Complete Songs Of Robert Burns - online book

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466                        HISTORICAL NOTES
Whigs of his time. I quote two stanzas as a specimen of the verse from Maidment's Scotish Pasquils, 1868, jsS.
' Next comes our statesmen, these blessed reformers,
For lying, for drinking, for swearing enormous; Argyle and brave Morton, and Willie my Lordie—
Bannocks of bear meal, cakes of Crowdy. My curse on the grain of this hale reformation,
The reproach of mankind, and disgrace of our nation; Deil hash them, deil smash them, and make them a soudy,
Knead them like bannocks, and steer them like crowdy.'
A satirical song on an Argyle of the eighteenth century with the title Bannocks 0' barley meal is in Herd's Scots Songs, 1769, 280 ; and in Herd MS. is a rhyme of the seventeenth century:—
' Mass David Williamson,                        Saw ye e'er, heard ye e'er-Chosen of twenty,                                  Siccan a soudie? Gaed up to the pulpit                           Bannocks o' bear meal, And sang Killiecrankie.                         Cakes o' crowdiel'
The tune The killogie was kept in use by a rustic song beginning ' A lad and a lassie lay on a killogie.' The verses are neither edifying nor instructive. The tune rejoiced in a variety of names. It is Bonox of bear meal in Sinkler's MS., 1710; as Johnny and Nellyin Orpheus Caledonius, 1725, No. 21; as, I'll never leave thee in Watts's Musical Miscellany, 1730, iv. 74; McGibbon's Scots Tunes, 1746, 8, to which Burns directed Johnson for the tune; and in the Scots Musical Museum, 1803, No. joy. Two settings are in the Caledonian Pocket Companion, 1751, I'll. 6. One entitled Banoks of Bear meal, and the other in vol. vi. 1754, 26, as There was a lad and a lass in a killogie.
No. 286. The small birds rejoice. Thomson's Scotish Airs, 1799, 97. 'From a MS. by Robert Burns. Irish Air, Captain O'Kane' Cnrrie's Works, 1800, ii. 14s. Several MSS. exist On March 31, 1788, Burns wrote from Mauchline, to his friend James Cleghorn, farmer, as follows: ' Yesterday, as I was riding thro' a track of melancholy, joyless muirs, between Galloway and Ayrshire; it being Sunday, I turned my thoughts to psalms and hymns and spiritual songs; and your favourite air Captain 0'Kane coming at length in my head, I tried these words to it.' You will see that the first part of the tune must be repeated. I am tolerably pleased with these verses, but as I have only a sketch of the tune, I leave it with you to try if they suit the measure of the music' Burns adopted Cleghorn's suggestion to complete the song with a Jacobite stanza, which is assumed to be sung by Prince Charles Stuart, after the Battle of Culloden. Some time early in 1793 he sent a complete copy of the song to Thomson.
The Irish tune Captain O'Kane is in McGlashan's Reels, \"}%(>,}6; Aird's Airs, 1788, I'll. No. 493; and Johnson's Museum, 1803, No. jo8.
Wo. 287. My love was born in Aberdeen. Scots Musical Museum, 1790, No. 272, entitled The white cockade. In Law's MS. List, ' Mr. Bnrns's old words.' The flying stationers of last century printed the original, which Herd copied into his Scottish Songs, 1776,11.179. Burns by a few touches turned it into a decided Jacobite song. Here is the first stanza from Herd:—
* My love was bom in Aberdeen,
The bonniest lad that e'er was seen; O, he is forced from me to gae Over the hills and far away.'
The words and music in our text are from the Museum. The tune is also in Campbell's Reels, 1778, 7; and in Aird's Airs, 1782, i. No. z, entitled The ranting highlandman.