Complete Songs Of Robert Burns - online book

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Ho. 250. Let me ryke up to dight that tear. Tune, Whistle owre the lave o't. A copy of the minstrel's song is in the Merry Muses. See note on Song No. 309.                        m
No. 251. My bonie lass, I work in brass. Tune, Clout the Caudron. The earliest Imprint of the title and subject in a Scottish collection, is that in the Tea-Table Miscellany, 1724, beginning:—
'Have you any pots or pans,                As scant of siller as of grace,
Or any broken chandlers ?                      Disbanded, we 've a bad run,
I am a tinkler to my trade,                  Gae tell the lady of the place,
And newly come frae Flanders,             I'm come to clout her caldron.'
But the original is much older. As The Tinker it was printed in the very rare collection, Merry Drollery, London, 1661, 1)4, in seventeen stanzas, beginning—' There was a lady in this land.' The third stanza will show the connexion with Ramsay's version:—
• ' I am a Tinker, then quoth he,            For I have brass within my bag,
That worketh for my fee,                      And target in my apron,
If you have vessels for to mend,           And with my skill I can well clout,
Then bring them unto me:                    And mend a broken cauldron.'
The following note is in the Interleaved Museum, but it is not written by Burns: ' I have met with another tradition that the old song to this tune, " Hae ye ony pots or pans or onie broken chanlers," was composed on one of the Ke12more family in the cavalier times. . . . The air is also known by the name of The Blacksmith and his apron.' The note is probably by Robert Riddell. The song in Merry Drollery, just quoted, is indisputably an English song. The Scottish version was printed for the first time with music in the Orpheus Caledonius, 1733, No. 2;. The copy in the Scots Musical Museum, 1787, No. 2}, is that in the text.
No. 252. I am a bard, of no regard. Tune, For a that, an' #' that. The verses in the Cantata are far superior to the so-called variant-song. No. 68. The tune is noted in Song No. joy.
No. 253. See the smoking bowl before us. Tune, Jolly mortals, Jill your glasses. There are two tunes of this name—both English—set to a drinking-song in three stanzas. One is the composition of John Ernest Galliard (1687-1749), a. distinguished oboe player, and chamber musician to Prince George of Denmark. He had the gift of melody, and composed a number of good airs. The music is in Calliope, 1739, and Watts's Musical Miscellany, 1731, vi. 182. The other and older air in the text is from Ritson's English Songs, London, 1783, vol. I'll. Galliard's tune as arranged in Watts does not fit Burns's song very well, and the other is probably that which Burns intended.
No. 254. Amang the trees, where humming bees. Cromek's Reliques, 1808, 4j}. Tune, The King of France, he rade a race. Niel Gow is the ' fiddler in the North' referred to in the song. The sarcasm on foreign music was intended to cool the rage for Italian compositions and vocalists that invaded the country before the middle of the eighteenth century. The capon craws of Farinelli, who was the lion of the operatic stage, stigmatized as one of the castrati, is sarcastic enough. The ' royal ghaist' refers to James I of Scotland, who was detained a prisoner in England for nineteen years. The royal author of The King's Quair was a distinguished poet and an accomplished musician. Hogg quotes an unintelligible Jacobite song beginning' The King of