To extemporise an accompaniment to a song or instrumental solo.  The name and the thing are confined to the least artistic class of musical performances, but real skill in vamping requires no small knowledge of the usual harmonic transitions and great quickness in following the solo performer.  The word is generally considered to be more or less slang of a modern date, but the following extract from a song in The Merry Musician or a Cure for the Spleen, vol. i., 1716, p. 68, shows that it has at least some degree of antiquity.
Next Morphew the harper with his pig's face
Lies tickling a treble and vamping a base.

Vicar of Bray

A popular English songs dating from the early part of the 18th century.  The original vicar, of the village of Bray on the Thames, near Windsor, is said to have been one Simon Aleyn, who maintained his position through many political and religious changes from 1640 to 1688: this circumstance giving rise to a proverbial saying, that 'the Vicar of Bray will be Vicar of Bray still', though of course there is no absolute proof that Aleyn was the famous original.

The song, commencing ' In good King Charles's golden days,' is ascribed in Nichol's Select Poems to a soldier in colonel Fuller's troop of dragoons, in the reign of George I.  However this may be, the present writer has discovered an early version of the song printed in the reign of Queen Anne.  It is in vol. iii. of Miscellaneous Writings in Prose and Verse (2nd edition, 1712), by Edward Ward, the well-known satirical writer.  The song or poem is there entitled The Religious Turncoat, or The Trimming Parson, and begins:

I loved no King in forty one
When Prelacy went down
A cloak and band I then put on
And preached against the Crown;
... and so on for eighteen verses, several having much similarity to the better-known and more modern song.  Another early version of The Religious Turncoat is on a musical half sheet, engraved by Cross, in the writer's possession.  This brings down the reign to that of George I, and has considerable variation from Ward's copy; the air it is adapted to is the well-known London is a Fine Town, which frequently served as the vehicle for many of the same class of topical song.

play MIDI sound clipThe tune now united to The Vicar of Bray, though an old one, is not the original, and in fact the union of the two is comparatively recent.

On early sheet music The Vicar of Bray is set to a variant of the old Scottish melody Bessy Bell and Mary Gray, and it so appears in Walsh's British Musical Miscellany, vol. i.[1734] thus (right):

This quite unvocal and inappropriate tune was associated with the words until about 1770 or 1780, when a new lease of popularity was, given to the song by the old tune The Country Garden being fitted to it.  This tune is the one now always sung to the words.  The Country Garden was a vocal melody used as a country dance air, and under the title The Country Garden, the new way, it is included in Daniel Wright's Compleat Tutor for Ye Flute, c. 1735.  There is nothing, apparently, to show what the 'old way' of the tune was, for Wright's melody is found exactly in several books of Country Dances of the period, play MIDI sound clipand is also the same as the tune The Country Garden printed as the air for a song in the Quaker's Opera, 1728.  This is also used in other ballad operas.

The Country Garden tune and the words of The Vicar of Bray are found united in the Convivial Songster, 1782, in Ritson's English Songs, 1783, in Calliope, or the Vocal Enchantress, 1788, and elsewhere.  About this time a parody called A Gallon a Day was printed to the same air and issued on music sheets.  So also was Edward Rushton's fine song The Neglected Tar.  The old air, The Country Garden, still survives, traditionally, among Morris dancers in the rural districts of the southern and midland counties.  It is used by Morris dancers in Oxfordshire, where a fragment of the original song is remembered:

Madam, if you please
Will you buy a peck of peas
Out of my fine country Garden ?
For a traditional version of The Country Garden recently noted down, see Mr Sharp's Morris Dance Tunes, Novello.


I.  In early times Waits were the night guards stationed at city gates.  They were provided with a reed instrument, of the hautboy kind, for the purpose of signalling, or sounding at regular intervals to proclaim 'All's Well'.

Gradually, we may assume that musical effects were produced by the original instruments and by others added to them.  In the 15th and 16th centuries the Waits had developed into paid bands of musicians supported by the towns and cities for the purpose of playing at civic functions, etc.  They were accustomed to welcome distinguished visitors into the towns, and many of the entries in MS. books of household expenses are donations to the Waits of different towns.  This practice had not died out in the 18th century for in Humphrey Clinker, Matthew Bramble is welcomed to Bath by the Town Waits calling at his lodgings and playing.  At Christmas it was the custom for the Town Waits to visit the houses of notables, playing and singing suitable music, and the term Christmas Waits' survives as applied to these players and their imitators.  In the 16th and 17th centuries it is quite evident that members of the Town Waits were skilled musicians.  William Kemp, in his account of his nine days' Morris from London to Norwich in 1599, speaks of being welcomed by the City Waits.  He further says:

'Such Waytes (under Benedicitie be it spoken) few citties in the Realme haue the like, none better; who besides their excellency in wind instruments, their rare cunning on the Vyoll and Violin, theyre voices be admirable, euerie one of them able to serue in any Cathedrall Church in Christendome for Quiresters' (Nine Daies Wonder, 1600).
Several distinguished musicians have arisen from the ranks of the Waits.  The father of Orlando Gibbons was one of the Waits at Cambridge; the father of John Banister was one of St. Giles in the Fields; and John Ravenscroft, a composer of some clever triple time hornpipes and one of the band belonging to Goodmans Fields Theatres was a Wait of the Tower Hamlets.

In certain places silver badges bearing the town's arms were issued to the official waits.  Leeds maintained four Waits in the 17th century, and one of the silver badges is still in existence.

II.  The name was also applied to pieces of music supposed to have been played or sung by the Waits of particular towns or cities, as especially associated with these places.  Thus we get London Waits, Chester Waits, Colchester Waits, Worksop Waits, Oxford Waits, Bristol Waits, York Waits, and so on.  Many of these are preserved in 17th and 18th century country dance-books, the earliest specimen in print known to the writer being one named The Waits in the 3rd edition of the Dancing Master, 1665, among the tunes at the end.  play MIDI sound clipIn the reissue of this part of the book under the title Apollo's Banquet the air is named London Waits.

A more famous air for four voices, also named The Waits is by Jeremy Savile, and is published in Playford's Musical Companion 1672-73.  It is a fine melody, and is sung to the syllables 'Fa, la, la'.  The meetings of the Madrigal Societal maintain the custom of concluding their music with the singing of this piece four times.

Welsh Music

There is sufficient evidence to prove that at a very early period a musical culture existed in Wales; a culture far in advance of what might have been expected in a country of rugged character, whose political conditions were continually plunging it into war.  It has been asserted that this especial cultivation of scientific music was mainly due to the fact that the harp, an instrument of more capability than most primitive ones, was in popular use.  Also it may be added that Wales possessed in its bards a race of men whose profession was the production of poetry and music for the purpose of inciting their countrymen, by song and chant, to deeds of valour.

While much has been written regarding bards, their poetry, and music, in the earliest period of Welsh history, it must be confessed that we have really little evidence of the kind of music in use in these early bardic times.  Notwithstanding this, several Welsh writers have freely dealt with the musical history of Wales from very remote date, so remote, in fact, as to reach backward to druidical times.  Lengthy lists of bards dating from A D 60 are given in Edward Jones's Musical and Poetic Relicks of the Welsh Bards (1794) and elsewhere, with translations of their songs, and prose narratives, musical laws, rules for the government of their order, and many other intimate matters, with little reservation.  Later writers copy these, and accept statements which more cautious antiquaries might wish to see better verified.

It is impossible here to enter into this bewildering mass of quotation and assertion and to sift the likely from the unlikely.  There is no doubt much worthy of all credence, but its absolute value can only be estimated by Welsh scholars having access to the manuscript and other real evidence that may still remain.

Several points, however, stand out from the mass, such as the association of Irish with Welsh harpers, and the great interest shown by early Welsh rulers in the progress of the musical art in the country.

Prince Gruffydd ab Cynan, who lived in the 11th and 12th centuries, is credited with having put the professional music of Wales into some order, and with having made laws for the guidance and government of the bards and harpers, and others of the minstrel class.  He is said to have enacted that certain 'measures' should be played to particular kinds of lyrics, and to have given names to these.

Another proof of the existence of an early Welsh school of music is found in a much-quoted passage from Giraldus Cambrensis who, at the end of the 15th century, wrote of Welsh music thus: "The Britons do not sing in unison like the inhabitants of other countries, but in many different parts.  So that when a company of singers, among the common people, meet to sing, as is usual in this country, as many different parts are heard as there are performers, who all at length unite in consonance with organic sweetness".  (Other translations give ' unite in consonance under the softness of B flat.').  Dr. Burney, as we know, comments unfavourably on the amount of skill implied in this passage.

Other proofs of Welsh musical activity are forthcoming in these early days, but space will not permit an entry into the difficult question, particularly where no example can be found that will give the modern musician authentic and tangible evidence of the class of music cultivated.  The reader who wishes to examine such details as are available is referred to the Historical Dissertation prefixed to John Parry's Antient British Music (1742), to Edward Jones's Relicks (l794), and Bardic Museum (1802), Bunting's Ancient Music of Ireland (1809 and 1840), and to other works contemporary with these.  The more modern essays on the subject are mainly based upon the statements made in one or the other of these books, and much appears to be accepted without further independent research.

Of Welsh musical instruments we have better knowledge.  The harp was pre-eminent, although it must not be forgotten that this instrument was equally in evidence among the Anglo-Saxons and among the Scots and Irish.  Wales, however retained it for a longer period, and probably today the harp is more frequently played there than elsewhere.

The other musical instruments of Wales were much the same as those in use at contemporary periods, in England, Ireland, and Scotland.  There was, however, one exception, the crwth (see vol. i. p. 642), a stringed instrument played with a bow, although it had become practically obsolete at the end of the 18th century.  Jones, in 1794, mentioned that he had possessed one, which was accidentally destroyed by fire; and the Rev.  William Bingley, in his North Wales (1804), tells us that he found an old man who played one, and describes its tone as harsh and disagreeable.  It had six strings, two of which were off the finger-board, but its flat bridge scarcely allowed any string to be touched singly by the bow, and the whole appears to have been chiefly played as an accompaniment for the harp, or for the voice.

The rest of the Welsh instruments, so far as we know, were the pibgorn or hornpipe (see Pibgorn, vol. iii. p. 679; Stock and Horn, vol. iv. p. 698), the bagpipe, the bugle horn, and the tabret, a small drum.  The harps were of different sizes, some being three or four feet long, though the usual size was large, six or seven feet high and all had a varying number of strings.

In Queen Elizabeth's reign some of the single harps had twenty-nine strings.  There were also double harps with two sets of strings, as well as the triple harp (see below, Welsh Triple Harp) having three sets of strings; this seems to have been in use among the more skilful performers only.  According to early laws certain kinds of harps were confined to learners, and one of these kinds was made of hardened leather.  Jones gives a translation of a poem, said to belong to the 14th century, which condemns the leathern harps, and suggests that they bent, while being played upon; they were, the poem indicates, made of horse skin.  A more credible reference is to be found in the remembrance of a person who told Jones that he used as a boy to play on a harp which was covered with ox skin.  It is quite evident that the leathern harp, with the other instruments named (excepting the correct forms of harp)could not make very satisfactory music.

In furtherance of musical culture Welsh musicians have, from early times, held musical meetings at which harpers and other performers from different parts of the country attended.  Here they played in competitions, and settled the affairs of the profession.  The modern survival of these meetings is the Eisteddfod that is so prominent a feature of musical life in Wales at the present day.

While in bardic times the offices of the harper was to inspire the onslaught and to sing the deeds of valour done, as times grew more tranquil the professional harper wandered abroad and either took service with some wealthy family as domestic harper, or went from one country seat to another or to various fairs, markets, or gatherings, picking up his living by such donations as might come in his way.  It is important to remember this when considering the airs which now constitute Welsh national music.

Many of the harpers were blind, as in Scotland and Ireland, and indeed the affliction seemed to fix the calling of the man.  Among others, two blind harpers may be mentioned as connected with the issue of important collections of Welsh airs, viz. - John Parry of Rhuabon (died 1782), and Richard Roberts of Carnarvon (died 1855, aged eighty-six).

The first named was domestic harper to the Wynnstay family, and also at a later date to George III.  Regarding the profession of a harper at a comparatively early date a curious commission may be quoted which was given by Queen Elizabeth to certain Welsh gentlemen in 1567.  By it, it appears that 'vagrant and idle persons naming themselves Minstrels, Rythmers, and Bards are lately grown into such intolerable multitude within the principality of North Wales, that not only gentlemen and others by their shameless disorders are often disquieted in their habitations but also the expert minstrels and musicians in tonge and cunynge thereby much discouraged to travaile in the exercise and practice of their knowledge' etc., it was therefore enacted that the silver harp, which had been bestowed by Sir William Mostyn and his ancestors upon the best minstrel at the assemblies held at 'Cayroes in the county of Flynt', should be given annually at the said town of Cayroes on the Monday after Trinity, commencing in 1568, upon the advice of 'expert men in the faculty of Welsh music', and that all who were considered unfit should be compelled to 'return to honest labour', upon pain of being taken as sturdy and idle vagabonds (See the whole quoted in Evans's Specimens of the Poetry of th Ancient Welsh Bards, 1760).

It may be now asked what authentic remnants of ancient Welsh music exist.  In the 18th century there were several libraries of old Welsh manuscripts which, in at least two instances, suffered greatly by fires; it does not, however, appear that among those destroyed were any manuscript musical collections which (as among English manuscripts) gave indication of the vocal or instrumental music of Wales at an early date, with the exception of two MSS. to be presently dealt with.

The most famous of these manuscripts is a volume, formerly in the possession of Lewis Morris and afterwards in that of the Welsh School, whence it passed to the British Museum in 1844.  By an inscription it is judged to have been written about the middle of the 17th century.  An early entry in the MS. states that 'this book was wrote by Robert ap Huw of Bodwigan in Anglesey in Charles ye First's time, some part of it copied out of William Penllyn's book'.  William Penllyn was a harper who was one of the chief bards of North Wales in the ninth year of Elizabeth (see note by Burney, History of Music, vol. ii. p. 110).  It purports to contain 'the music of the ancient Britons as settled by a congress of masters of music by order of Gruffydd ab Cynan about the year 1100, with some of the most ancient pieces of the Britons, supposed to have been handed down to us from the British Bards'.  However this may be, there are twenty-four lessons, or 'measures' followed by twelve variations on a ground-bass.  The whole is in a tablature used for organ music, in the 16th and 17th centuries, though, in ignorance of this fact, John Parry in the Welsh Harper, vol. i. refers to it as 'the most ancient specimen of Welsh musical notation extant' and that 'the characters used are those of the ancient bardic alphabet'.  He also mentions an article by Sir Samuel Meyrick, On the Musical Notation of the Ancient Britons, in a Welsh antiquarian journal, evidently founded upon the same MS. and tablature.  There is a description of the manuscript in Dr. Burney's History of Music (vol. ii., 1782, pp. 110-114) with facsimiles and translations.  It is, however, transcribed in full in the third volume of Myvyrian Archaeology of Wales (1807), and again reprinted with a full translation in the 1870 edition.  The most recent consideration of the MS. is in Miss M. H. Glyn's Evolution of Musical Form 1909, where an independent translation of The Prelude to the Salt is given.  She happily describes the whole of the music in the MS. as 'ceaseless reiteration of equal beat figures of a few notes, which suggest five-finger exercises rather than variation.  Monotony pervades the whole range of the music, a fact which goes far to prove its authenticity.'

Burney, however, says of it: 'This counterpoint, artless as it may seem, is too modern for such remote antiquity as is given to it'.  In the present article the age of the MS. need not be discussed, and the series of chords which make up the bulk of the music does not in any way resemble the popular Welsh airs.  It has been suggested that the pieces contained in the MS. are for performance on the crwth, but this opinion is scarcely tenable; it appears quite evident that it is harp music.  Regarding this manuscript, Brinley Richards, in the 1884 edition of Songs of Wales, says that 'he feels obliged to modify his former statements concerning the so-called 11th century MSS., and he now believes that they are of more recent date, as the accounts of the congress of Prince Gruffydd ap Cynan, at which they are said to have been written are unsupported by any authentic evidence.'

In the Myvyrian Archaiology of Wales also appears a transcript and a translation of another early musical MS., that of Rhys Jones, but the character of the music resembles that of the manuscript previously described.

Besides these MSS. there does not appear to be preserved any collections of Welsh music (save one or more general treatises on the art of music written in Welsh) prior to the early part of last century.  We are thus, unfortunately, in the dark as to the character of Welsh music before the harpers were influenced by the art of other countries.  It is much to be regretted that we cannot trace, step by step, as we can in the music of England, by the aid of MSS. or printed books, the evolution of Welsh melody.  Nevertheless, from a cause not now easy to discover, Welsh historians have claimed for Welsh melodies an antiquity far greater than that of any music current in the British Isles.  So far as the present writer has been able to ascertain this claim first made its appearance shortly before the middle of the 18th century.  If Lewis Morris, the Welsh antiquary then living in London, did not first broach this theory he certainly did much to foster it.  How much or how little truth there may be in the statement, for instance, that certain now popular Welsh airs have come down traditionally from druidical times and are coeval with the Roman occupation of Britain, will always remain a matter of personal opinion.  While not in any way disputing the fact that cultured music was commonly performed in Wales, it must be remembered that many of the old harpers were blind and that therefore, to such, musical notation would be useless, also that it would require a very ample system and great skill to put down upon paper the florid music of which the harp, in the hands of a clever harper, is capable.  There can be but little doubt that the music of Wales would be played entirely by ear, and subject to extemporaneous adornment or alteration by each player.

It is not very clear when Welsh music, considered as national music, began to have attention paid to it.  Towards the end of the 17th century stress began to be laid upon the fact that certain tunes were of Scottish origin, and that others were in the 'Scotch taste', but the present writer cannot find (save in one minor instance) that any attempt was made before 1742 to offer to the public a collection of melodies professedly of Welsh birth, although some Welsh tunes, indicated as such, occur at earlier date in certain London country dance books.

Blind John Parry of Rhuabon, assisted by one Evan Williams, issued his Antient British Music in London, in 1742.  Lewis Morris, who, it is stated, first put the harp into the hands of Parry, had some share in this work, for he contributed an anonymous Historical Dissertation, and probably concocted the title which speaks of the melodies as 'supposed by the learned to be the remains of the music of the Antient Druids'.  The airs (twenty- four in number) are unnamed, and were probably the general tunes then played by the harpers of North Wales.

Parry in London got some degree of fame, fostered by the belief that the tunes he played were of the highest antiquity.  He was appointed harper to the king, and fired the poet Gray to write 'The Bard'.  Gray, writing to a friend, says: 'Mr. Parry has been here and scratched out such ravishing blind harmony such tunes of a thousand years old, with names enough to choke you'.  No other musician after Parry's first volume ventured on a Welsh collection, but in 1781 (the year before he died) Parry issued a further collection, this time introducing a large number of variations for the harp).  Edward Jones followed in 1784, 1794, and 1802, still claiming the melodies as 'Bardic tunes from very remote antiquity' and 'Ancient war tunes of the Bards', also that they were 'never before published.'

This insistence on the great age of the Welsh airs continued throughout all later collections.  Richard Roberts in Cambrian Harmony (1829) speaks of his tunes as 'never before published arranged as they were originally performed by the Ancient Britons'.  The book, however, opens with The King's Joy, which proves to be the well-known cavalier song When the King shall enjoy his own again, and this is reprinted without remark in Parry's Welsh Harper (1848).

All these editors, from Parry of 1781 to Parry of 1848, have given pages of elaborate variations for the harp.  They probably do not claim these variations as 'ancient', but they manifestly appear to be far more anxious to show off their talent in this matter than to print genuine melodies which might, with but little trouble, have been found yet remaining among harpers or peasants.  In a recent publication, Cambrian Minstrelsie (1893), great age for known Welsh melodies is asserted.  For example, the note appended to Nos Galen is 'This melody is of very great antiquity, dating, as some maintain, from the days of the Druids.  It must, therefore, be at least between 2000 and 3000 years old'.  Many other quotations might be given from this and other works of a similar character.

With no wish to belittle either the beauty or the antiquity of the many charming Welsh melodies which the older collectors have placed before us, one is tempted to inquire more closely into the history of them, and here it becomes evident that there are many difficulties in reconciling these statements with facts.  It if also quite clear that the earlier editors of Welsh collectors did not approach their subject with open minds, or with the method now expected in dealing with antiquarian subjects.  Structure of melody was not considered; prior published collections of airs were not examined and the sources of their own airs not given.  Edward Jones was the most laborious of these editors, and while his books are full of interesting material, this is badly arranged and difficult to sift.  He gives many quotations from MSS. having reference to the musical affairs of Wales, yet neither here nor elsewhere have we any tangible evidence of the early existence of the present-known Welsh melodies, either in notation or as definitely named by title.

The earliest Welsh tunes that exist (apart from the Rhys Jones, and the Penllyn MSS. referred to above, and these can scarcely be claimed as melodies) are found in Playford's Dancing Master, from 1665 to 1718, a half dozen or so, and some few others in the London dance books.  These, with the five in Aria di Camera (c.  1727), are the only ones prior to John Parry's collection of 1742.  We are thus more severely handicapped in our study of Welsh national music than in that of English, which possesses the advantage of being traceable step by step, from the 13th century onward by actual noted examples.

The tunes Jones and the two Parrys give have evidently been taken down from the playing of harpers in North Wales, where the harp seems to have been in greatest favour.  They appear to have considered that this instrument was the sole one worthy of attention (this may be due to the fact that they were themselves skilled performers on it), and that Welsh vocal music was of but little interest.  They filled their books with pages of variations, and one frequently wonders what is claimed as genuinely old and what is admittedly modern.  Also, sometimes a suspicion arises, as no sources are named, whether every tune inserted is purely traditional or whether the editors have been tempted silently to include compositions of their own.

In the early years of the 19th century it seems to have been recognised that apart from the published Welsh tunes, a number of traditional Welsh melodies yet existed among the people, and at local eisteddfodau, prizes were offered for MS. collections of these.  Though no attempt at publication was made, one or two of these MS. collections fortunately still exist; John Parry, the later, having used one for material for his Welsh Harper.  Miss Maria Jane Williams collected folk-tunes in South Wales, and in 1838 submitted her collection at an eisteddfod.  She, however did more, and a selection of forty-three of them was published in 1844.  Her collection is now extremely rare, and only a small number of copies can have been issued.  She noted a number of modal tunes, and had the true instinct of a modern folk-song collector, being distinctly in advance of her time in the appreciation of pure folk melody.  Her collecting was done in Glamorganshire.  It was not until 1896 that a further book of traditional Welsh folk melodies was published.  The late Mr. Nicholas Bennett in that year issued Alawon fy Ngwled, or Lays of my Land.  This has over 400 melodies, without words from traditional sources, though, as might be expected, there are in it a number of English folk-tunes, and some published English and other airs not folk tunes; it is, however, an honest attempt at a much-needed work.  Carl Engel, in his Literature of National Music (1879), drew attention to the desirability of searching Wales for traditional melodies, and he prints an air, Dixon's Hornpipe, noted by himself at Llangollen, claiming it to be 'as fine as any of the finest Welsh tunes in popular favour'.

A 'Welsh Folk-Song Society has recently been formed with the object of collecting and publishing this class of music; their first publication has just been issued.

Much of the recently collected vocal Welsh music is decidedly Celtic in character, and in the collection of Welsh Melodies, edited by Lloyd Williams and Arthur Somervell (Boosey & Co.), are some examples of genuine old tunes of fine quality.

Consideration may now be given to the sources of many of the fine tunes which make up the national music of Wales.  It is quite needless to say that among these there are a great number of fine bold melodies, of which any nation might be proud.  The first printed sacred music of Welsh origin, or usage, occurs in Thomas Ravenscroft's Whole Booked of Psalms, etc., 1621 and 1633.  Among the tunes marked as Welsh is Wrexham.  (See Psalter vol. iii. p. 843.)

As before mentioned, Welsh secular airs began to be first printed in London books of country dances, and the earliest that may be referred to Wales that the present writer has discovered is the tune Abergenie in the 1665 and later editions of Playford's Dancing Master.  Abergenie is probably Abergavenny in Monmouth, which is a sufficiently Welsh county in manner and customs to be musically included.  Singularly enough, this air bears a strong resemblance to Cold and Raw.  play MIDI sound clipThe Bishop of Bangor's jig, Lord of Carnarvon's jig, St. David's Day, and Welch Whim are all in different editions of the Dancing Master, and may, from their titles, be presumed to be of Welsh origin, although not reprinted in any Welsh collection.  The fine melody Morva Ryddlan (The Marsh of Rhuddlan) is in Aria di Camera (c. 1727) which also includes the characteristic Meillionen, this latter occurs also in several country dance books about 1735-40.

As Aria di Camera is a book of extreme rarity, the writer not having knowledge of any other copy than his own, the earliest version of the first-named famous Welsh melody may be given from it; it will be seen to have some difference from later copies.  Another early version of it named An old Welsh Tune, again having differences, is printed in Francis Peacock's Fifty Scotch Airs (1762).

The striking tune named Of Noble Race was Shenkin first occurs in connection with D'Urfey's comedy The Richmond Heiress, acted 1693, play MIDI sound clipwhere the song, in broken English, sung by Bowman, is put into the mouth of a comic Welshman, Rice ap Shenkin.  The song is printed in Playford's Thesaurus Musicus, book i. 1693, in different editions of Pills and The Dancing Master, as well as on half-sheets of the period.  In Pills there is also another song to the same air.  Henry Purcell and John Eccles wrote the music for The Richmond Heiresss but whether a genuine Welsh air was employed for Shenkin's song is by no means certain.  The tune, after being immensely popular in England, was first included in a Welsh collection in 1794 (Jones's), and named The Camp.  It is rather strange that John Parry (Bardd Alaw) in including it in his Two Thousand Melodies (1841), No. 1980, names it, without further comment, Danish Air.  play MIDI sound clipParry had inserted it in his first Welsh collection, 1809, and there states that he is unable to trace its origin.  Blind Parry's first collection of twenty-four 'Arias', unamed, includes Lady Owen's Delight, which is again repeated without name in his later collection of Twelve Airs for one and two Guitars (c. 1760-65).  In his 1781 edition it first bears the name Difyswch Arglwyddes Owen's.

The Mock Nightingale is also in the late 1742 edition, repeated in the 1781, and Gln Meddwdod Mwyn (Good Humoured and Fairly Tipsy) after being in the Twelve Airs (1760-65), occurs in the 1781 edition.  Others in this last-named work of Parry's printed for the first time are Nos Galan, Sir Harry Dh, Mentra Gwen, Merch Megan, and other familiar airs, comprising forty-two in MIDI sound clip

In Jones's first edition of Musical and Poetical Relicks of the Welsh Bards (1784) is included Captain Morgan's March, The Dimpled Cheek, The Bend of the Little Horseshoe, Winifreda, Ar hyd y nos,Dafyddy Garreg When, Pen Rhaw, etc.  In the 1794 edition the whole plates are reprinted, with additions, and for the first time.  Men of Harlech with other now popular airs, sees the light for the first time.  Among these is the following Eryri Wen (White Snowdon) from Jones's Welsh Bards (1794).play MIDI sound clip

In Jones's Bardic Museum (1802) the pretty air Ash Grove is first printed.  In later works by different editors many fresh Welsh tunes find place; those of Parry (Bardd Alaw) and Miss Williams especially contributing largely.

It is probably not necessary to reprint here the well-known Welsh melodies which are to be found in the usual Welsh collections, but a couple of airs from Parry's Welsh Harper will serve to give examples of two types of Welsh tunes.

play MIDI sound clip play MIDI sound clip
Doubtful Melodies:

It now becomes necessary to consider the great number of tunes which have been classed as Welsh upon insufficient grounds.  As a preliminary it must be recollected that Wales has at all times produced a large number of skilful performers on the harp, who were accustomed to pick up a livelihood by travelling about the country in the exercise of their profession.  It was from this class of men that the earlier collectors noted the melodies they published.  It is impossible to assume that these wandering minstrels played nothing but Welsh tunes; they would, without doubt, please their audience or themselves with such airs as took their fancy.  Those remaining among the mental stock in trade of harpers would become traditional and subject to such changes as affect traditional melody.

In a lengthy list of 'songs and melodies commonly used by the poets, and harpers in Wales collected by Richard Morris, l779 ' (Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 14,939), are many titles of English melodies evidently, as the compiler at the list states, commonly used in Wales.  Blind Parry, Jones, and others, without inquiring into this matter, noted down numbers of English and Irish airs, apparently without the knowledge that they were merely traditional Welsh forms of such airs.  The inclusion in these early Welsh works, especially with the words on their title-ages 'Never before published', has caused them to be ranked among genuine Welsh music.  A few of these cases may be here named, though the list could be largely extended, did space permit.

Pen Rhaw, first published in Welsh in 1784, has considerable affinity to John Come Kiss Me Now, a tune common in England and Scotland in the 16th and 17th centuries.  Torried y dydd (The dawning of the day), 1781, is a well-known air, Windsor Tarras (or Terrace), printed with the song in Pills, vol.  i., in Walsh's Dances for 1714 and elsewhere.  Brenhines Dido (Queen Dido '), 1781, is a very imperfect remembrance of the ballad air Queen Dido, or Troy Town, as it is sometimes named; this was printed as early as 1660.  Margaret that Lost her Garter (1781) has great likeness to Franklin has Fled Away of 1669.  Good Humoured and Fairly Tipsy, is a slight deviation from a once favourite song, The Women all Tell me I'm False to my Lass, sung originally at Vauxhall in 1750 and printed with the song and air in the June supplement of the Universal Magazine for 1751.  Hunting the Hare (1794) has no Welsh claim; it is The Green Gown, printed as early as 1652 in Musick's Recreation on the Viol, and later, in a great number of other places.

The Rising Sun was published by Jones in 1794, with the note 'The subject of this air Mr. Handel has borrowed and introduced into the duet 'Happy We' in his oratorio of Acis and Galatea.  The duet is said to have been added by Handel to his pastoral in 1739.  The Rising Sun was printed in country dance-books about 1735, but it was not considered as Welsh before Jones published it in 1794.  In any case the phrase is unimportant and probably had long been common property.

In a similar way an illogical proposition is made to the effect that the tune, Cease Your Funning, in the Beggar's Opera (1727-28), is stolen from the air Llwyn Onn, or Ash Grove, which first appeared in the Bardic Museum (1802), without any account of its source, except that it was named after 'Mr. Jones's mansion near Wrexham'.  The original of Cease Your Funning has been traced from the contemporary air Constant Billy or Lofty Mountains; but while the resemblance to the Welsh tune is of the slightest, it is inconceivable that it can be founded on one of which no trace appears until over seventy years have passed.  The error has been persistently repeated, down to the date of Brinley Richards.  Drive the World Before Me (1794) is an Irish jig which is printed in Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion and elsewhere about the middle of the 18th century as Stick the World Before You.  The First of August (1802) is a tune which figures in the Dancing Master as Frisky Jenny, and under other titles has long been a favourite in England.  The title The First of August was given to it by reason of its being sung to a song so named in commemoration of the Hanoverian succession, and not, as Jones suggests, in connection with Lammas Day or the payment of Welsh tithes.   For a history on the air, which is probably Swedish, see article by the present writer in The Musical Times, Sept. 1895, p. 593 and in the Proceedings of the Musical Association, 34th session, p. 89.

Flaunting Two (1794) is the 17th-century country dance The Hemp Dresser and The Monks March, conjectured to be so named as one sung by the monks of Bangor who were massacred in 613, is really one named after general Monk, which occurs in the Dancing Master of 1665 as The L[ord] Monks March.  The melody of Cynwyd (1794) is Dargason, a tune of great antiquity, printed in the Dancing Master (1651, etc.).  The Delight of the Men of Dovey (1781) is the Irish air Dear Catholic Brother, and the list might be considerably prolonged.

These tunes have, without evidence or comment, been included among Welsh national music at the dates above given.  Succeeding editors have accepted the position, and where they have found them among earlier English music, have illogically suggested that they have been stolen from the Welsh.  In one recent collection the editor has included The Princess Royal (the Arethusa) without offering an explanation.  Another illogical claim is for The Bells of Aberdovey (1844), which has long been included in Welsh collections as native of the soil, but is really the composition of Charles Dibdin, who, writing a song for it in broken Welsh, used it in his opera Liberty Hall (1786).  Miss Williams, hearing it traditionally, published a version of it in her collection of 1844, and from that time onward it has been accepted as genuine Welsh.  There is certainly no evidence to show that Dibdin used an existing tune (it was quite opposed to his practice), and no copy can be found except Dibdin's of a date prior to 1844.

A good example of the way in which great age is ascribed to tunes whose internal structure proclaims them of late date is seen in the air Captain Morgan's March included in every Welsh Collection, and deservedly a great favourite.  It was originally published by Jones in his 1784 edition, again repeated in that of 1794, while its terminal notes were altered to its present form in Parry's Welsh Melodies of 1809.  The Welsh account of its origin, as given by Jane Williams, History of Wales, 1869, in mentioning the rising of Rhys ap Morgan, in Glamorganshire, in 1294, is that it 'was probably composed, or selected by this Prince to animate the march of his followers'.  This early Morgan connection with the air is more or less suggested by all writers on the subject from Jones onward, and the passage from Williams's History is quoted by the editor of Cambrian Minstrelsie so late as 1893.  It is somewhat strange that these historians skip all the Captain Morgans for five hundred years to fix upon this particular one renowned in Welsh history.  The present writer makes the suggestion that the tune offers no structural evidence of a later date than the middle of the 18th century and that it is most likely the composition of a regimental band-master, who has named it after some Captain Morgan associated with the regiment.  Collectors of musical works do not need to be told that from about 1745 to 1790 there was quite a run on military music, and that great numbers of marches of a similar character, named after military personages, were included in the flute and violin collections of the period.

It is these wild statements which have caused so much doubt to be cast upon the subject of Welsh national music, and it is unfortunate that no Welsh scholar, sufficiently acquainted with the music of other countries, has yet arisen to weed out all foolish and romantic statements and put the subject of Welsh music on the firm historical basis it deserves.  (Since the above was in type, a paper on Welsh National Melodies and Folk-Songs, read by Dr. J. Lloyd Williams before the honourable Society of Cymmrodorion on Jan 22, 1908, has been published; it is pleasant to find really sane views expressed in this valuable essay).

Even if documentary evidence of a more trustworthy kind should be found in support of the theory that these tunes were of great antiquity, their internal evidence remains as a strong proof of their being, for the most part, of comparatively recent origin.  In the two books of 'Welsh Melodies' edited by Dr. J. Lloyd Williams and Dr. Somervell (1907 and 1909) there are some fine tunes which are evidently old; the lullaby Suo-Gan and Bugail yr Hafod (The Shepherd of Hafod) are clearly older than any of the usually-recognised Welsh airs; and Brenddwyd y Bardd (The Bard's Dream) is so purely Dorian in character that it must date from a time when the modes were in practical use.

Pennillion Singing

There is one particular feature of Welsh music peculiar to the Principality - this is 'Pennillion Singing'.  Pennil = a stanza (pennillion, plural).  This has been practised all over Wales from early times, and is still in vogue.  There are two forms of it, one being more common in North Wales than in the South.  Pennillion singing is generally a subject in musical competitions.  The common method is this.  A harper plays a well-known Welsh air; there are several tunes usually employed for the purposes, Pen Rhaw being one - in strict time, over and over again.  Each of the company in turn adapts to the tune extemporary words in rhyme, which are answered with a burden of 'Fal lal la' by the rest between the lines.  This impromptu poetry must fit the melody in time and tune, and the subject is almost always expected to be humorous or familiar.

The North Wales manner, which is claimed to be the more correct one, is of greater difficulty.  The singer must not only sing to the melody, but he must neither begin with it, nor on the first beat of a bar.  Idris Vychan, who wrote a treatise on the art in 1866, laid down certain rules which are authoritative.  Among them are the following: 'He (the singer) may begin at any portion of a bar he chooses, but must end with the melody.  The instrumentalist must play the air continuously and markedly and in correct time, whether with or without variations.  The harper plays the air over each time a fresh one is introduced to give the singer time to adapt his stanza.  No competitor is to use a stanza previously employed'.  Many of the Welsh collections give specimens of Pennillion singing.

Bibliography of Welsh National Music


Engraved and Printed Collections


A family of music-publishers, and instrument-makers, said to have been established in business in 1750.  Of this family was Sir Charles Wheatstone, the inventor of the Concertina, which he patented in June 1829.

He was born at Gloucester, in Feb 1802, and was the son of a music-seller there.

He came to London, evidently to relatives in the music trade, and professionally was a music instrument-maker, but soon turned his attention to scientific subjects, which included light, optics, sound vibrations, and electricity.  As above stated he invented the concertina and the patent was held by the Wheatstone firm for many years.

Other matters absorbing his attention, Wheatstone took little active interest in the music trade, but became famous for his improvements and inventions in telegraphic matters.  He was knighted in 1868, and died in Paris, Oct 19, 1875.  His portrait is in the National Portrait Gallery.


The simplest form of flageolet, or flte-.bec.  It may be made of wood, cane, or metal; modern specimens are sometimes of celluloid.  The principle is that of a tube plugged, or otherwise arranged, at the mouth so that a narrow slit only remains.  A short distance below is a notch having a portion of the tube cut slantingly away, or if of metal deflected inwards, upon which the breath impinges and so produces a shrill sound dependent on the length and width of the tube for its pitch and power.

The short whistle, of the dog-whistle type, is not open at the end, and only produces one note.  The old parish clerk's pitch-pipe (made of wood) was merely a whistle plugged at the end by a movable stopper, which, pushed upwards to certain fixed places, gave the required notes as a pitch for singing.  The ordinary musical whistle (the 'tin' or 'penny' whistle) has six vents which are stopped by the fingers of both hands, and the fingering follows the same rule as for the fife, or flute without keys.  The bird whistle (directions for playing of which were published by Walsh early in the 18th century) is very short, and as a consequence shrill.  The whistles of savage nations are generally of cane, and sometimes blown with the nose instead of the mouth.


A Jewish hymn, containing in metrical form the thirteen articles of the Jewish creed.  It is generally used at the close of the morning and of the evening services.  It is said to be the composition of Daniel ben Judah Dayyan, who, it is stated, spent eight years in improving and completing it, finishing it about 1404.  It begins 'Yigdal Elohim', and is sung to traditional airs which vary according to the country of its usage.  Some of these airs are supposed to be of great antiquity.

In London in the 18th century, and even to-day, the air frequently employed was that known as Leoni, so named from the fact that Myer Lyon (Leoni), the principal singer at the great Synagogue in Aldgate, passed on this particular Yigdal air to Thomas Olivers, the hymn-writer, who, about 1770, wrote and published the hymn The God of Abraham Praise to it, when it was adopted for Christian worship.  The assertion, so frequently made, that the Leoni tune is of an antiquity reaching to biblical times, is quite an absurd one; the structure of the air points to merely an 18th-century origin.  In general the Yigdal is sung antiphonically by the bazzan and congregation alternately.  A Yigdal tune was successfully used in the music of the York Pageant of 1909.

Aird, James

A Glasgow music-publisher, whose chief claim to remembrance lies in the fact that, so far as at present is ascertained, he was the first to print the air Yankee Doodle.  Aird was established in the Candleriggs in 1778, and had sundry changes of address, as at New Wynd, and New Street.  He died in 1795, when his plates were sold, and bought by Archibald M'Goun and John M'Fadyen, both Glasgow music-sellers.

Aird published sheet-music and books of reels, etc., but his chief work is A Selection of Scotch, English Irish, and Foreign Airs.  This reached to six books, and it is of the highest interest in the study of our national melodies. The book is in small oblong, and Aird died shortly after the fourth was published, M'Fadyen continuing the work.

The first book, which contains Yanky Doodle, was probably published as early as 1778, for it is advertised on the title page of Joshua Campbell's Reels, issued by Aird in that year.  The second was published in 1782, the third 1788, the fourth 1794, the fifth 1799, and the sixth at a later date.  The whole was reprinted by M'Fadyen, and again by G Goulding of London.  A complete set of volumes is seldom met with.

Arethusa, The (or the Princess Royal)

The song appeared in the opera The Lock and Key, acted 1796, words by Prince Hoare, the music composed and selected by William Shield.  It chronicles, in almost accurate detail, an engagement of the English frigate, The Arethusa, with a larger French vessel, La Belle Poule, in the English Channel on June 17, 1778.

The fine air has long been and is yet persistently referred to as the composition of William Shield, who never claimed to do more than add the bass.

Irish writers have also stated that the air is by Carolan, and named The Princess Royal, in honour of the daughter of Macdermott Roe, a descendant of one of the Irish kings.  Nothing but tradition favours this view, which Bunting, apparently, first puts into print in 1840, except that in O'Farrell's Pocket Companion for the Irish or Union Pipes, vol. iv. c. 1810, there is a version of the melody named Air by Carolan.

The present writer was the first to point out that the air was commonly known in the early part of the 18th century as a country dance tune named The Princess Royal, the new way, and that about 1730-35, it appeared in several London publications.  The Princess Royal, after whom the tune was named, was evidently Anne, daughter of George II, who married the Prince of Orange in 1734.  This conclusion is further confirmed by finding in the dance collections, in which the tune occurs, printed about 1730-35, other airs named after the family of George II, as Prince William, and Princess Caroline, the first being the hero of Culloden, the Duke of Cumberland and the other the Princess Elizabeth Caroline, his younger sister.  This combination is strong evidence that the title 'The Princess Royal' really applies to a living personality then prominently before the public rather than to an obscure descendant of a long extinct race of kings.

Under the name Princess Royall the new way, the air, agreeing, almost note for note, with the Arethusa version, is found in an edition of Walsh's Compleat Country Dancing Master, c. 1730, with a tune named Princess Caroline, on the preceding leaf (a copy of this book is in possession of the present writer), and under the title New Princess Royal in Wright's Compleat Collection of Celebrated Country Dances, vol. i. c. 1730-35 (in the Leeds Public Library).  Wright's copy is reprinted from the same plates in a later edition, published by John Johnson.  In Wright's dances is the air named Prince William.  As The Princess Royal the air also appears in Daniel Wright's Compleat Tutor for Ye Flute, circa 1735 (in possession of the writer).  Also, traditional versions of the air have been found used for tunes to Morris dances still retaining the name The Princess Royal.

The subject has been somewhat fully dealt with here for the reason that so many misstatements have been made regarding an English air of great strength and beauty which possesses the best characteristics of our national melody.  For some details regarding the air see an article by the present writer, 'New Lights Upon Old Tunes', Musical Times, Oct 1894.

Bay of Biscay, The

The words of this fine sea song are by Andrew Cherry, and formed part of a musical entertainment called Spanish Dollars, which was performed for Incledon's benefit at Covent Garden, on May 9, 1805.  The play was afterwards adopted by the management.  John Davy was the composer of tile song and the opera.

It has been stated that Davy took his melody from the singing of some drunken Negroes in London, near the docks.  Whether this be true or not, it is a fact that several traditional melodies have been recently collected, mostly sea-songs, the melodies of which bear a considerable resemblance to the air in question.  From certain points of evidence it is, however, improbable that these are taken from Davy's melody to the Bay of Biscay.  It is rather likely that there has existed some tune commonly sung to sea songs of which both the Bay of Biscay and the traditional airs are merely the remains.

Bonny Dundee

The song commencing 'To the Lords of Convention 'twas Claverhouse spoke' is by Sir Walter Scott, and appears with its eleven verses (only a few of which are now sung) in his play The Doom of Devorgoil, l880.  In this play Scott intended that it should be sung to the old Scottish air Bonny Dundee, but if the words ever were so sung (a quite unsuitable conjunction it may be said), the song had no favour.  About 1845-50 a piece of 'programme' music for the pianoforte was popular in Edinburgh, which described musically the tramp of horses and the playing of a military band gradually approaching from a distance.  To a portion of this music Madame Sainton-Dolby, it is believed, first sang Scott's Bonny Dundee.  It was published in this combination in The Lyric Gems of Scotland, 1856, and soon won great favour.

The old air Bonny Dundee, which is probably a version of Adew Dundie of the Skene Manuscript (see article Scottish Music, vol. iv. p. 398) occurs in the Appendix to The Dancing Master in 1688.  The original song, of which the chorus suggested a portion of Scott's refrain, is in the various editions of Pills to purge Melancholy.  At the end of the 18th century the air was generally used for H MacNiel's song Mary of Castlecarey, commencing 'Saw ye my wee thing.'  Other songs were also adapted to it.

Bow, Musical

A primitive type of musical instrument, found among savage tribes, in such widely distant places as New Mexico, Patagonia, Central and South Africa, India, and the Spice Islands.  The types which have been collected and deposited in museums are astonishingly similar, the general form being an ordinary bow such as is used for shooting arrows, formed of cane, or pliable wood, bent by a tight cord.  The size varies from five or six feet in length, to eighteen inches, or two feet.  In almost every case a dried gourd or other hollow vessel is fixed to the cane or wood portion, and this acts as a resonator.  Generally, the bow string is further tautened by a smaller cord passing over it, below the middle, and being attached to the wood, or cane part.  The sound is produced by striking the tight bow string with a piece of wood, or bone, and by skilful performance various notes are produced.

A most interesting account of this instruments in all its varieties, with illustrations, has been written by Mr Henry Balfour, curator of the Pitt-Rivers Museum, Oxford, The Natural History of the Musical Bow (Clarendon Press 1899).

Of this kind of instrument the English ballad singer of the 17th and 18th centuries availed himself to use as a droning accompaniment to his vocal performance.  In this case a long stick was bent into a bow, to the string of which were attached a couple of inflated bladders.  The bow string was tightened by the performer passing his hands down it, and sound produced by means of a smaller bow rasping over the string, as in the case of a violoncello, the end of the larger bow resting on the ground.  In his work Ballads and Songs of Derbyshire the late Mr Llewellyn Jewitt gave a picture of a ballad-singer using the instrument, copied from an etching, made in 1760, of 'Singing Sam,' a Derbyshire wanderer.  It may be added that the bladder and bow used by the ballad singers was called a 'Hum Thrum' or 'Hum Strum'.


The Rev John Broadwood, a brother of Henry Fowler Broadwood, may be claimed to be one of the earliest collectors of English folk-song in the modern spirit.  He noted down the songs and tunes traditionally sung by farm hands and others at Harvest Homes and similar rustic festivities in Sussex and Surrey.  In 1843 he published sixteen of these, harmonised, in a folio book privately issued.  This collection was reissued in 1889 with fresh harmonies by H F Birch Reynardson, and additional songs collected by his niece, Miss Lucy E Broadwood, under the title Sussex Songs.  This lady, the daughter of the late Henry Fowler Broadwood, has been one of the most ardent workers in the cause of English folk-music.  She has noted traditional melodies in Surrey, Sussex, and other parts of the south of England, as well as largely in the Highlands, and in Ireland.

It was much owing to her efforts that the Folksong Society (see vol. ii. p. 70 and Appendix) was founded, and after a period of languishment she, becoming honorary secretary, gave great impetus to it.  Besides some arrangements of old songs, she published, in collaboration with Mr J A Fuller Maitland, in 1893 English County Songs, now a classic among collections of English folk-music.  In Sept 1908 she issued English Traditional Songs and Carols (Boosey), while the journals of the Folksong Society contain much of great value from her, in research, and in contributed tunes.  Miss Broadwood resigned the honorary secretaryship of the Folksong Society in 1908.

Chanty, or Shanty

A song used chiefly by sailors to give time to the pulling of a rope, or other matter where a united exertion is essential.  It is doubtful as to the derivation, whether from the French root, 'chant,' or whether by reason of its coming from a section of men in the 'lumber' trade in America or Canada, who, living in 'shanties' or roughly built wooden huts, are sometimes called 'Shanty men'.  In American publications the spelling 'shanty' for the song is generally employed.  It must be also noticed that most of the modern Chanties appear to have crossed the Atlantic and to have a distinctly American influence.

The sailor's Chanty is different in all respects from the song he sings to amuse himself or his comrades.  It is a work song and not a play song.  The Chanty must now be almost spoken of in the past tense, as an obsolete portion of sea life, for the use of steam has obviated much of the pulling and hauling on ships.  In steamers sails are seldom used, and the raising of the anchor, the pumping of the bilge water from the ship, with many other things that formerly were done by manual labour are now the work of the donkey-engine.  In the old sailing vessels where every sail had to be raised by hand, many a time with the wind pulling adversely at the canvas, the task of a ship's crew was no light affair.  The mate, probably seeing the futile efforts of the men to raise the heavy-yard, would call for a Chanty.  This would be responded to by the 'Chantyman', as the general leader was usually called.  He would sing some kind of familiar nonsense verses the crew joining in with a recognised chorus, at certain words where the united pull would come, as for instance:

Haul the Bowline

Solo - We'll haul on the bowline, so early in the morning.
We'll haul on the bowline' the bowline haul.

Chorus - We'll haul on the bowline, the bully ship 's a-rolling.
We'll haul on the bowline' the bowline haul ... etc.

The musical rhythm is found to be a great help in getting the united effort at the required instant.

Shanties are divided into different classes.  One of them is recognised as the 'bunt' chanty, which is or was used in reefing sail.  The men on the yard with their feet in the footropes have to pull in the 'bunt' or loose sail, reefing it by knotting together the reef lines attached to the sail.  The general bunt chant was:

We'll tauten the bunts and we'll furl, hey !
And pay Paddy Doyle for his boots.
The pumping charities were generally more of a connected narrative song, as the pumping was merely a monotonous up and down motion required a prolonged rather than a great strain.  This may be said of the capstan shanties, the men walking round the capstan and thrusting against the capstan bars to raise the anchor.

While many of these shanties are universal in English-speaking ships, yet there are considerable differences in the tunes and versions of the words used.  The familiar ones are: Whisky for my Johnnie, The Rio Grande, The Wide Missouri, Reuben Ranzo, Old Storm Along, Blow the Man Down, Tom's Gone to Ilo, and some others.  As before stated, there are a great number that mention American localities, Mobile Bay, The Banks of the Sacramento and others, which have emanated from America and got diffused among ships.

Leave her, Johnnie, leave her, is sometimes used as a Chanty, but its original purpose was to describe in doggerel verse the character of the vessel and its officers as the men were paid off.

For instance it might run:

Oh, the captain he is a very good man,
Leave her, Johnnie, leave her.
But the Mate isn't worth an old tin pan,
Sing leave her, Johnny, leave her.
... and so forth.  Outward Bound,' commencing:
To Liverpool docks we bade adieu, to Sall, and Susie, and Kitty too.
The anchor's weigh'd, the sail's unfurl'd, we're bound to cross the watery world.
For don't you see we're, outward bound. Hurrah ! we're outward bound ... etc.
... may be used as a Capstan Chanty.  The docks mentioned will, of course, vary with the port of departure.  Chanties, though not so named, have been in use in all nations, savage and civilised, for the same purpose that the British Chanty is, or was, employed, to give a measured rhythm for the pulling of oars and other matters connected with the working of a vessel.  The Nile boat-songs, the Italian barcaroles, the Highland boat-songs as well as the Chinese and Canadian have all had odd specimens musically noted down.

The sailors Chanty has been dealt with in American and English magazine articles, while Miss L A Smith's Music of the Waters contains an interesting collection of this class of music.  The reader may also refer to Mr Ferris Tozer's Sailors' Songs and Chanties (Boosey) and to Old Sea Chanties, collected and arranged by John Bradford and Arthur Fagge. [Metzler).

Cold and Raw

An English tune popular from the middle of the 17th century to nearly the end of the 18th.  It is now best remembered in connection with an anecdote of Henry Purcell.  The air is known under many names, one of the earliest being Stingo, or Oyle of Barley, perhaps belonging to a song which, as A Cup of Old Stingo, is printed in Merry Drollery Complete.  As the tune gained in favour its title changed accordingly as the ballad fitted to it remained in vogue.  Thus we get The Country Lass ('Although I be a Country Lass) and Cold and Raw. This latter is the beginning of a song by D'Urfey called The Farmer's Daughter, to be found in Comes Amoris, 1688, and in different editions of Pills.  In Scotland the tune sustained much alteration, and a version named Up in the Morning Early is printed in M'Gibbon's third 'Collection', 1755.

Under the name Cold and Raw the air was greatly used, and Sir John Hawkins in his History of Music, mentions that it was a favourite with Queen Mary, the Consort of William III, and furnishes an anecdote to the effect that upon one occasion, while Henry Purcell, Mrs Arabella Hunt, and Mr Gosling attended her, she tired of Purcell's compositions, and asked Mrs Hunt to sing her the ballad Cold and Raw.  Purcell (according to Hawkins), being affronted, made the tune the bass of an air in her next birthday ode, 1692 ('May her blest example,' see Orpheus Britanicus, vol. ii., 1702).

As Stingo, or Oyle of Barley the air is printed in Playford's Dancing Master from the first (1650-51) edition to 1690, when the name is changed to Cold and Raw, and it follows onwards thus to the last (I728) edition.  In 1688 the song Lilliburlero (see Lilliburlero, vol. ii. p. 732) was set to the air, and this was probably the original vehicle for that famous political lyric.  In Johnson's Scots Musical Museum, vol. ii., 1788, is a song to the air, said by Stenhouse to be written by Burns, and stated in the music volume to be an old song with additions.  It is entitled Up in the Morning Early, and begins Cauld blaws the wind from east to west.  A later song of great popularity was by John Hamilton, which may be seen in most Scottish collections.

Down Among the Dead Men

An English song that has won by its fine melody the position of national.  It appears to have originated in the early years of Queen Anne's reign, and the earliest copies are said to commence: 'Here's a health to the Queen and a lasting peace'.

The present writer has an early version of the song and music on an engraved half-sheet, c. 1715, headed: 'A Song sung by Mr Dyer at Mr Bullock's Booth at Southwark Fair'.  This begins:

Here's a health to the King and a lasting peace,
Let faction be damn'd and discord sense.
Another early half-sheet music copy, also belonging to the writer, is entitled A Health to the Memory of Queen Ann. This begins:
Here's a health to the memory of Queen Ann
Come pledge me, every Englishman,
For tho' her body's in the dust
Her memory shall live, and must
And they that Anna's health deny
Down among the dead men ...... let him (sic) lie.
The first named is a drinking-song; the second has more political bearing.  The music is the same in both instances.  The tune alone is in the third volume of the Dancing Master (c. 1726), in Walsh's Compleat Country Dancing Master, etc.  Many songs were adapted to this fine air, mostly of a political nature.  One is in Hogg's Jacobite Relics, 1st series.

The 'Dead Men' mentioned in the song are merely the empty bottles rolled under the table.

Farewell Manchester

(otherwise Felton's Gavotte)

The tune is supposed to be associated with the capture of, and departure from Manchester by the Scots rebels, on Nov. 28-30 1745.  play MIDI sound clipChappell remarks that 'it is said to have been played by the troops of Charles Stuart on quitting Manchester in Dec 1745: also when the unfortunate Manchester youth, Jemmy Dawson, was led to the scaffold in 1746'.  There is now no existing evidence to confirm this belief, though Mr Chappell may have had some authority for making the statement.

The tune is the composition of the Rev. William Felton, prebendary of Hereford Cathedral and it is a passage in one of his sets of concertos for the organ or harpsichord, with instrumental parts, published about 1740 or later, by John Johnson of Cheapside.  The tune soon became a favourite, and it is found in a number of books of airs for the violin, flute, and guitar.  It is given in A Collection of Airs and Marches for two violins, or German flutes', published at Edinburgh by Robert Bremner, in 1756, oblong 4to.  The air soon settled down into the form appended (below), in which it always has remained, and is found in the books of airs of the latter half of the 18th century.

It had been turned into this simplified form when, on the conclusion of the peace of Aix-la-Chappelle, Oct 1748, play MIDI sound clipa song on the peace was written to the air.  This song commences: 'Fill, fill, fill the glass, briskly put it round, etc.

Half sheet copies of this song were published without publisher's name (one in possession of the writer).  They were headed 'Farewell Manchester, a song for three voices made on the Peace'.  Headed as 'A Song made on the Peace', the air alone is included in Peter Thompson's Compleat Tutor for the Flute (1754).  The prefix 'Farewell Manchester (the song having no allusion to a 'farewell', or to the town) indicates that before 1748 the air had become known by that title, although, so far as diligent research has revealed, the words 'Farewell Manchester' do not appear in any old song-book, either of airs, or on song-sheets, save the above.

If there has been a song it has totally disappeared, though it is possible that the Gavot may have had the name attached to it locally merely as the title of a tune only.  In a book detailing the adventures of a Leeds youth named William Butterworth who, with a companion, ran away to sea in 1788, on the second day of his journey he says: 'At six the next morning, to the tune of Farewell Manchester, we commenced our march for Liverpool ' (see Adventures of a Minor, Leeds, 1821).

About 1825 Thomas Haynes Bayly adapted a song to the tune beginning 'Give that wreath to me', which was published with the music arranged by Sir John Stevenson, in the third book of his Miniature Lyrics.  The tune is there foolishly called a 'Welsh Air'.

Girl I Left Behind Me, The

An air in march time long associated with the British army, and formerly played when a regiment was changing its quarters from one town to another.  Another name for it is Brighton Camp.  It has been claimed as of Irish origin, but no satisfactory proof of this has been adduced.  The tune cannot be traced back to a printed copy earlier than the end of the 18th century, but there seems every likelihood that it has been traditionally current as a military marching air.  Chappell in Popular Music refers to a manuscript copy formerly in possession of Dr Rimbault, in date about 1770; he fixes the date of the song as about 1758.  The earliest copy of the words the present writer has seen is in his own library in a MS collection dated 1797, and undoubtedly written in that, or a previous year.  The words 'Brighton Camp' occur in the song, and it has been claimed that as the name Brighton is only a recent change from Brighthelmstone the song cannot be of any great age.  It must, however, be pointed out that there can be little doubt that 'Brighton' was a local pronunciation, or shortening of the longer name, long before it became officially recognised.  The Irish claim to the tune first began with Thomas Moore's inclusion of it in the seventh number of the Irish Melodies, 1818, to his words 'As slow our ship', with the air named 'The Girl I left behind me' as its old title.

Bunting followed this claim up in 1840, but failed to give any logical reason for this assumption of Irish origin.  Moore's and Bunting's versions are elaborate ones, and quite destroy the strongly marked rhythm of the simple marching form.  Under the title Brighton Camp the tune is found in The Gentleman's Amusement, circa 1810, and elsewhere, and under The Girl I left Behind Me in a MS music book in the writer's possession, c. 1815.  These versions have some degree of difference, and may be seen in Songs of the Georgian Period, (Moffat & Kidson).

John Anderson, my Jo

A song rendered famous by Burns's excellent words.  The air is of considerable antiquity, but the question of an English or Scottish origin is not settled.

Under the name Johne Andersonne, my Jo an air, evidently the prototype of the modern version, is found in the Skene MS (see vol. iv, p. 479), a set of books in lute tablature written some time during the early part of the 17th century; it is as follows:

In Playford's Dancing Master in the first edition of 1651 (varied in later) there is a tune called Paul's Steeple, which is said to resemble John Anderson, my Jo. The version in the 1666 edition is here given, and is as near as any to John Anderson.

The above tune is also called I am the Duke of Norfolk, and other titles according to the song fitted to it.  As John Anderson, my Jo, a copy appears in a manuscript book written by or for Agnes Hume, dated 1704.  It is given with dancing directions, and is as follows:

It will be seen that this version is not far from the one known to-day.  Without entering into the maze that surrounds the history of the different sets of verses, mostly of a coarse character, that commence 'John Anderseon, my Jo', it may be said that Bishop Percy prints a copy in the second volume of his Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, 1765, and there are others in sundry 18th-century song-books, that degrade the fine tune.  Percy speaks of John Anderson, my Jo being employed to ridicule the popish clergy at the Reformation.

It has been stated that there was a tradition current that the original John Anderson was the town-piper of Kelso.  This is, however, quite untrustworthy, for the name is common enough, and the song could be easily fixed on to any one bearing it.  It remained for Robert Burns to lift the exquisite melody from the mire, and by writing one of his best lyrics to hand it down to future ages.  Burns's song was first published in Johnson's Scots Musical Museum, vol. iii. 1790.

It may be mentioned that the Irish tune the Cruiskeen Lawn has been said to be the original of John Anderson, but, setting other things aside, the resemblance is not very great.

John Peel

A favourite English hunting song, dating from shortly before the middle of the l9th century.  The hero, John Peel, was a Cumberland farmer, who kept a pack of fox hounds.  The words of the song are by John Woodcock Graves, a fellow Cumbrian and their origin was told by the author to this effect.

When both men were in the heyday of their manhood they met one night at Graves's house at Caldbeek, to arrange some hunting matter.  The grandmother of Graves's children was singing a child to sleep with an old nursery rhyme known as Bonnie Annie, or Whar wad Bonnie Annie lie, and Graves became struck by the idea of writing a song in honour of Peel to the tune the old lady was singing. He completed a version before Peel left the house and jokingly remarked 'By Jove, Peel, you'll be sung when we are both run to earth'.  Peel died in 1854, aged seventy-eight, and was buried at Caldbeck. The song, sung to a version of Bonnie Annie, seems to have had a long traditional popularity before it got into print, and was probably first published on a music sheet by Mr William Meteclfe of Carlisle about 1870 or 1880.  There are two distinct versions of the tune of John Peel, the one being a coruption from the other, and both differing materially from the old nursery rhyme.  The tune Whar wad Bonnie Annie lie or Whar wad our Guidman lie, is found in several early Scottish publications.  It is, however, founded on an English Country Dance called Red House, printed in The Dancing Master, 1703, and greatly used in the early ballad operas of the first part of the 18th century.

Libraries, Musical

P 704, add under Leeds: Mr Frank Kidson possesses at fairly large library formed to show the development of British vocal and dance music.  Besides a mass of 17th- and 18th-century English publications, it is especially representative in Scottish, Welsh, and Irish early collections; also in country-dance books and ballad operas.  There is also a considerable number of song-books (words only) and of 18th-century tune-books of Sacred Music.

Manx Music

The isolated position of the Isle of Man might be expected to produce a distinct type of national music.  So little attention has hitherto been devoted to collecting the traditional melodies of the island that we are really left much in the dark as to the chief characteristics of the music that may be said to have had its origins there.  In most of the tunes noted down from peasant singers in the Isle of Man the present writer finds much of Celtic character, a character common to certain classes of Gaelic music.

It must be admitted that in music claimed as Manx we find imperfect recollections of English and Irish folk-tunes, as well as of some well-known published airs.  For instance, in one collection there is a shortened version of the well-known air 'Push about the Jorlum and again the 17th-century tune, The Buff Coat hath no Fellow (see Chappell's Popular Music of the Olden Time).  There is also among Manx folk-song versions of the airs, generally accepted as Irish, Charley Reilly (see Bunting, 1840), and Green Bushes, while we also find Seventeen come Sunday, and Colin and Phoebe.  This is sufficient to indicate that outside influence has had its effect at an early time on the music born of the people.  The passing of fishermen to and from the Irish and Scottish coasts easily accoounts for this difusion of popular melody.

There can be no doubt that a great store of beautiful melody lies hid, or at any rate at one time existed among the farmers and the fishermen of the remotel districts, and it is to be hoped that following the lead of such bodies as the Folk-Song Society, a combined effort still be made to rescue what is left of it.

Apparently the first notice of Manx national song is the mention made by Robert Burns in a letter to George Thomson, dated November 1794.  Speaking of the air now known as Ye Banks and Braes o' Bonny Doon, Burns, after mentioning that an Irish gentleman had told him that it was known among the old women of Ireland, continued, that 'a Countess informed me that the first person who introduced the air into this country was a baronet's lady of her acquaintance, who took down the notes from an itinerant piper in the Isle of Man.'

Probably what is now recognised as the national tune of the Isle of Man is Mylecharane.  The melody of this is strikingly original, with a peculiar plaintiveness in it.  Several versions of it have been published, together with the long ballad associated with the air of which there are several translations.  Copies of the air are to be found in English County Songs edited by Miss L E Broadwood and Mr J A Fuller Maitland, 1893, and Manx National Songs arranged by Mr W H Gill (1896).  Another song and a very beautiful one, that has all the elements of original Manx feeling in it, is Ny Kirree fo-sniaghtey (The Sheep under the Snow).  Copies of this are to be found in English County Songs, Manx National Songs and Moffat and Kidson's Minstrelsy of England, the version in this last case being taken from Mona's Melodies, edited by C St George, and published in London in 1820.  This work is the first attempt to put into print Manx melodies.  The book is extremely scarce.  It contains but thirteen tunes, and it is doubtful how much, or how little these airs have been 'edited'.  The tunes have verses adapted to them bearing no relation to the Manx originals.  The next issue of Manx music was in July 1896, Manx National Songs, with English words, selected from the MS collection of The Deemster Gill, Dr J Clague, and W H Gill, (Boosey). This contains fifty-one melodies, many of great excellence.

Miller Of The Dee, The

A song which has attained great popularity, commencing 'There was a jolly miller once lived on the river Dee'.  It first appeared in print in the opera Love in a Village, 1702.  It was then, apparently, an old song used by the compiler of the opera, and only the first verse was employed: the full song will be found in many 18th-century songsters, such as St Cecilia, Edinburgh 1779, etc.  The tune was one originally adapted to a cant song, and under the title The bludgeon it is a fine Trade was used in several ballad operas, as The Fashionable Lady, 1730, The Devil to pay, 1732, etc.  Without any title the air is given in the Quaker's Opera, 1728.

Curious traditional versions survive in the south of England, as Here's a Health unto our Master, and The Jolly Woodcutter.  See Sussex Songs and English County Songs.

Nancy Dawson

A favourite tune that is even now well known.  It is named after Miss Nancy Dawson, a stage dancer of the middle of the 18th century, who adopted it for her evolutions on the stage.  play MIDI sound clipBefore this it bore a coarse title, and may be found in Walsh's Caledonian Country Dances, book iii. p. 36, and in Peter Thompson's Compleat Tutor for the Flute, c. 1750-54.  The air as given by Walsh and Thompson is as follows:

Miss Dawson, having made some effect at Sadler's Wells, in 1759 came to Covent Garden, and with this particular tune won great fame for herself and the air by dancing between the acts of The Beggar's Opera.

A song in eulogy of her was written and published in half-sheet music and in Thompson's Collection of Hornpipes, issued about this date, the air is called Miss Dawson's Hornpipe.  At a later period Thompson published other airs used by Miss Dawson, under the titles Miss Dawson's New Hornpipe and Miss Dawson's Fancy, but none attained the popularity of the Hornpipe.  The air was introduced as the housemaid's song into Love in a Village, 1762, and it is kept in memory to-day by several children's nursery tunes and 'ring games', chief among which is Here we go round the Mulberry Bush.   The song Nancy Dawson begins:

Of all the girls in our town,
The red, the black, the fair, the brown,
That dance and prance it up and down,
There's none like Nancy Dawson.   etc.
Goldsmith mentions Nancy Dawson in an epilogue intended to be spoken by Mrs.  Bulkley.  
Taught by our art her ridicule to pause on, Quits the ballet, and calls for Nancy Dawson.
Of the personal history of Nancy Dawson but little is known.  She is said to have been the wife of a publican at Kelso.  She died May 27, 1767, and was buried in the churchyard of St George's-in-the-Fields.  A verse from the song is stated to have been cut on her tombstone, and to have been obliterated by order of the vicar.  It has also been asserted that Charles Wesley wrote a hymn to the air of Nancy Dawson, but this lacks verification, and in any case, is improbable, unless the character of the air had been altered.

Over the Water to Charlie

A tune largely associated with the Jacobite cause of 1745.  It has been generally considered as of Scottish origin, but this has been disputed and an Irish claim for it made.  The tune was fitted with many sets of verses expressing devotion to Prince Charles Edward.

The most popular began (see vol. ii. of Johnson's Scots Musical Museum, 1788)

Come boat me o'er, come row me o'er
Come boat me over to Charlie
I'll gie John Ross anither bawbee
To ferry me over to Charlie.
We'll o'er the water, we'll o'er the Sea
We'll o'er the water to Charlie
Come weal, come woe, we'll gather and go
And live and die wi' Charlie.
Other verses follow and, with the different fragments which have been traditionally current, it appears as if the body of the song was pre-Jacobite, enlisted in the cause from the accidental use of the name 'Charlie'.  It was 'cried down' at Edinburgh Cross and other places, that is, officially prohibited, by means of the town-crier, from being sung during the Jacobite rising.

Versions of the Jacobite song, or more probably imitations, by James Hogg, and Allan Cunningham, appear in Hogg's Jacobite Relics, second series, 1821, and in Cunningham's Songs of Scotland, vol. iii., 1825.  play MIDI sound clipEarly versions of the melody are found under several titles, some of which lead to the belief that it was well known in Ireland and called by one or more Irish names.

The earliest copy of the melody the present writer has seen is in John Johnson's Collection of 200 Country Dances, vol. iv., 1748, where it appears under the title Pot Stick, as follows.  This tune has nothing in common with two airs named, respectively, Potstick and Irish Potstick in Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Comanion, of a little later date than Johnson's Dances.

About 1750-65 the air was common in dance books as Shamboy or Shambuie, with similar spellings of an Irish word.  As Shamboy it is printed in Peter Thomson's Collection of 200 favourite Country Dances, vol. i., evidently among the yearly set for 1754.  play MIDI sound clipHere it takes a similar form and is repeated in many other dance-books of the period.  As Over the water to Charlie, it occurs in the second number of Bremner's Reels and Country Dances, Edinburgh (1759), ob. 4to.

At a later period the tune bore another Irish name, Ligrum Cus, or Lacrum Cush, and it is present in several Irish collections.  In Gow's Third Collection of Strathspey Reels, 1792, there are two sets given.  One, the 'original' as it is called, is named Wishaw's Delight.

In 1764 the air was set to a song in Midas, and a number of political songs also written to it during the 18th century.  One famous song was on the victories of the Marquis of Granby, then a popular hero.  Drinking-songs used for the air were Ye lads of true spirit lay courtship to Claret and I love to see bottles a'rolling.

Saint Patrick's Day

P 207, add: The air has been long known traditionally in northern England as Barbery Bell.  In the south it is sometimes called Bacon and Greens, and is used as a Morris dance tune.

Scots Wha Hae

(and The Land of the Leal)

One of the finest of Scottish National melodies.  It is, as proved by the two famous songs sung to it, a tune capable of expressing the greatest pathos, or the most martial sentiments.

The structure of the tune shows that it is of some antiquity, but unfortunately there is no definite evidence of its existence prior to the middle of the l8th century.  When Robert Burns wrote his fine song Scots Wha Hae, to the air, he told George Thomson that it was constantly asserted that the tune was played at Bannockburn by the Scots army, hence his adoption of the tune for his verses of which the subject is Bruce's address to his followers before the battle of Bannockburn.

The letter to Thomson containing the reference is dated September 1793. He says in it:

I do not know whether the old air 'Hey tuttie taitie may rank among the number, but with Frazer's hautboy it has often filled my eyes with tears.  There is a tradition, which I have met with in many places of Scotland, that it was Robert Bruce's march at the battle of Bannockburn.  This thought, in my solitary wanderings, warmed me to a pitch of enthusiasm on the theme of Liberty and Independence, which I threw into a kind of Scottish ode fitted to the air that one might suppose to be the gallant Royal Scot's address to his heroic followers on the eventful morning.'
It may be mentioned that Burns composed the words during a wild thunderstorm while out among the hills of Glen Ren, in Galloway.  Burns adds in a postscript to the preceding letter that he showed the air to Urbani who was highly pleased with it, and begged the poet to make 'soft verses' to it.

The poet further says that Clarke's set of the tune, with his bass, is to be found in the Museum, though he is afraid that the air is not what will entitle it to a place in Thomson's 'elegant selection'.

In tracing the history of the tune further back, we find the version in Johnson's Scots Musical Museum, vol. ii., 1788, as Hey Tutti Taiti, with a couple of songs to the same air.  The first, a foolish drinking-song, begins:

Landlady, count the lawin'
The day is near the dawin'
Ye're a' blind drunk, boys
And I'm but jolly fou.
... the second is a Jacobite Song in praise of Charles XII., King of Sweden, commencing: 'Here's to the King, Sir'.  A line in the song explains the apparently nonsensical phrase that gives a title to the air: 'when you hear the trumpet sound tutti, taitie to the drum'. The words are evidently a vocal imitation of a trumpet-call.

Upon the line in the first song, 'The day is near the dawin', has been built up a tissue of fanciful statements which are unsupported by any reasonable conclusion.  In Gawin Douglas's translation of Virgil, 1513, and in other places, a Scottish song is mentioned whose first line was 'Hey now the day dawis'.  In Sibbald's Chronicle of Scottish Poetry, 1802, this myth is presented probably for the first time.  It is there stated that the tune for 'Hey now the day dawis' is the same as Hey Tutti Taiti.  play MIDI sound clipStenhouse, in his notes to Johnson's Museum, again promulgates the fiction.  The poem 'Hey now the day dawis' is found in a contemporary manuscript, and a tune called The Day Dawis is present in the Straloch MS, 1627, which is of quite a different character from the one in question. (See Scottish Music, vol. iv. p. 393.)

Prior to the appearance in Johnson's Museum the tune made its first entry into print in book iii. of Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion.  Here it has a great number of variations, but the melody is as follows:

Another version is printed, in 1755, in William M'Gibbon's Collection of Scots Tunes, Edin., ob. fol., book iii.  play MIDI sound clipThere are considerable differences, and the tune apart from its variations, stands thus:

No copy earlier than these two has up to the present been discovered and although the air is, without doudt, fine and old, the romantic tradition that it is contemporary with the battle of Bannockburn and has connection with the early Scottish poem 'Hey the day dawis' must be dismissed as, at least, improbable.

Reverting to Burns's song Scots Wha Hae, it was sent by the poet to George Thomson for inclusion in his folio collection of Scottish songs.  Thomson, however, with extraordinary blindness, failed to see that Burns's verses brought out all the fine qualities of the tune.  He therefore suggested alterations in the metre and begged for its union to the rather feeble air Lewie Gordon.

It is curious to read Thomson's letter of Sept. 5, 1793, wherein he ranks the song as 'the noblest composition of the kind in the Scottish language', and speaks of his circle of friends entreating him to find a suitable air, reprobating 'the idea of giving it a tune so totally devoid of interest or grandeur as Hey Tutti Taitie, which, he continues, he has never 'heard any one speak of as worthy of notice'.  He then proceeds to speak of Lewie Gordon as 'an air most happily adapted to your ode', and submits sundry alterations of lines to fit the tune in question.  Burns apleared to have acquiesced in the suggestion, and united to this tune it appeared in Thomson's collection, in the third set, issued July 1799.

Qualms of conscience, however, must have troubled Thomson, for in a subsequent number, published in 1801, he gives the song as originally written united to 'Hey tutti taitie,' harmonised by Haydn, and a note to the effect that he had 'examined the air with more particular attention', and frankly owned that he had changed his previous opinion.  From that time onward Burns's words have always been associated with the tune, notwithstanding that music was specially written for the song by William Clarke, an Edinburgh organist, and inserted in the Sixth Volume of the Museum, 1803.

The Land of the Leal.

We may now consider another famous song connected with the tune, The Land of the Leal.  As Burns mentioned in his correspondence with Thomson, both Urbani, and Frazer the Edinburgh hautboy player, saw that there were pathetic as well as martial or bacchanalian characteristics in the air, the former urging Burns to write some 'soft verses to it'.

It appears to have been Lady Nairne who first brought out this particular quality of the melody.  About 1800-1805 there was published by Gow & Shepherd, 16 Princes Street, Edinburgh, a music-sheet with the following title, 'To the Land of the Leal, tune (Hey tutti taiti) played when Robert Bruce led his troops to Battle at Bannockburn'.  The song commences:

I'm wearin awa', John
Like snaw wreaths when it's thaw, John.
Appended to this song were the 'old words,' i.e. the Jacobite song Weel May We a' Be before referred to.  The song underwent many changes, and its authorship remained for a great number of years a mystery.  In 1837 it appeared in Finlay Dun & Thomson's Vocal Melodies of Scotland, vol. ii.  Here the name John was changed to 'Jean'; the song was then frequently asserted to be by Burns, written on his deathbed and addressed to his wife Jean.  It was also sung, slightly altered, in the Waverley Drama, The Heart of Midlothian produced by Scott's friend, D Terry.

play MIDI sound clipThe truth of the matter, as elicited from Lady Nairne when an old lady, is that she was the authoress, and that the song was written in 1798 or late in 1797, upon the death of the baby of a friend of hers, Mrs Campbell Colquhoun of Killermont.  She originally wrote the first line 'I'm wearing away John,' but who was the first to change the name into Jean it is now impossible to say, modern versions, however, accept this as the correct form.

The following air is from the Gow & Shepherd music-sheet, and is the first form of The Land of the Leal.

Shan Van Voght, The

An Irish political song which arose just before the time of the French invasion of Ireland at Bantry Bay in 1797.  While the words have remained the same, the airs to which they have been sung are numerous.  The Shan Van Voght (this is perhaps not the best English spelling for the Irish words, though the one most commonly used) literally means the 'poor old woman', typifying Ireland.

The words commence:

Oh, the French are on the sea, says the Shan Van Voght,
Oh, the French are on the sea, says the Shan Van Voght,
Oh, the French are on the sea, they'll be here without delay
And the Orange shall decay, Says the Shan Van Voght.
The song has frequently been prohibited as a rebel song during periods of political agitation.  play MIDI sound clipThomas Moore was bold enough to use one of the airs to which the song was sung, and wrote to it his brilliant lyric Love's Young Dream (issued January 1810), taking the tune from Edward Bullting's collection of 1809.

Other tunes are, or were, traditional in Ireland.  One of these traditional airs is given in Trench's Realities of Irish Life as follows (left).  Another was included in a serial publication called Edinburgh Tales, 1845, and other versions are to be found in Dr Joyce's recently published Old Irish Folk-Music.