Complete Songs Of Robert Burns - online book

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I. LOVE-SONGS : PERSONAL                 363
liis friend, who however survived the disappointment, and married four years later.
The tune The lads of Leith is in the Caledonian Pocket Companion, 1752, iv. }i. It is a graceful combination of the major and the minor modes. Mr. Glen states that the music is in Walsh's Caledonian Country Dances some years earlier than the above date.
No. 34. Now Spring has clad the grove in green. Thomson's Scotish Airs, 1799, pi. 'Written for this work by Robert Burns.' The MS. is in the Thomson Collection. This address of condolement with Alexander Cunningham is on the same subject as the preceding song. Burns intended Stephen Clarke to compose for the verses, but nothing came of it, and the song has no original melody. Thomson obtained a copy of the verses in the beginning of August, 1795, and published them with, the old tune of Auld lang syne, disguised under a new title, The hopeless lover, which he lifted bodily from the Scots Musical Museum. There is no doubt about the source, because Johnson's setting of the tune is considerably different from all previous copies. Thomson did precisely the same thing with the popular tune, 0, can ye labour lea for Bnrns's Auld lang syne.
No. 35. O, wilt thou go wi' me, sweet Tibbie Dunbar. Scots Musical Museum, 1790, No. 2oy, entitled 'Tibbie Dunbar. Tune, Johnny Af°GUV The MS. is in the British Museum. In Law's Museum MS. List, Burns has written ' Mr. Burns's old words.' Nothing is known of the subject of the verses, which were written to illustrate the melody. Riddell's Note (not Burns's) in the Interleaved Museum is ' This tune is said to be the composition of John McGill, fiddler, in Girvan.' An old song in the Merry Muses is marked for the tune,' the first stanza of which is :—
' Duncan Macleerie and Janet his wife, They gaed to Kilmarnock to buy a new knife; But instead of a knife they coft but a bleerie : " We're very weel sairM," quo' Duncan Macleerie.' The nationality of the tune is disputed; on some slender evidence it is claimed as Irish. In Scotland it is now best known with MacNeil's song, Come under my plaidie. The music is in Campbell's Reels, 177S, ji, and Aird's Airs, 1782, ii. No. up.
No. 36. Fate gave the word—the arrow sped. Scats Musical Museum, 1790, No. 271, signed ' B,' entitled 'A mother's lament for the death of her son. Tune, Finlayston house! Thomson's Scotish Airs, 1798, 4s. ' Mr. Burns's words' (Law's MS. List). These lines were written for Sirs. Ferguson of Craigdarroch, who had lost a promising son, eighteen years of age, in November, 1787. 'I have just arrived [Mauchline] from Nithsdale, and will be here a fortnight. I was on horseback this morning (for between my wife and my farm there is just forty-six miles) by three o'clock. As I jogged on in the dark, I was taken with a poetic fit' (Letter to Mrs. Dunlop,September 27, 1788).
The eulogistic Note in the Interleaved Museum on the tune and its composer is by Robert Riddell, and not written by Burns, as Cromek makes it appear in Reliques, 1808,303. Posterity has not endorsed Riddell's opinion of the melody. John Riddel had no doubt the gift of melody; in his collection of Scots Reels, 1782 (the tune is on page 55), there are some good specimens of folk-music He died at Ayr on April 5, 1795, aged seventy-six years.
No. 37. The day returns, my bosom burns. Scots Musical Museum, 1790, No. 224, signed 'R.' Tune, Seventh of November. 'Mr. B.'s words' (Law's MS. List). The MS. is in the British Museum. Thomson's Scotish Airs, 1798, 28, with the music. 'I composed this song out of compliment