The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #46310 Message #3888716
Posted By: Lighter
15-Nov-17 - 10:23 AM
Thread Name: Origin: Saint James Infirmary Blues
Subject: RE: Origin: Saint James Infirmary Blues
The jig "The Unfortunate Rake" appeared in 1883 in "William Bradbury Ryan's Mammoth Collection of more than 1050 Reels and Jigs, Hornpipes, Clogs [etc.]" Many know the 1940 reprint, titled "One Thousand Fiddle Tunes."
Ryan drew heavily on "[Elias] Howe's 1,000 Jigs and Reels [etc.], dated by WorldCat to "ca1860." I haven't seen this book, but it was reprinted in the 1990s. Can anyone check for the "Unfortunate Rake"?
Burns set his song, ?The Banks of the Devon,? to a slow modal version of this tune, identified as ?A? Bhanarach dhonn a? cruidh? (?The Bonnie Brown Dairy-Maid,? words by Alisdair Macdonald [ca1700-?]). The Battlefield Band and Bonnie Rideout recorded the version collected from Pertrhshire tradition by Patrick MacDonald ("Collection of Highland Vocal Airs," 1794, p. 16).
So the "Unfortunate Rake" tune, or an ancestor, may well be Scottish.
Over to you, Jack.