Obrázky na stránke

[No. 331.

Yon wild mossy mountains, sae lofty and wide,
That nurse in their bosom the youth o' the Clyde, &c.]

'This tune is by Oswald. The song alludes to a part of my private history, which it is of no consequence to the world to know.'

[No. 333. It is na, Jean, thy bonie face,

Nor shape that I admire,
Altho' thy beauty and thy grace

Might weel awauk desire, &c.]

'These were originally English verses :-I gave them their Scots dress.'1

[No. 336. Eppie McNab.

O! saw ye my dearie, my Eppie McNab,
O! saw ye my dearie, my Eppie McNab?
She's down in the yard, she's kissin the laird,
She winna come hame to her ain Jock Rab, &c.]

'The old song with this title, has more wit than decency.'

[No. 337. Wha is that at my bower-door?

O wha is it but Findlay:

Then gae your gate ye'se nae be here!
'Indeed maun I,' quo' Findlay, &c.]

'This tune is also known by the name of, Lass an I come near thee.' 2

1 All the interleaf, except that on which is written the above words, has been cut off and is missing.

2 In Cromek, Reliques, p. 301, 'The words are mine' are not in the manuscript.

[No. 338.

Thou art gane awa, thou art gane awa,
Thou art gane awa, frae me Mary; &c.]

[No. 340.

'This tune is the same with, Haud awa frae me, Donald.'

The tears I shed must ever fall,

I mourn not for an absent swain; &c.]

'The song composed by a Miss Cranston. It wanted four lines to make all the stanzas suit the music, which I added, and are the four first of the last stanza.’

[No. 341. The bonny wee thing.

[No. 345.

Bonie wee thing, canie we thing,
Lovely wee thing was thou mine;
I wad wear thee in my bosom,

Lest, my jewel, I should tine, &c.]

'Composed on my little idol, "The charming, lovely Davies."

The tither morn.

The tither morn when I forlorn,

Aneath an aik sat moaning,

I did na trow I'd see my jo

Beside me gain the gloaming, &c.]

'This tune is originally from the Highlands. I have heard a Gaelic song to it, which I was told was very clever, but not by any means a lady's song.'1

1 This is the last Note of Burns.






[No. 39. Water parted from the Sea, &c.]

'This song tho' excellent in its kind ought not to have been here. It was inserted by a blunder of Johnson. R. R.'

[No. 58. The blithsome bridal.


Come, fy! let us a' to the Wedding, &c.]

'I find the Blithsome Bridal in James Watson's Collection of Scots Poems, printed at Edinburgh in 1706. This collection, the publisher says, is the first of its nature which has been published in our own native Scots Dialect. It is now extremely scarce.'

[No. 63. The flowers of the Forest.

Adieu ye streams that smoothly glide
Through mazy windings o'er the plain, &c.]

'The flowers of the forest is an old tune-the present name was given to a sett of words, a lament for the number of Scotchmen slain at the battle of Flodden. Whether this fine plaintive dirge is older, or later, than that unfortunate battle I cannot say. [Then follows twenty lines of the wellknown song 'I've heard a lilting at the ewes milking,' &c.] I have transcribed a set of words which Mr Pinkerton in his notes on Scotish Tragic Ballads calls the gold of antiquity.— But alas! man is prone to err! Mr Plumber of Sunderland


Hall told me he knew the lady who actually composed these words to The flowers of the forest."'1

[No. 67. John Hay's bonny lassie.

By smooth winding Tay, a swain was reclining, &c.]

'John Hay's bonny lassie was the daughter of John Hay, Earl or Marquis of Tweeddale and late Countess Dowager of Roxburgh. She died at Broomlands, near Kelso, some time between the years 1720 and 1740.'

[No. 73. Mary Scot.

Happy's the love which meets return, &c.]

'Mr Robertson in his Statistical account of the parish of Selkirk, says, that Mary Scot, the Flower of Yarrow, was descended from the Dryhope, and married into the Harden family. Her daughter was married to a predecessor of the present Sir Francis Elliot of Stobbs and of the late Lord Heathfield.

There is a circumstance in their contract of marriage that merits attention, as it strongly marks the predatory spirit of the times. The father-in-law agrees to keep his daughter, for some time after the marriage; for which the son-in-law binds himself to give him the profits of the first Michaelmas


[No. 74. Down the burn, Davie.

When trees did bud and fields were green, &c.]

'I have been informed by my father2 that the tune of Down the burn, Davie, was the composition of David Maigh,

1 At the end of the first volume the following Note is also by Riddell: 'In the first vol. of Wotherspoon's Collection of Scottish Songs [1776] is one called Flodden Field to this tune, and the Revd Robert Lambe of Norham in Northumberland is the editor of a curious poem on the battle of Flodden field with learned notes in 1774. 8vo.'

2 Cromek printed this note with the words 'by my father' omitted.

keeper of the blood slough hounds belonging to the Laird of Riddell in Tweeddale. R. R.'

[No. 76. O, saw ye my father? or saw ye my mother, &c.]

(The following rude stanza by an unknown hand is at the bottom of the printed page). [Ed.]

'When being thus deceived, she sighed, she pray'd, she


O had I my Johnie in my arms

The boniest gray cock that ever crew at noon
Should rob him of his charms.'

[No. 90.

Low down in the broom.

My Daddy is a canker'd carle, &c.]
D-nd-s in 1792;'1

'The lucubrations of

[No. 92. Braes of Ballenden.

Beneath a green shade, &c.]

'This song [tune] is the composition of Mr Oswald, and the words are by Dr Blacklock. R. R.'

[No. 94. My apron, dearie.

My sheep I've forsaken and left my sheep hook, &c.]

'This song was composed by the late Sir Gilbert Elliot of Minto, Bart. He had a fine taste for music, and performed a little upon the German Flute. R. R.'

[No. 95. Lochaber.

Farewell to Lochaber, and farewell, my Jean, &c.]

'The words here given to Lochaber were composed by an unfortunate fugitive on account of being concerned in the affair of 1715. R.R.'

1 Only a small portion of the interleaf remains.

[merged small][ocr errors]
« PredošláPokračovať »