Complete Songs Of Robert Burns - online book

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I'll. LOVE-SONGS : HUMOROUS                413
as the writer of Manuals of Devotion.' He died in 1838, and, as Burns pre­dicted elsewhere, left a good deal more than the professional ' three goose feathers and a whittle.'
The tune is familiar on both sides of the Border, and only a portion is used for the song. The whole may be seen in the Caledonian Pocket Companion, 1753, v. 11, as a very good example of the peculiar measure and rhythm of the Scottish pipe melodies. It is also in Bremner's Reels, 1768, 103. That m the Museum, printed with Buras's verses, is the old English and different air Bob and Joan.
No, 182. My love, site's but a lassie yet. Scots Musical Museum, 1790, No. 22;, and Thomson's Scotish Airs, 1798, _y. In the Lam MS. Burns describes this as his ' old words,' and a holograph of the verses is in the British Museum. The last four lines is the middle stanza of a song in Herd's Scottish Songs, 1776, ii. 22J (not in the 1769 edition), entitled Green grow the rashes, 0. The second stanza of the song in the text seems to have little connexion with the first, and so far as known Burns wrote the whole except the last four lines.
The earliest date when the tune bears the title My love she's but a lassie yet is Aird's Airs, 1782, ii. No. 1; so it would appear that either Herd did not know the air of the song, or that between 1776 and 1782 it was changed. The original publication of the tune is in Bremner's Reels, 1757,19, entitled Miss Farquharson's Reel. Stenhouse saw a manuscript copy of the music, entitled Lady Badinscoth's Reel, in a musical publication of a few years earlier date, which only proves that the air was very popular in the eighteenth century. It is necessary to correct a mistake of C. Kirkpatrick Sharpe, who asserts in Stenhouse's Illustrations, p. *}oj, that Put up thy dagger Jamie is the same as the tune in the text. That tune in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, c. 1650, is quite a different melody.
Wo. 183. I murder hate by field or flood. Stewart's Edition, 1802, and Edinburgh Edition, 1877, ii. 295. In the Glenriddell MS., entitled A Song. Burns wrote the first eight lines on a window of the Globe Tavern, Dumfries, where he and Stephen Clarke, the musician, had many a merry meeting. The tune is unknown if ever there was one, which is doubtful.
No. 184. Wha is that at my bower-door ? Scots Musical Museum, 1792, No. jtf7. The MS. is in the British Museum, and a copy of the verses is in the Merry Muses. There can be no doubt that Burns wrote the song, although Cromek's quotation, ' The words are mine,' are not in the Interleaved Museum as printed in Reliques, 1808,^07. In the Centenary Burns, 1897, it is shown that the original is Who but I, quoth Finlay, ' a new song much in request, sung with its proper tune'; a prosaic production of seven stanzas, of which a broadside copy is in Lord Rosebery's collection, beginning:—
* There dwells a man into this town, Some say they call him Finlay; He is a brisk and an able man— O, if I knew but Finlay!'
Nearly all the incidents were taken from this song, but it is as brass to the gold of Burns's humorous verses. The find disposes of the myth that they were written on James Findlay of Tarbolton, the exciseman, and a colleague of Burns.
The tune bears the title of the chorus of an old song, as follows:—
' Lass, an I come near thee, Lass, an I come near thee, I'll gar a' your ribbons reel Lass, an I come near thee.'

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