Familiar Songs - Their Authors & Histories

300 traditional songs, inc sheet music with full piano accompaniment & lyrics.

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SHE IS FAR FBOM THE LAND.
359
He had lived for his love, for his country he died,
They were all that to life had entwined him; Nor soon shall the tears of his country be dried,
Nor long will his love stay behind him.
Oh ! make her a grave where the sun-beams rest, When they promise a glorious morrow;
They'll shine o'er her sleep, like a smile from the West, From her own loved island of sorrow.
HIGHLAND MARY.
The true u Highland Mary" of Eobert Burns was Mary Campbell, a servant in a gen­tleman's family in Mauchline. She had unusual mental gifts, and a sweet disposition. Bums describes the last parting which took place between them: " After a pretty long tract of the most ardent reciprocal attachment, we met by appointment on the second Sunday of May, in a sequestered spot on the banks of Ayr, where we spent a day in taking farewell before she should embark for the West Highlands, to arrange matters among her friends for our projected change of life. At the close of the autumn following, she crossed the sea to meet me at Greenock, where she had scarce landed, when she was seized with a malignant fever, which hurried my dear girl to the grave before I could even hear of her illness."
Allan Cunningham tells us still further: "The adieu was performed with all those simple and striking ceremonies which rustic sentiment has devised to prolong tender emotions, and to inspire awe. The lovers stood on each side of a small purling brook; they laved their hands in its limpid stream, and, holding a Bible between them, pronounced their vows to be faithful to each other." The Bible is preserved in a room which occupies the lower portion of Burns's monument on the River Doon.
In 1842, twelve thousand people assembled at Greenock, to witness the laying of the corner-stone for a monument to "Highland Mary." Bums says of the song: "It pleases myself; I think it is in my happiest manner. You will see at first glance that it suits the air. The subject of the song is one of the most interesting passages of my youthful days, and I own that I should be much flattered to see the verses set to an air which would ensure celebrity. Perhaps, after all, 'tis the still growing prejudice of my heart that throws a borrowed lustre over the composition."
The poet has gained the "prejudice" of all hearts, as is attested by Whittier's sentiment:
Give lettered pomp to teeth of time,
So " Bonnie Doon," but tarry; Blot out the epic's stately rhyme,
But spare his " Highland Mary."








E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III