Complete Songs Of Robert Burns - online book

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IX. MISCELLANEOUS                       479
Mo. 316. It was in sweet Senegal. .Scots Musical Museum, 1792, No. 384, entitled The slave's lament. The MS. is in the British Museum. Accord­ing to Stenhouse, Burns communicated the tune with the verses, which Sharpe believed to be a make-up from a street ballad entitled The betrayed maid, popular in the West of Scotland in the eighteenth century, through its over­flowing sentiment. The original is a black letter broadside entitled The trepan'd maiden, or the distressed damsel, beginning :—
* Give ear unto a maid That lately was betrayed And sent into Virginny O': &c.
Stenhouse circulated the story that the tnne is of African origin. The Seven Dials is more likely to have been its birthplace. It is sentimental but by no means a bad tune, and is as well worth reprinting as the verses it illustrates.
No. 317. One night as I did wander. This ' fragment' is in the Glen-riddell MS. which Burns sent to one of his friends as a copy of his Commonplace Book. But the stanza is not in the latter collection, and nothing is known as to the origin or object of the verses. Published iu Cromek's Reliques, 1808,341, tune, John Anderson my jo. See No. 212.
No. 318. The lazy mist hangs from the brow of the hill. Scots Musical Museum, 1790, No. 232, signed 'B'; entitled The lazy mist. In Thomson's Scotish Airs, 1798, _fo, with an unauthorized air. In the Interleaved Museum Burns states ' This song is mine,' and in Law's MS. List—' Mr Bnrns's words.' The verses are another example of the depressing effect of Autumn on the poet's mind. He sent a copy, on November 15, 1788, to Dr. Blacklock, to whom he describes it as a 'melancholy' thing, and is afraid lest it should too well suit the tone of the doctor's feelings.
The Irish tune, The lazy mist, was printed in the Caledonian Pocket Com­panion, c. 1759, xii- 20. The subject of the melody is attractive, but it becomes monotonous from continued repetition of one of the phrases.
No. 319. Ken ye ought o' Captain Grose ? In Currie's Works, 1800, iv. _?o5>. ' Tune, Sir John Malcolm' Also in the Glenriddell MS. In the autumn of 1790, Captain Grose the Antiquarian visited the South of Scotland to inspect the ancient ruins there for the purpose of describing them. Burns found him a witty and sympathetic companion, and refers to him in the poem beginning:—
' Hear, Land o' Cakes, and brither Scots, Frae Maidenkirk to Johnie Groat's; If there's a hole in a' your coats,
I rede ye tent it: A chield's amang you takin notes, And faith he'll prent it:'
Burns wrote to Grose—then in Edinburgh—informing him that Professor Dugald Stewart wished to be introduced to him, and requesting him to call at Sorn •Castle—where Stewart lived—when he returned to the South. As Burns did not know the address, the rhyme was sent to Cardonnell, another Antiquarian, requesting him to forward the letter. The song is a parody on Sir John Malcolm to be found in The Charmer, 1764, ii. 271, and in Herd's Scots Songs, 1769,1S2. This undistinguished Knight and his friend Sandie Don, were two dull prosy blockheads, who bored their friends in company with pointless incoherent stories of their travels. The old song begins:—
' Keep ye weel frae Sir John Malcolm, /go and Ago, If he's a wise man, I mistak him, Iram, Coram, dago, Keep ye weel frae Sandy Don, /go and ago, He 's ten times dafter than Sir John, Iram, Coram, dago!

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