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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
cetmst Lyr Req: Pompey's Ghost (7) Lyr Req: Pompey's Ghost 26 Jan 07


At the St. Andrew's Society of Baltimore's Burns Night dinner last week a member presented to each member attending a copy of a letter he had recently purchased at an auction. The letter was from Robert Burns to James Candlish, a long time friend and a student of Medicine in Glasgow, and states in part "I am engaged in assisting a friend of mine who is an engraver, and has taken it into his head to publish a collection of all our songs set to music, of which the words and music are done by Scotsmen (James Johnson, The Scots Musical Museum, 1787-1803). Pompey's Ghost, words and music, I beg from you immediately." According to the Robert Burns Encyclopedia (www.robertburns.org/encyclopedia) Candlish replied that since he was no musician he had sent the words only. The song is not in the Scots Musical Museum, nor can I find any further mention of it in the online encyclopedia, my copies of Burns' works or the Merry Muses of Caledonia. Searching Google brought up a poem "Pompey's Ghost" attributed to Thomas Hood. The poem seems to be a cleaned-up version of the original which is described as "bawdy and containing sexual and racial material." Pompey was a black servant (?slave) whose ghost visits a white lady one day (not night since a black ghost wouldn't be seen in the dark). Since Hood wasn't born until three years after Burns died this cannot be the original.
Can anyone furnish lyrics and tune for this song?


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