped with a young Cumberland farmer, named Whelpdale, and made a hasty marriage, which she had leisure to repent. After an experience of three weeks, she returned to her father's house. Her husband retired before his creditors, and left the country. The song was sent to Thomson in January, 1793, with a request to set it to the tune Cauld kail, but the editor neglected f the instruction. In April, Burns revised the song as in the text, and agreed to change the tune, but he had a very poor opinion of the verses, and told Thomson that ' The stuff won't bear mending, yet for private reasons I should like to see them in print.' Cauld kail had always been associated with rollicking humorous songs, but Burns treated the air as a slow measure.
Among the Cauld kail songs, that not the best perhaps, but the most respectable, written by the Duke of Gordon, the friend of Burns, is on dancing .—the engrossing recreation of the Scots. A stanza may be quoted:— ' In cotillons the French excel; John Bull, in contra-dances, The Spaniards dance fandangoes well, . Mynheer in All'mande prances; In foursome reels the Scots delight,
The threesome maist dance wondrous light; But twasome ding a' out 0' sight Danc'd to the reel of Bogie.' Gie the lass herfairin, lad, is a song for the tune in the Merry Muses. One of the earliest of the kind is that in Herd's Scols Songs, 1769, J14, written on the first Earl of Aberdeen, an octogenarian widower, who died in 1720. It begins:— 'Cauld kail in Aberdeen,
And castocks in Strathbogie; But yet I fear they'll cook o'er soon,
And never warm the cogie. The lassies about Bogie gicht, Their limbs they are sae clean and tight, That if they were but guided right They'll dance the reel o' Bogie.' I do not know where an earlier copy of the tune is to be seen than in the Scots Musical Museum, 1788, No. 162. It is in Dale's Scotch Songs, 1794, ii. 61. A song is in a collection of fugitive poetry in the Advocate's Library, which belonged to James Anderson, the eminent antiquary, who died in 1728. It begins:—
' The cald kail of Aberdeen,
Is warming at Strathbogie; I fear 'twill tine the heat o'er sune. And ne'er fill up the cogie.'
(Maidment, Songs; 1859, 20.) This is precisely the rhythm of the tnne, for which see No. 22J, incorrectly marked 228 in text.
No. 103. Now Nature deeds the flowery lea. Currie, Works, 1800, iv. ii)2. Tune, Rothemurche's rant. Scotish Airs, 1801, .7.2/. A MS. is in the Thomson collection. One of the pastoral lyrics which has helped to make Burns famous. It was written for an instrumental air of much beauty, although