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Lyr Req: Original lyrics to some of Burns songs

16 Feb 10 - 10:42 AM (#2840886)
Subject: Lyr Req: Original lyrics to some of Burn's songs
From: Margo

Howdy folks! Long time no post!

I am looking for a way to find some of the original lyrics to some of Burn's songs.

For example: Burn's song "Behold my Love" was originally "Believe me, if all those endearing young charms" which is a lovely song. I happen to like the original lyrics.

I love some of the melodies in the Burns songs, but I am having trouble coming up with the original lyrics. I would like to see them, as I might also like some of them better.

In particular I was hoping to find the original lyrics to what is known as "Dunkin Davison". The original tune is "Ye'll Aye Be Welcome Back Again".

Anyone know where to look? Thanks so much for any help!

Margo


16 Feb 10 - 10:53 AM (#2840892)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Original lyrics to some of Burn's songs
From: GUEST,leeneia

There's a site called 'Burns Country' which looks promising:

http://www.robertburns.org/works/

On that page is a title 'Duncan Davison.' [or was it Davidson? take a look]

I have read that Burns himself only wrote poetry. Other people might have set his poems to tunes, but in some cases it was a hundred years before the link was made.


16 Feb 10 - 11:04 AM (#2840903)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Original lyrics to some of Burn's songs
From: MGM·Lion

Burns often had specific tunes in mind for the words he wrote — I believe he wrote the words of Auld Lang Syne adapted from the singing of an old man he had heard; & had a specific tune in mind for "My Love, she's but a lassie yet", and for "Robin is a roving boy".

"Endearing young charms" is surely an Irish song by Thomas Moore?


16 Feb 10 - 11:11 AM (#2840911)
Subject: Lyr Add: DUNCAN DAVISON (Robert Burns)
From: Commander Crabbe

Duncan Davison


1788
Type: Poem

There was a lass, they ca'd her Meg,
And she held o'er the moors to spin;
There was a lad that follow'd her,
They ca'd him Duncan Davison.
The moor was dreigh, and Meg was skeigh,
Her favour Duncan could na win;
For wi' the rock she wad him knock,
And aye she shook the temper-pin.

As o'er the moor they lightly foor,
A burn was clear, a glen was green,
Upon the banks they eas'd their shanks,
And aye she set the wheel between:
But Duncan swoor a haly aith,
That Meg should be a bride the morn;
Then Meg took up her spinning-graith,
And flang them a' out o'er the burn.

We will big a wee, wee house,
And we will live like king and queen;
Sae blythe and merry's we will be,
When ye set by the wheel at e'en.
A man may drink, and no be drunk;
A man may fight, and no be slain;
A man may kiss a bonie lass,
And aye be welcome back again!


CC


16 Feb 10 - 11:37 AM (#2840941)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Original lyrics to some of Burn's songs
From: GUEST,Jack Campin

The tune of "Endearing Young Charms" (written long after Burns was dead) is taken from the 17th century song "My lodging is on the cold ground" - look that up.

Robert Chambers's book "Songs of Scotland prior to Burns" is worth a look for this sort of thing. So is Bruce Olson's site, which has been archived here.


16 Feb 10 - 11:38 AM (#2840942)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Original lyrics to some of Burn's songs
From: Rapparee

Robert or George Burns?


16 Feb 10 - 11:38 AM (#2840943)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Original lyrics to some of Burn's songs
From: Marje

I think you'll find that in some cases the tunes used for Burns' songs are old traditional melodies such as pipe tunes which may or may not have had other words attached to them at one time. The pairing-up of tunes and lyrics was fairly fluid in those days, and it isn't always possible to say which words were the first to be used with a particular tune.

Marje


16 Feb 10 - 05:31 PM (#2841309)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Original lyrics to some of Burn's songs
From: Jack Campin

Burns's tunes mostly fall into two groups: old songs and new fiddle tunes. There was hardly such a thing as a "pipe tune" in the early 18th century - instrumental dance tunes came from songs.

There are known words to most of the old tunes Burns used, though sometimes only fragments.

On the other hand, when he tried putting words to recently-composed fiddle tunes, the result was often pretty hard to sing. "The Caledonian Hunt's Delight" was one of the few that really worked (better known as "Ye Banks and Braes").


16 Feb 10 - 06:01 PM (#2841352)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Original lyrics to some of Burn's songs
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)

Without further checking, the Fiddler's Companion (not always reliable) entry for Ye'll Aye Be Welcome Back Again seems to suggest that it was a tune only - no original words.

Mick


16 Feb 10 - 07:07 PM (#2841442)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Original lyrics to some of Burn's songs
From: Margo

Thanks! While at work it occurred to me that there may only be a melody, and no former lyrics to speak of.

Jack, now I'm really confused about "Endearing Young Charms" because I have a Burns song CD with his lyrics put to that melody. I found the "Endearing Young Charms" song in a book. ???

Thanks for responding,

Margo


16 Feb 10 - 07:10 PM (#2841447)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Original lyrics to some of Burn's songs
From: Jack Campin

Burns published "Duncan Davidson" in the Scots Musical Museum in 1788, with a "Z" mark to indicate it was an adaptation of a traditional song. The tune had been published previously in McGlashan's collection of 1781, as "Duncan Davidson".

So we can be reasonably certain the original tune was for a song called "Duncan Davidson" which was much like Burns's one, even though we don't have a copy of it independent of Burns.


16 Feb 10 - 07:25 PM (#2841471)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Original lyrics to some of Burn's songs
From: Jack Campin

Margo, "Endearing Young Charms" is by Thomas Moore, as MtheGM said. Moore would have known the tune he used as "My lodging is on the cold ground", for which the original words should be in Bruce Olson's site - it's a monologue by a black madman in a cell in Bedlam. That tune had legs - there were many versions of it in the 18th century.


17 Feb 10 - 12:00 AM (#2841618)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Original lyrics to some of Burn's songs
From: GUEST,999

On-line book of his songs.