Complete Songs Of Robert Burns - online book

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IV. CONNUBIAL
427
The tune is in Oswald's Companion, c. 1756, viii. 4. In the Museum, with Bnms's song, it is directed to be sung very slow.
No. 216. The bairns gat out wi' an unco shout. Scots Musical Museum, 1792, No. 396, signed ' B,' entitled The denks dang o'er my daddie. The MS. is in the British Museum with directions by Burns where the tune is to be found. One of the humorous connubial songs for which Scotland is distinguished. The dialogue sparkles with fun. The hale and active wife has a profound disrespect for her rheumatic ' fushionless' old husband, whose children even deride him. A fragment from a MS. once in the possession of the late C. K. Sharpe is subjoined :
' The nine pint bicker's fa'n aff the bink,
And broken the ten-pint cannie, O,
The wife and her kimmers sat down
to drink,
But ne'er a drap gae the guidman-
The bairns they a' set up a shout, The deuks dang o'er my daddie, O;
" There's no muckle matter" quo' the guidwife " He's ay been a daidlin bodie, O."'
nie, O;
The tune first printed in Playford's Dancing Master, 1670, is English ; the title Buff Coat indicates a political origin in the Restoration period or earlier, for Fletcher, in The Knight of Malta, refers to a song as The soldier has no fellow, which was sung to the tune. Early in the seventeenth century the defensive armour of the soldier was a. buff leather jerkin thick enough to protect the body from sword cuts. This continued to be the uniform during the reigns of Charles I and II, and the Commonwealth. No version exists of The. soldier has no fellow (or The buff coat has no fellow); but various ballads on other subjects are marked to be sung to Buff coat, aud during the eighteenth century the tune was introduced into several operas. The Scots tune The deuks dang o'er my daddie differs in detail from Buff coat, but both are practically the same. The music entitled The buff coat has no fellow is in Atkinson's MS. 1694, and as the Deukes dang over my daddie in Oswald's Curious Collection Scots Tunes, 1740, 4 ; in his Companion, 1743, i. 1; McGibbon's Scots Tunes, 1755, 7; and Aird's Airs, 1782, i. No. 68.
No. 217. Husband, husband, cease your strife. Thomson's Scotish Airs, 1799, 62, ' Written for this Work by Robert Burns.' The MS. is in the Thomson collection. An Imperfect copy is in the British Museum. My spouse Nancy sent in December, 1793, is an English version of My jo Janet, which is a delightful humorous dialogue, conducted in the most courteous manner between a parsimonious husband and a vain young wife who dresses to attract the attention of the public. Janet of the old song and the Nancy of Burns are different characters. The latter is a termagant requiring physical force argument. My jo Janet is in the Tea-Table Miscellany, 1724, and Herd's Scots Songs, 1769, 132. The first stanza is :
' Sweet Sir, for your courtesle,
When you come by the Bass then, For the love ye bear to me;
Bny me a keeking-glass then. " Keek into the draw-well, Janet, Janet, and there ye'll see your bonny sel My jo Janet."'
The rest can be seen in any good collection of Scottish Songs. Wanting the last stanza it is in Johnson's Museum, 1788, No. 111. In the Interleaved Museum Burns says ' Johnson the publisher, with a foolish delicacy, refused to insert the last stanza of this humorous ballad.' A broadside of the seventeenth century in the British Museum, entitled Jenny, Jenny; or the false-hearted knight, obviously an English copy of the Scots original, relates the same