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The 'Scots Musical Museum' - Volume II, song 117, page 121 - 'The Highland Lassie O'

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Volume II, song 117, page 121 - 'The Highland Lassie O'

Introduction:
Verse 1: Nae gentle dames, tho' ne'er sae fair,
Shall ever be my muse's care;
Their titles a' are empty show;
Gie me my Highland Lassie, O.
Within the glen sae bushy, O,
Aboon the plain sae rashy O,
I set me down wi' right gude will,
To sing my Highland Lassie, O.'

'Rashy' in Scots means covered with rushes.
Image Rights Holder:
National Library of Scotland
Ref:
2272
Project:
754:Scots Musical Museum
Material:
Book
Dimensions:
130 x 211 mm
What:
The 'Scots Musical Museum' - Volume II, song 117, page 121 - 'The Highland Lassie O'
Subject:
The 'Scots Musical Museum' is the most important of the numerous eighteenth- and nineteenth-century collections of Scottish song. When the engraver James Johnson started work on the second volume of his collection in 1787, he enlisted Robert Burns as contributor and editor. Burns enthusiastically collected songs from various sources, often expanding or revising them, whilst including much of his own work. The resulting combination of innovation and antiquarianism gives the work a feel of living tradition.
Who:
Henry Playford (publisher and song collector)
William Clarke (c. 1755-1820) (musical editor for Volume VI of the 'Scots Musical Museum')
Stephen Clarke (c. 1735-97) (musical editor)
James Johnson (c. 1750-1811) (printer / publisher / engraver / editor)
Robert Burns (1759-96) (song collector / composer / editor)
McGlashan (publisher and song collector)
William McGibbon (publisher and song collector)
When:
Between 1787 and 1803 (first publication of the 'Scots Musical Museum')
Where:
The National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh
Background:
The 'Scots Musical Museum' is the most important of the numerous eighteenth- and nineteenth-century collections of Scottish song. When the engraver James Johnson started work on the second volume of his collection in 1787, he enlisted Robert Burns as contributor and editor. Burns enthusiastically collected songs from various sources, often expanding or revising them, whilst including much of his own work. The resulting combination of innovation and antiquarianism gives the work a feel of living tradition.
Description:
The tune to which this song is sung is generally known as 'McLauchlin's Scots Measure'. Glen (1900) notes that 'whether the proper name of the Scots Measure is given by McGibbon in 1755, or McGlashan in 1781, it seems to be well known as McLachlan's'. He goes on to say that the tune is much older than either of these collections, appearing in Henry Playford's collection of Scottish tunes (1700). The tune included in Playford's collection is almost identical to that which was included in the 'Museum'.