Complete Songs Of Robert Burns - online book

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• Dr. Blacklock had written a long ballad for the tune, about which Bnrns made the following remark on the MS. of his own song to the editor of the Museum : ' Set the tune to these words. Dr. B.'s set of the tune is bad j I here enclose a better. You may put Dr. B.'s song after these verses, or you may leave it out as you please.' The editor rejected Blacklock's ballad.
ETo. 108. Awa wi' your witchcraft o' beauty's alarms. Thomson's Scolish Airs, 1799, 100. ' Written for this work by Robert Burns. Air, Balinamona Ora.' The MS. is in the Thomson collection. From August, 1795 to January, 1796 is a blank in Burns's correspondence. At the request of Thomson he resumes his work. Verses were wanted for Irish airs, and in sending the present song Burns, in February, repeats what he has done in this way. ' I strung up a kind of rhapsody to another Hibernian melody which I admire much ... If this will do, you have now four of my Irish engage­ments—Humours of Glen, Captain 0' Kean, Oonaghs Waterfall, and Balina­mona! In a line he disposes of his former ideal, Jean Lorimer: ' In my by-past songs, I dislike one thing, the name Chloris.' There is a reminiscence of Allan Ramsay's ' Gie me a lass wi' a lump o' land ' in the present song^
The tune Balinamona is in Thumoth's English and Irish Airs, c. 1760, 26; in the Perth Musical Miscellany, 1786,10;; and Calliope, London, 1788, 3j6. I; was a popular air at public concerts in London during the last half of the eighteenth century.
3STo. 199. Had I the wyte. Scots Musical Museum, 1796, No. 41s, signed ' Z.' The MS. is in the British Museum. The version in the Merry Muses is slightly different. The chorus and a stanza which Burns did not use are in Herd's MS. The tune can be traced to near the beginning of the eighteenth century, and it is plain that it was sung to some other song besides the present class. Apparently an earlier original in Ramsay's Miscellany, 1724, My Jocky blyth for what thou hast done is marked for Come kiss with me, come clap with me. The tune is in Ramsay's Mustek, c. 1726, and with Ramsay's verses in the Orpheus Caledonius, 1733, No. jg. In Oswald's Companion, c. 1755. vii. 26 there is an additional strain, and the title for the first time is Had I the wate she bade me. In Campbell's Reels, 1778, 20, it bears the name Highland Hills, the same as that named in the Merry Muses. In Ross's Reels, 1780, 0, it is called Mason laddie; lastly, Gow in his third collection of Reels names it the Bob of Fettercairn. The popularity of this gay attractive melody is by no means exhausted. In Northumbrian Minstrelsy^ 1882, ij6, a collection of Northumbrian tunes published by the Newcastle Society of Antiquaries, there is a bad setting of it entitled Newburn lads, and it is still played on the small pipes in Northumberland. I heard it the other day ground out of a barrel organ in the streets of Newcastle, preceded and followed by airs from the newest operas. The foreign artist who turned the handle knew it as a Scotch tune.
No. 200. Gat ye me, O, gat ye me. Scots Musical Museum, 1796, No. 430, entitled The lass of Ecclefechan. ' The MS. incomplete is in the British Museum, entitled Lucky Laing ' (R. B.). A copy, with the exception of alterations in the second four lines* is in the Merry Muses marked for the tune Jacky Latin; the following is the first stanza and chorus of a song of uncertain age:—
' Bonie Jockie, braw Jockie,                    Bonie Jockie, braw Jockie,
Bonie Jocky Latin,                                Bonie Jockie Latin,
Because she wudna gie 'm a kiss,           His skin was like the silk sae fine,
His heart was at the breaking.               And mine was like the satin."
This capital pipe tune, as Jack Latin, is in the Caledonian Pocket Companion, c. 1759, xii. 6; in McGibbon's Scots Tunes, 1768, no; and McLean's Scots Tunes, c. 1772, 27. It is still a favourite in Northumberland, where it is known