Complete Songs Of Robert Burns - online book

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viii. JACOBITE                            467
No. 288. The noble Maxwells and their powers. Scots Musical Museum, 1792, No. 364, signed 'R,' entitled. Nithsdale's welcome hame. MS. in the British Museum. Lady Winnifred Maxwell Constable was the granddaughter of the rebel Earl of Nithsdale who escaped from the Tower by his wife's ingenuity and bravery. Lady W'innifred rebuilt in 1788 Ter-reagles House, the ancient seat of the family, where Bnrns dined more than once, and was Impressed by the number of wax candles used in lighting the house. Sir Walter Scott sent a letter to Lockhart dated July 14, 1828, on Burns's connexion with Jacobitism in which he says: ' I see, by the by, that your life of Burns is going to press again, and therefore send you a few letters, which may be of use to yon. In one of them (to that singular old curmudgeon, Lady Winnifred Constable) you will see he plays high Jacobite, and on that account it is curious; though I imagine his Jacobitism, like my own, belonged to the fancy rather than the reason, &c.
The tune Nithsdale's welcome hame is the composition of Robert Riddell of Glenriddell, one of his best melodies. It is in neither of his printed collections of tunes, but the following unpublished Note in the Interleaved Museum is in his handwriting, ' I composed the tune and, Imparting to my friend Mr. Burns the name I meant to give it, he composed for the tnne the words here inserted.'
Wo. 289. My Harry was a gallant gay. Scots Musical Museum, 1750, No. 209. Tune, Highlander s lament. The MS. copy in the British Museum is not in Burns's handwriting, and it contains two stanzas not in the Scots Musical Museum. The additional stanzas refer to The auld Stewarts back again, a different tune to that in the text. In Law's MS. List, ' Mr. B—'s old words.' This and Nos. 202 and 297 are reminiscences of the Highland tour. ' The oldest title I ever heard to this air was The Highland Watch's farewell to Ireland. The chorus I picked up from an old woman in Dumblane; the rest of the song is mine' {InterleavedMuseum). The 42nd regiment, or Black Watch, was quartered in different parts of Ireland for seven years between 1749 and 1756, and the latter year may be taken as the date of the tune which is entitled Highland Watch's farewell to Ireland in Stewart's Reels, 1762, 27, and as Highlander'sfarewell'in Ross's Reels, 1780,10.
No. 290. An somebody were come again. Scots Musical Museum, 1790, No. 239. Tune, Carl, an the King come. Stenhouse is the sole authority for the statement that Burns wrote only the second stanza, but nothing is known of any early song of the kind. For the tune, Allan Ramsay wrote verses entitled The promised Joy, in the first volume of the Tea-Table Miscellany, 1724. A song in the ' Gentle Shepherd'—-Peggy, now the King's come—is on the same page of the Museum as Carl, an the King come. Ritson could throw no light on the words, and on Burns's song in Scotish Songs, 1794, ii. 47, he quotes a fragment thus :—
' When yellow com grows on the rigs, And a gibbet's made to hang the Whigs, O, then we will dance Scotish jigs, Carle, an the king come.'
The tune was exceedingly popular in the eighteenth century. It is in most of the best collections of Scottish music, including Ramsay's Musick, c. 1726; Oswald's Companion, 1754, vi. ij; and McGibbon's Scots Tunes, 1755, 16. A considerable variation had taken place in the melody since the middle of the eighteenth century. The old form ends on the minor in the last two collections named. In the text the second part of the tune is an octave lower than that of the copy in the Museum.
♦Ho. 291. Sir John Cope trode the north right far. This is the first time that Johnie Cope has been inserted in the works of Burns. His name was
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