Source: "A Treatise of Good Taste in the Art of Musick Dedicated to His Royal Highness Frederick Prince of Wales by Francesco Geminiani - London 1749"
Auld Rob Morris
This tune can be found in the Leyden manuscript, written in Lyra-viol tablature, which probably dates from the 1690s. It can also be found in one of the Blaikie manuscripts in Viol de Gamba tablature dated 1692, under the name "Jock the Laird’s Brother".
Later it was published in The Orpheus Caledonius (1725), Watt’s Musical Miscellany (1730) and Craig’s Select Scottish Tunes (1730). Words existed to the tune, published in Allan Ramsay’s Tea Table Miscellany (1724). The first two lines:
There’s auld Rob Morris that wons in yon glen, [lives]
He’s the king o’ guid fellows, and wale o’ auld men. [choice]
In November 1792, Robert Burns took the first two lines of that song and added his own extra verses.
Extra verses by Robert Burns
There’s auld Rob Morris that wons in yon glen, He ‘s the king o’ gude fellows and wale of auld men ; He has gowd in his coffers, he has owsen and kine, And ae bonie lassie, his dautie and mine.
She’s fresh as the morning the fairest in May, She’s sweet as the ev’ning amang the new hay, As blythe and as artless as the lambs on the lea, And dear to my heart as the light to my e’e.
But O, she’s an heiress?auld Robin’s a laird,
And my daddie has noucht but a cot-house and yard;
A wooer like me maunna hope to come speed,
The wounds I must hide that will soon be my dead.
The day comes to me, but delight brings me nane ; The night comes to me, but my rest it is gane: I wander my lane like a night-troubled ghaist, And I sigh as my heart it wad burst in my breast.
O, had she but been of a lower degree, I then might hae hop’d she wad smil’d upon me ! O, how past descriving had then been my bliss, As now my distraction no words can express!
A Scotch Dialogue
Auld Bob Morrice can be found also in "Calliope" (1739) Vol. I page 112, under the name "A Scotch Dialogue".
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