The Slave’s Lament reel

There are 3 recordings of this tune.

The Slave's Lament has been added to 6 tunebooks.

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One setting

1
X: 1
T: The Slave's Lament
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmin
FE | DEFG A2 AA | Af ed {d}^c2 AB | (G>F) GA Bd cB | {B}A6 (cB) |
AF DD D2 GA | BAGF E2 A^c | d2 ^cd AF EF | D6 (cB) |
AF DD D2 GA | BA GF E2 A^c | d2 ^cd AF EF | D4 |]

Four comments

The Slave’s Lament

Not a reel, tune to which Robert Burns set his poem, speaking in the words of the slave. I think it is a tune worth including. Below are the words.

The Slave’s Lament (1792)

It was in sweet Senegal that my foes did me enthral,
For the lands of Virginia,-ginia, O:
Torn from that lovely shore, and must never see it more;
And alas! I am weary, weary O:
Torn from that lovely shore, and must never see it more;
And alas! I am weary, weary O.

All on that charming coast is no bitter snow and frost,
Like the lands of Virginia,-ginia, O:
There streams for ever flow, and there flowers for ever blow,
And alas! I am weary, weary O:
There streams for ever flow, and there flowers for ever blow,
And alas! I am weary, weary O:

The burden I must bear, while the cruel scourge I fear,
In the lands of Virginia,-ginia, O;
And I think on friends most dear, with the bitter, bitter tear,
And alas! I am weary, weary O:
And I think on friends most dear, with the bitter, bitter tear,
And alas! I am weary, weary O:

Re: The Slave’s Lament

Certainly a very unusual tune, and one of my favourite Burns songs. It has been suggested that the tune came from the Sephardic Jewish community in N Africa.

Re: The Slave’s Lament

Wow, what an amazing seeker of tunes Burns was! And am I correct to say that James Johnson and the Scots
Musical Museum paid him nothing for his work?