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The 'Scots Musical Museum' - Volume II, song 158, page 166 - 'Waly, Waly'

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Volume II, song 158, page 166 - 'Waly, Waly'

Introduction:
Verse 1:
'O Waly, waly, up yon bank,
And waly, waly down yon brae,
And waly by yon river side,
Where I and my love wont to gae!
O waly, waly, love is bonny,
A little while when it is new,
But when 'tis auld, it waxes cauld,
And wears away like morning dew!'

'Waly' is Scots for a small flower.
Image Rights Holder:
National Library of Scotland
Ref:
2321
Project:
754:Scots Musical Museum
Material:
Book
Dimensions:
130 x 211 mm
What:
The 'Scots Musical Museum' - Volume II, song 158, page 166 - 'Waly, Waly'
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:
William Thomson (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)
James Oswald (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:
In his notes on the 'Museum', Burns writes of hearing a different version of the second stanza of 'Waly, Waly' in the west coast. 'Instead of the four lines beginning with 'When cockle shells ' &c.; the other way ran thus:- 'O, wherefore need I busk my head, / Or wherefore need I kame my hair / Sin my fause luve has me forsook, / And says he'll never luve me mair.'' The melody is known to have appeared in William Thomson's 'Orpheus Caledonius' (1725), James Oswald's 'Curious Collection of Scots Tunes' (1740) and in many subsequent Scottish song collections. It is generally believed, however, to be much older than its appearance in print.