Complete Songs Of Robert Burns - online book

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including two stanzas in Burns entirely new. These are the .eight lines beginning—
' Gloomy, gloomy was the night,'
The ballad has been often reprinted : Mat Lewis, in Tales of Wonder, altered Burns; and Sir Walter Scott's version is compounded of the Museum, Riddell, and Herd copies, with several recitals from tradition. Scott subsequently ex­punged some modern additions which he previously had made. The minute differences in the various versions can be seen in Child's Ballads, 1884, No. jp. The scene of Tam Lin's adventures, Carterhaugh, on the river Ettrick near its junction with the Yarrow, is the centre of Scottish ballad minstrelsy. The belief in Elves and Elf-land permeated the whole Teutonic race, and furnishes a large selection of interesting tales of the unsubstantial beings antagonistic to the human family. At the close of the eighteenth century three rings on Carterhaugh were shown where it is said the milk cans of the fairies stood and upon which grass never grew.
The tune named in the Complaynt has not been identified, if it now exists. That in the text was communicated by Burns, and is not found in any earlier collection. Leyden, in the Preliminary to the Complaynt of Scotland, 1801, 214, states that the tune of Tamlene is extremely similar to that of The few's daughter. The present air does not resemble The few's daughter in Rimbault's Musical Reliques, 1850, 46, taken from Smith's Musica Antiqua from tradition, and it will not fit the rhythm of any of the known versions of Tam Lin.
* No. 345. Aften hae I play'd at the cards and the dice. Scots Musical Museum, 1796, No. 462. The original MS. of Burns is in the British Museum. Stenhouse states that Burns sent the air with the verses to the editor of the Museum, and Scott-Douglas conjectures that the ballad was picked up in the Highlands during his tour with Nicol. Since that time it has been known as The bonie rantin laddie. Lord Aboyne, &c Another set of the verses is in The Thistle, 1823, 7; and the two lines in brackets in the eighth stanza of the text are taken from that work to complete the hiatus in Burns. See Child's
^Ballads, 1892, iv. No. 240.
According to Buchan, who printed a poor version, the hero was Viscount Aboyne, ultimately created Earl in 1661. He appears to have married the daughter of the Laird of Drum (see above, No. 340), but whether the plebian Maggy Coutts was the mother I have not ascertained.
The tune was afterwards printed in Gow's Repository, 1802, under the title Lord Aboyne. The melody is captivating, and a distinct acquisition to the folk music of Scotland. There is a tune entitled Rantin ladie in Guthrie's MS. c. 1670, but I have no account of it.
*No. 346. Our young lady's a huntin gane. From Burns's MS. in the British Museum compared with the original publication in the Scots Musical Museum, 1796, No. 424. Stenhouse, in Illustrations, p. 379, states that ' This ancient fragment, with its original air, were recovered by Burns.' The 'lords' of the ballad were the noble Maxwells, whose castle of Terreagles stood on the banks of the Nith near its confluence with the Cluden. Burns knew Lady Winnifred, the representative of the house, to whom he sent copies of some of his Jacobite songs. No exact prototype of the. present ballad is known. Stenhouse erred when, he stated that the melody was recovered by Burns. As a North Highland Air it is in McDonald's Airs, 1784, No. jj, entitled My love is fixed on Donald.
No. 347. ' O, for my ain king,' quo' gude Wallace. From a holograph in the British Museum, compared with the Scots Musical Museum, 1796, No. 484. Stenhouse stated in Illustrations, p. 426, that he was in possession of the manu­script at the time he wrote. The incidents related in the ballad are derived from an Edinburgh Chap-book about 1745, entitled On an honourable achievement of

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