Complete Songs Of Robert Burns - online book

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412                              HISTORICAL NOTES
under this title, is not a Scottish air. As Joan's placket is torn, it has been in use for nearly two hundred and fifty years. Pepys, in his diary of June 22, 1667, describing the capture of the man-of-war Royal Charlie by the Dutch, speaks of a trumpeter sounding Joan's placket is torn.
The music is in Playford's Dancing Master, 1686. A political song with the music is in 180 Loyal Songs, 1685, 14). The second part of the tune is .the chorus oiLilliburlero, the celebrated political song of 1688, which Wharton claimed to have written, and which he boasted had sung a king out of three kingdoms. Lastly, it is the parent stock of a spurious Celtic air The Cock of the North, played on the great Highland bagpipe, much in vogue a year or two ago. In Scottish collections, the tune as Jumpin Joan is in the Caledonian Pocket Companion, 1758, ix. 10; and as When I followed a lass in Aird's Airs, 1782, ii. No. 96.
No. 170. Duncan Gray cam here to woo. Thomson's Scotish Airs, 1798, 48, 'Written for this work by Robert Burns. Air, Duncan Gray.' The MS. is in the Thomson collection. Sent to Thomson with his song Auld Rob Morris: ' The foregoing I submit to your better judgment; acquit or condemn them as seemeth good in your sight, Duncan Gray is that kind of light-horse gallop of an old air which precludes sentiment. The ludicrous is the leading feature.' It is an original treatment of the old song, and one of the best-known of Burns's humorous productions. The ancestry is treated in Note No. ijj.
The tune is in the Caledonian Pocket Companion, c. 1751, I'll. 8; McGibbon's Scots Tunes, 1755. 1; Aird's Airs, 1782, ii. No. 111; and with part of the old song in Scots Musical Museum, 1788, No. 160. For the music, see No. jyj.
No. 180. Hey the dusty miller. Scots Musical Museum, 1788, No. 144, entitled Dusty miller, with music. A holograph title is in the Gray MS.,. and a MS. of the verses is in the British Museum. This is another of the unconsidered trifles floating among the peasantry, which Burns dressed for the Museum. The original is in the Herd MS. All the second stanza is Burns's, and he corrected the rest to preserve the melody. The miller was an Important person in Scotland. The multure, or mouter, was the portion of the grain retained by him as the charge for grinding. He had the reputation of being able to take care of himself, and Acts of Parliament were passed to protect the public against his extortion. He is embalmed in satirical songs of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
The tnne as Binny's jigg is in Blackie's MS., 1692; as Dusty miller in Bremner's Reels, 1758, 27; Welsh's Compleat Dancing Master, c. 1718; and Dale's Scotch Songs, 1794, I'll. i6j.
No. 181. I gaed up to Dunse. In Scots Musical Museum, 1803, N0.J4J, entitled Robin shure in haste. 'Written for this work by Robert Burns.' ' Mr. B. gave the old words' (Law's MS. List). The poet himself was not the hero of the verses, for on August 23, 1787, he wrote to Robert Ainslie, heading the letter with a first stanza, and ending * Call your boy what you think proper, only interject BURNS. What say you tea Scripture name? for instance, Zimri Burns Ainslie, or Achitophell, &c. &c, look your Bible for these two heroes.' In another letter to the same correspondent, dated January 6, 17S9, he says, 'I am still catering for Johnson's publication, and among others, I have brushed up the following old favourite song a little, with a view to your worship, I have only altered a word here and there; but if you like the humour of it, we shall think of a stanza or two to add to it.' The first Border tour ended in the middle of June, 1787, when Burns accompanied Ainslie and stayed for a short time in the house of Ainslie's father, at Dunse; so that the Robin of the song who gaed to Dunse, and played a trick with the Elder's daughter, was his young friend, who afterwards became a writer to the Signet, settled down as a grave and serious person, and as Lockhart remarks, ' is best known






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