Complete Songs Of Robert Burns - online book

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426
HISTORICAL NOTES
opposite bank of the Tweed, where a hill stream called Logan Water runs into the Tweed, stood a thatched cottage called Linkumdoddie, which disappeared forty years ago. At the end of the eighteenth century a weaver called Gideon Thomson lived there, but nothing is known of his wife. This story has not been verified, but it may be remarked that Burns knew the locality, and more than once stayed at the Crook Inn, a few miles distant from where Linkumdoddie is said to have stood.
The fragment of a popular rhyme of the seventeenth century is quoted in Scotch Presbyterian Eloquence Displayed, 1694. A preacher at Linton is repre­sented as saying * Our bishops thought they were very secure this long time, like
Willie Willie Wastle, I am in my castle;
A' the dogs in the town, dare not ding me down.'
Willie Wastle's Castle is the ancient castle of Home, situated in the North-East corner of Roxburghshire. Cromwell besieged and destroyed it. The owner challenged the Protector to do his worst, and he did it effectually..
The tune was first printed in the Museum with Burns's song. A song and tune Sike a wife as Willy had is in 180 Loyal Songs, 1685, 320 ; the music is also in Atkinsons MS. 1694 and elsewhere, but it has no resemblance to that here. printed. The tune of Burns's song is a specimen of a numerous class of Scottish folk music which puzzles the composer to harmonize.
N"o. 214. There's sax eggs in the pan, gudeman. Scots Musical Museum, 1796, No. 409. This MS. is in the British Museum. A version in Herd's Scots Songs, 1769, }i6, has fonr stanzas and a chorus. The first and second stanzas of Burns are near copies from Herd, the chorus is somewhat altered, and the ' sheephead' stanza is much altered. ' Mr. B. gave the old words ': (Law's MS. List).
For information on the tune, see Song No. 249. Burns made a note on his manuscript that the chorus was to be snng to the first part of the tune, as in the text.
M"o. 215. I bought my wife a stane o' lint. Scots Musical Museum, 1792, No. jjo, entitled The weary pund 0' tow. The MS. is in the British Museum. It is the model of a song known by the name of its tune. Marriage as a release from work is described by George Colman the younger in one of his comedies. The mistress of a servant who is careless, asks her how she expects to get a character when she is so lazy, and receives the snappish reply ' Character! I don't want a character; I am going to be married. A black letter ballad entitled The Cruell Shrow or the patient man's woe, printed by M.P. for Henry Gossan about 1665, describes the life of a suffering husband. The last stanza contains a generous wish and offer:—
' O that some harmless honest man,
Whom death did so befriend, To take his wife from off his hand,
His sorrows for to end, Would change with me to rid my care,
And take my wife alive, For his dead wife, unto his share! Then I would hope to thrive.' A song The pound of tow—incomplete—in The Charmer, 1782, Ljjp, is also in a Chap-book by J. Jennings, Fleet Street. The following is the middle stanza in The Charmer:—
' But if your wife and my wife were in a boat thegither, And yon honest man's wife were in to steer the rither; And if the boat were bottomless, and seven mile to row, I think my wife would ne'er come back to spin her pound of tow.'






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