Complete Songs Of Robert Burns - online book

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Orpheus Calcdonius, 1725, differs particularly in the chorus. The oldest verses to The blythsome bridal, or Kirk wad let me be are in Herd's Scots Songs, 1769, 114, and several songs in Ramsay's Miscellany are marked for the tune. The title Silly old man in Walsh's Caledonian Country Dances coincides with a song referred to in Cromek's Reliques, 2;), as part of an interlude performed in Nithsdale.
No. 271. O Logan, sweetly didst thou glide. Currie, Works, 1800, iv. J4. *Tune, Logan Water.' Thomson's Scotish Airs, 1801, 116. Two stanzas, of which the following is the first, is in Herd's Scottish Songs, 1776, ii. 2jo, and in the Merry Muses. It is not a plaintive song :—
' The Logan burn, the Logan braes, I help'd a bonie lass on wi' her claes, First wi' her stockings, and syne wi' her shoon, But she gied me the glaiks when a' was dune.'
A different song in Ramsay's Miscellany is marked for the tune. Several ballads to the tune Logan Water were popular in England in the seven­teenth and eighteenth centuries. About 1675, a white letter ballad was printed for C. Bates and Jonah Deacon, entitled The Frolicsome wager, the first line of which is 'Behold what noise is this I hear, to the tune Logan Water' Also printed about the same time is a black letter broadside, con­taining two ballads, The Devonshire Damsels frollick and The Devonshire Boys Courage. The latter is ' To an excellent new tune call'd the Devonshire Boys Delight or the Liggan Waters, Sec' The popularity of the tune is .confirmed in another broadside of the seventeenth century entitled ' The bonny Scottish lad and the yielding Lass to an excellent new Tune much in request called Liggan Waters! One of the stanzas in dialogue form is here given as a specimen:—
' Bonny lass, I love thee well,' ' Bonny lad, I love thee better.'
' Wilt thou pull off thy hose and shoon And wend with me to Liggan Water?'
This evidently is connected with the verse previously quoted. The author of The Seasons wrote a song for the tune which is in the Orpheus Caledonius, 1733; lastly, about the year 1781, John Mayne, the author of The Siller Gun, wrote By Logan's Streams that rin sae deep, &c, often sung publicly in London about the end of eighteenth century. Burns incorrectly thought that this latter was old, and incorporated two lines of it in his own song which he forwarded in a letter dated June 25, 1793, to Thomson, who thanked him for it, but, being a government official and not likely to interfere in politics, handed it to Currie.
The tune Logan Water is in Ramsay's Musick, c. 1726 ; Orpheus Caledonius, !733, No. -2J; McGibbon's Scots Tunes, 1742, _j_r; Caledonian Pocket Com­panion, 1753, v. 18; Scots Musical Museum, 1787, No. 42; Ritson's Scotish Songs, 1794>i-J7i and in many other collections. A very emasculated set of the tune entitled The Logan water is so deep in the opera Flora, 1729, contains only four lines of music.
Wo. 272. Farewell, thou fair day. Scots Musical Museum, 1792, No. j8j, entitled Oran an Aoig or The Song of Death; Thomson's Scotish Airs, 1799, 76, with a wrong tune. ' The circumstance that gave rise to the verses was—looking over with a musical friend McDonald's Collection of Highland Airs (1784), I was struck with one, an Isle of Skye tune, entitled Oran an Aoig, or The Song of Death, to the measure of which I have adapted my verses.'—Letter to Mrs. Dunlop, undated (May, 1791). The short prefatory note usually printed with the song is an interpolation for which there is no authority.