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Lyr Add: Auld Robin Gray

Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Nov 13 - 02:40 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Nov 13 - 06:39 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Nov 13 - 06:52 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Nov 13 - 07:29 PM
Jim Dixon 17 Nov 13 - 10:16 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Nov 13 - 12:36 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Nov 13 - 12:40 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Nov 13 - 07:11 PM
Joe Offer 17 Nov 13 - 08:37 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: AULD ROBIN GRAY (Lady Anne Lindsay)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Nov 13 - 02:40 PM

This late 18 C. poem by Lady Anne Lindsay, was revised and appeared as a parlor song in America ca. 1798. Here is the original, and I will follow with the song as revised by Walter Leeve, published with sheet music in New York ca. 1798.

Lyr. Add: Auld Robin Gray
Lady Anne Lindsay 1750-1825

When the sheep are in the fauld and the kye at hame,
And a' the warld to rest are gane,
The waes o' my heart fa' in showers frae my e'e,
While my gudeman lies sound by me.
Young Jamie lo'ed me well, and sought me for his bride;
But saving a croun he had naething else beside:
To make the croun a pund, young Jamie gaed to sea;
And the croun and the pund were baith for me.
He hadna been awa' a week but only twa,
When my father brak his arm, and the cow was stown awa;
My mother she fell sick, -and my Jamie at the sea-
And auld Robin Gray came a-courtin' me.
My father couldna work, and my mother couldna spin;
I toil'd day and night, but their bread I couldna win;
Auld Rob maintain'd them baith, and wi' tears in his e'e
Said 'Jennie, for their sakes, O Marry me!'
My heart it said nay, I look'd for Jamie back;
But the wind it blew high, and the ship it was a wrack;
His ship was a wrack- Why didna Jamie dee?
Or why did I live to cry, Wae's me?
My father urged me sair: my mother didna speak;
But she look'd in my face till my heart was like to break:
They gi'ed him my hand, tho' my heart was in the sea;
Sae auld Robin Gray he was gudeman to me.
I hadna been a wife a week but only four,
When mournfu' as I sat on the stane at the door,
I saw my Jamie's wraith, -for I couldna think it he,
Till he said, 'I'm come hame to marry thee.'
O sair, sair did we greet, and muckle did we say;
We took but ae kiss, and we tore ourselves away:
I wish that I were dead, but I'm no like to dee;
And why was I born to say, 'Wae's me!
I gang like a ghaist, and I carena to spin,
I daurna think on Jamie, for that wad be a sin;
But I'll do my best a gude wife aye to be,
For auld Robin Gray he is kind unto me.

From Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed., The Oxford Book of English Verse. There are songsheet copies in the Bodleian Library.

I will post "Auld Robin Gray," revised by Walter Leeve, later today.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Auld Robin Gray
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Nov 13 - 06:39 PM

Lyr. Add: Auld Robin Gray (Leeve)

Young Jamie loo'd me weel, and sought me for his Bride,
but saving a crown, he had nae thing else beside,
To mak' his crown a poun' my Jamie went to sea,
and the crown and the poun' were baith for me.
He had nae been gane but a Year and a day,
when my Father brak' his Arm & our Cow was stoun awa,
my Mither she fell sick and JAMIE at the sea,
and Auld ROBIN GRAY came a courting to me.
My Father couldna' work and my Mither couldna' spin,
I toiled day and night, but their bread I couldna' win,
Auld Robin fed them baith, and wi' tears in his ee
Said JENNY, for their sakes, Oh! marry me.
My heart it said na, and I look'd for JAMIE back,
But the wind it blew high, and the Ship it was a wreck,
The Ship it was a wreck, why it'na' JAMIE die?
And why do I live to say, Ah! wae's me.
My father sign'd me sair, my Mither didna speak,
But she looked in my face, till my heart was like to break,
So they gi'ed him my hand, tho' my heart was on the Sea,
And Auld Robin Gray is gude man to me.
I hadna' been wife a week but only four
When sitting sae mournfully at mine ain door,
I saw my JAMIE's Ghaist; for I couldna' think it he,
Till he said, I'm come back, love to marry thee.
Sair sair did we greet, and little could we say,
We took but ae kiss, and we tore ourselves away,
I wish I were dead; but I'm nae like to die
And why do I live to say, Ah! wae's me?
I gang like a Gaist, and I care na' to spin,
But I'll do my best a gude wife to be,
For Auld Robin Gray, is sae kind to me.

Sheet music, William Leeve, c. 1798, from Nebbe's Scotch Songs; New York.
Pp. 222-223, Nicholas E. Tawa, 1980, "Sweet Songs for gentle Americans, The Parlor Song in America, 1790-1860.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Auld Robin Gray
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Nov 13 - 06:52 PM

The song was collected by Kenneth Peacock and published in "Songs of the Newfoundland Outports," vol. 2, pp. 482-483, with musical score, as sung by Phillip Foley. Jamie is called Jimmy.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Auld Robin Gray
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Nov 13 - 07:29 PM

A version of the song can be heard on youtube. "Music by Michael Sundell."

The song, sung by David McCallum, from an old 78rpm disc.

Two silent films based on the song were made in 1910 and 1917.
abc notation and a brief score by Jack Campin at

The name has been put to a Scottish country dance:
(Instructions given)

A sheet music copy, air by Rev. Mr. Leeves, is online from Ball State University.

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Subject: Lyr Add: AULD ROBIN GRAY (Lady Anne Lindsay)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 17 Nov 13 - 10:16 AM

This edition was published by Sir Walter Scott. In my opinion, the text is better, plus it has an interesting prologue and two sequels:

Printed by James Ballantyne and Co.



[membership list omitted]



The beautiful and long-contested ballad of "Auld Robin Gray" was well known to the Editor, from a very early period of his life, as the production of lady Anne Lindsay of Balcarras; in whose name it is now formally claimed. Mrs Russell, wife of lieutenant-colonel Russell of Ashesteil, and maternal aunt of the editor, was upon a visit at the house of Balcarras when it was written; and, as a most intimate friend of the fair Authoress, was admitted to her confidence while it was in the course of being composed. Mrs Russell sang beautifully, and with much feeling; and it may easily be supposed, that "Auld Robin Gray" was often her choice. Whatever secrecy she might at first think proper to observe, the name of the real Authoress was not withheld at a later period, when attempts were made to deprive her friend Lady Anne of her just fame. In fact, most of her domestic circle became acquainted with the particulars, and amongst others the present Editor.

This circumstance, joined, perhaps, to a continuance of regard, which may be termed hereditary, induced Lady Anne to distinguish the Editor by imparting to him the following interesting account of the origin of "Auld Robin Gray," contained in a letter dated — July, 1923, in which, after mentioning that the Editor was the first person whom she had favoured with such an explanation, her Ladyship proceeds thus:—

" 'Robin Gray,' so called from its being the name of the old herd at Balcarras, was born soon after the close of the year 1771. My sister Margaret had married, and accompanied her husband to London; I was melancholy, and endeavoured to amuse myself by attempting a few poetical trifles. There was an ancient Scotch melody, of which I was passionately fond; —— ——, who lived before your day, used to sing it to us at Balcarras. She did not object to its having improper words, though I did. I longed to sing old Sophy's air to different words, and give to its plaintive tones some little history of virtuous distress in humble life, such as might suit it. While attempting to effect this in my closet, I called to my little sister, now Lady Hardwicke, who was the only person near me, 'I have been writing a ballad, my dear; I am oppressing my heroine with many misfortunes. I have already sent her Jamie to sea—and broken her father's arm—and made her mother fall sick—and given her Auld Robin Gray for her lover; but I wish to load her with a fifth sorrow within the four lines, poor thing! Help me to one.'—'Steal the cow, sister Anne,' said the little Elizabeth. The cow was immediately lifted by me, and the song completed. At our fire-side, and amongst our neighbours, 'Auld Robin Gray' was always called for. I was pleased in secret with the approbation it met with; but such was my dread of being suspected of writing anything, perceiving the shyness it created in those who could write nothing, that I carefully kept my own secret.

"Happening to sing it one day at Dalkeith-House, with more feeling perhaps than belonged to a common ballad, our friend Lady Frances Scott smiled, and fixing her eyes on me, said, 'You wrote this song yourself.' The blush that followed confirmed my guilt. Perhaps I blushed the more (being then very young) from the recollection of the coarse words from which I borrowed the tune, and was afraid of the raillery which might have taken place if it had been discovered I had ever heard such. Be that as it may, from one honest man I had an excellent hint. The Laird of Dalziel, after hearing it, broke out into the angry exclamation of, 'O the villain! O the auld rascal! I ken wha stealt the poor lassie's coo—it was Auld Robin Gray himsell.' I thought it a bright idea, and treasured it up for a future occasion. Meantime, little as this matter seems to have been worthy of a dispute, it afterwards became a party question between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. 'Robin Gray' was either a very very ancient ballad, composed perhaps by David Rizzio, and a great curiosity, or a very very modern matter, and no curiosity at all. I was persecuted to avow whether I had written it or not—where I had got it. Old Sophy kept my counsel, and I kept my own, in spite of the gratification of seeing a reward of twenty guineas offered in the newspapers to the person who should ascertain the point past a doubt, and the still more flattering circumstance of a visit from Mr Jerningham, secretary to the Antiquarian Society, who endeavoured to entrap the truth from me in a manner I took amiss. Had he asked me the question obligingly, I should have told him the fact distinctly and confidentially. The annoyance, however, of this important ambassador from the Antiquaries, was amply repaid to me by the noble exhibition of the 'Ballat of Auld Robin Gray's Courtship,' as performed by dancing-dogs under my window. It proved its popularity from the highest to the lowest, and gave me pleasure while I hugged myself in my obscurity.

"Such was the history of the first part of it. As to the second, it was written many years after, in compliment to my dear old mother, who said, 'Anny, I wish you would tell me how that unlucky business of Jenny and Jamie ended.' To meet her wishes as far as I could, the Second Part was written. It is not so pleasing as the First; the early loves and distresses of youth go more to the heart than the contritions, confessions, and legacies of old age. My dread, however, of being named as an Authoress still remaining, though I sung it to my mother, I gave her no copy of it; but her affection for me impressed it on a memory which retained scarcely anything else. 'I wrote another version of the Second Part, as coming from Jenny's own lips, which some people may like better, from its being in the same measure.

"I must also mention the Laird of Dalziel's advice, who, in a tête-à-tête, afterwards said, 'My dear, the next time you sing that song, try to change the words a wee bit, and instead of singing, "To make the crown a pound, my Jamie gaed to sea," say, to make it twenty merks, for a Scottish pund is but twenty pence, and Jamie was na such a gowk as to leave Jenny and gang to sea to lessen his gear. It is that line [whispered he] that tells me that sang was written by some bonnie lassie that didna ken the value of the Scots money quite so well as an auld writer in the town of Edinburgh would have kent it.'

"I was delighted with the criticism of old Dalziel; if it had occurred to the Antiquarian Society, it might have saved Mr Jerningham the trouble of his visit. But I have never corrected the error by changing the one pound, which has always passed current in its present state."

The Editor has retained both the copies of the Continuation, the poetical beauty of which cannot be disputed, although some readers may be of opinion, notwithstanding Dalziel's criticism, that taking away Robin Gray's honest fame, rather injures the simplicity of the original tale, where all are rendered miserable by no evil passions or culpable conduct on any side, but by a source of distress arising out of the best and most amiable feelings of all parties.

The Editor also dissents from Dalziel's opinion concerning the amount of the pund mentioned, by Jamie's living in the commercial county of Fife, in which county alone a Scottish peasant would have thought of mending his fortune by going to sea. The poor lover might be acquainted with the pound sterling, and enlarge his views even to the acquisition of that sum.


WHEN the sheep are in the fauld, when the cows come hame,
When a' the weary world to quiet rest are gane,
The woes of my heart fa' in showers frae my ee,
Unken'd by my gudeman, who soundly sleeps by me.

Young Jamie loo'd me weel, and sought me for his bride;
But saving ae crown-piece, he'd naething else beside.
To make the crown a pound, my Jamie gaed to sea;
And the crown and the pound, oh! they were baith for me!

Before he had been gane a twelvemonth and a day,
My father brak his arm, our cow was stown away;
My mother she fell sick—my Jamie was at sea—
And Auld Robin Gray, oh! he came a-courting me.

My father cou'dna work-my mother cou'dna spin;
I toil'd day and night, but their bread I cou'dna win;
Auld Rob maintain'd them baith, and, wi' tears in his ee,
Said, "Jenny, oh! for their sakes, will you marry me?"

My heart it said na, and I look'd for Jamie back;
But hard blew the winds, and his ship was a wrack:
His ship it was a wrack! Why didna Jenny dee?
Or, wherefore am I spared to cry out, Woe is me!

My father argued sair—my mother didna speak,
But she look'd in my face till my heart was like to break:
They gied him my hand, but my heart was in the sea;
And so Auld Robin Gray, he was gudeman to me.

I hadna been his wife, a week but only four,
When mournfu' as I sat on the stane at my door,
I saw my Jamie's ghaist—I cou'dna think it he,
Till he said, "I'm come hame, my love, to marry thee!"

O sair, sair did we greet, and mickle say of a';
Ae kiss we took, nae mair—I bad him gang awa.
I wish that I were dead, but I'm no like to dee;
For O, I am but young to cry out, Woe is me!

I gang like a ghaist, and I carena much to spin;
I darena think o' Jamie, for that wad be a sin.
But I will do my best a gude wife aye to be,
For auld Robin Gray, oh! he is sae kind to me.


THE spring had pass'd over, 'twas summer nae mair,
And trembling were scatter'd the leaves in the air:
"Oh, winter!" said Jenny, "we kindly agree,
For wae looks the sun when he shines upon me."

Nae langer she wept, her tears were a' spent—
Despair it had come, and she thought it content;
She thought it content, but her cheek was grown pale,
And she droop'd like a lily bent down by the hail.

Her father was sad, and her mother was wae,
But silent and thoughtfu' was Auld Robin Gray;
He wander'd his lane, and his face look'd as lean
As the side of a brae where the torrents have been.

He gaed to his bed, but nae physic wou'd take,
And often he said, "It is best, for her sake."
While Jenny supported his head as he lay,
Her tears trickled down upon Auld Robin Gray.

"O, greet nae mair, Jenny," said he, wi' a groan;
"I'm no worth your sorrow—the truth maun be known!
Send round for our neighbours; my hour it draws near,
And I've that to tell that it's fit a' should hear.

"I've wrong'd her," he said, "but I kent it o'er late;
I've wrong'd her, and sorrow is speeding my date.
But a's for the best, since my death will soon free
A faithfu' young heart, that was ill match'd wi' me.

"I loved and I courted her mony a day;
The auld folks were for me, but still she said nae.
I kentna o' Jamie, nor yet of her vow;
In mercy forgive me!—'twas I stole the cow!

"I cared not for Crummie; I thought but o' thee!
I thought it was Crummie stood 'twixt you and me.
While she fed your parents, oh! did you not say,
You never would marry wi' Auld Robin Gray?

"But sickness at hame, and want at the door,
You gied me your hand, while your heart it was sore.
I saw it was sore—why took I her hand?
Oh! that was a deed to cry shame o'er the land.

"But truth, soon or late, it comes ever to light;
For Jamie came back, and your cheek it grew white.
White, white grew your check, but aye true unto me;
Oh, Jenny, I'm thankfu'—I'm thankfu' to dee!

"Is Jamie come here yet?" and Jamie they saw.
"I've injured you sair, lad, so leave you my a';
Be kind to my Jenny, and soon may it be!
Waste nae time, my dauties, in mourning for me."

They kiss'd his cauld hands; and a smile o'er his face
Seem'd hopefu' of being accepted by grace:
"Oh, doubtna," said Jamie, "forgi'en he will be;
Wha wou'dna be tempted, my love, to win thee?"

The first days were dowie while time slipp'd awa;
Though saddest and sairest to Jenny of a',
Was fearing she cou'dna be honest and right,
Wi' tears in her ee, while her heart was sae light.

But nae guile had she, and her sorrows away,
The wife of her Jamie—the tears cou'dna stay.
A bonnie wee bairn—the auld folks by the fire;
O now she has a' that her heart can desire.

Sung by Jenny, softly, at her wheel.

THE wintry days grew lang, my tears they were a' spent;
May be it was despair I fancied was content.
They said my cheek was wan; I cou'dna look to see—
For, oh! the wee bit glass, my Jamie gaed it me.

My father he was sad, my mother dull and wae;
But that which grieved me maist, it was Auld Robin Gray;
Though ne'er a word he said, his cheek said mair than a',
It wasted like a brae o'er which the torrents fa'.

He gaed into his bed—nae physic wad he take;
And oft he moan'd, and said, "It's better, for her sake."
At length he look'd upon me, and call'd me his "ain dear,"
And beckon'd round the neighbours, as if his hour drew near.

"I've wrong'd her sair," he said, "but kent the truth o'er late;
Its grief for that alone that hastens now my date.
But a' is for the best, since death will shortly free.
A young and faithful heart that was ill match'd wi' me.

"I loo'd, and sought to win her for mony a lang day;
I had her parents' favour, but still she said me nay.
I knew na Jamie's luve; and oh! it's sair to tell
To force her to be mine, I steal'd her cow mysel!

"O what cared I for Crummie! I thought of nought but thee.
I thought it was the cow stood 'twixt my luve and me.
While she maintain'd ye a', was you not heard to say,
That you wad never marry wi' Auld Robin Gray?

"But sickness in the house, and hunger at the door.
My bairn gied me her hand, although her heart was sore.
I saw her heart was sore—why did I take her hand?
That was a sinfu' deed! to blast a bonnie land.

"It wasna very lang ere a' did come to light;
For Jamie he came back, and Jenny's cheek grew white.
My spouse's cheek grew white, but true she was to me;
Jenny! I saw it a'—and oh, I'm glad to dee!

"Is Jamie come?" he said; and Jamie by us stood—
"Ye loo each other weel—Oh, let me do some good!
I gie you a', young man—my houses, cattle, kyne,
And the dear wife hersel, that ne'er should hae been mine."

We kiss'd his clay-cold hands—a smile came o'er his face:
"He's pardon'd," Jamie said, "before the throne o' grace.
Oh, Jenny! see that smile—forgi'en I'm sure is he,
Wha could withstand temptation when hoping to win thee!"

The days at first were dowie; but what was sad and sair,
While tears were in my ee, I kent mysel nae mair;
For, oh! my heart was light as ony bird that flew,
And, wae as a' thing was, it had a kindly hue.

But sweeter shines the sun than e'er he shone before,
For now I'm Jamie's wife, and what need I say more?
We hae a wee bit bairn—the auld folks by the fire—
And Jamie, oh! he loo's me up to my heart's desire.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Auld Robin Gray
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Nov 13 - 12:36 PM

The Bodleian has several "answers," variants and continuations to the popular "Auld Robin Gray."

Death of Auld Robin Gray
Auld Robin the Laird
Jamie's Complaint: An Answer to

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Auld Robin Gray
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Nov 13 - 12:40 PM

Chopped off-

Jamie's Complaint: An Answer to Auld Robin Gray.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Auld Robin Gray
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Nov 13 - 07:11 PM


The summer it was smiling all nature look'd gay,
When Jenny was attending on auld Robin Grey;
For he was sick at heart and had na friend beside,
But only me poor Jenny who newly was his bride.
Ah! Jenny I shall die he cry'd as sure as I had birth,
Then see my poor auld bones pray laid in the earth,
And be a widow for my sake a twelvemonth & a day
And I will leave whate'er belongs to auld Robin Grey.

I laid poor Robin in the earth as decent as I could,
And shed a tear upon his grave for he was very guid.
I took my rock all in my hand and in my cot I sigh'd,
Ah wae's me what shall I do since poor auld Robin dy'd.
Search every part throughout the land and none like me (portion ?)
I'm ready e'en to ban the day that I was born
For Jemmy all I lov'd on earth ah! he is gone away,
My father dead and my mither's dead and ehe auld Robin Grey.

I rose up with the morning sun and spun all setting day
And one whole year of widowhood I mourned for Robin Grey
I did the duty of a wife both kind and constant too.
Let every one example take and Jenny's plan pursue;
I thought that Jemmy he was dead or he to me was lost
And all my fond and youthful love entirely was (crost ?)
I try'd to sing, I try'd to laugh and pass the time away
For I had ne'er friend alive since dy'd old Robin Grey.

Although the merry bells rang round I could na guess the cause
But Rodney was the man they say that gained so much (-----?)
I doubted if the tale was true till Jemmy came to me,
And shew'd a purse of golden ore and said it is for thee
And Robin Grey I find is dead and still your heart is true.
Then take me Jenny to your arms and I will be so too.
(Mess?) John shall join us at the Kirk, we'll be blyth & gay,
I blushed, consented and reply'd, adieu to Robin Grey.

Script of the old illustrated broadside hard to read, The name spelled Grey throughout.

Bodleian Library, Harding B21(58). No date or printer named.

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Subject: Origins: Auld Robin Gray
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Nov 13 - 08:37 PM

This is great, Q. Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on this song:

    Auld Robin Gray

    DESCRIPTION: Jamie leaves Jenny to earn enough to be married. Her family has bad luck. Robin Gray supports them and asks Jenny to marry. Jamie's ship is wrecked and Jennie assumes he is dead. She marries Robin. Jamie returns too late.
    AUTHOR: Lady Anne Lindsay (Barnard) (1750-1825)
    EARLIEST DATE: 1776 (Herd); before 1801 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 14(4))
    KEYWORDS: age poverty courting love marriage rescue wreck father mother sailor
    FOUND IN: Canada(Newf) Britain(England(South), Scotland(Aber))
    REFERENCES (9 citations):
    GreigDuncan7 1364, "Auld Robin Gray" (2 fragments)
    Peacock, pp. 482-483, "Old Robin Gray" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Wiltshire-WSRO Wt 420, "Auld Robin Grey" (1 text)
    ADDITIONAL: Robert Chambers, The Scottish Songs (Edinburgh, 1829), Vol II, pp. 301-303, "Auld Robin Gray"
    David Herd, editor, Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs, Heroic Ballads, etc. (Edinburgh, 1870 (reprint of 1776)), Vol II, pp. 196-197, ("When the sheep are in the fauld, and the kye at hame")
    James Johnson, Editor, _The Scots Musical Museum_ [1853 edition], volume III, #247, p. 256, "Auld Robin Gray" (1 text, 1 tune)
    James Grant Wilson, The Poets and Poetry of Scotland (London, 1876 ("Digitized by Google")), pp. 334-335, "Auld Robin Gray" (1 text)
    Walter de la Mare, _Come Hither_, revised edition, 1928; #376, "Auld Robin Gray" (1 text)
    Charles W. Eliot, editor, English Poetry Vol II From Collins to Fitzgerald (New York, 1910), #328, pp. 557-558, "Auld Robin Gray" (by Lady Anne Lindsay)

    ST Pea482 (Partial)
    Roud #2652
    Bodleian, Harding B 14(4), "Auld Robin Gray", Fowler (Salisbury), 1770-1800; also Harding B 25(88), Firth b.27(516), Harding B 11(7), Harding B 11(162), Firth b.26(412), "Auld Robin Gray"
    Murray, Mu23-y4:029, "Auld Robin Gray", John Ross (Newcastle), 19C

    cf. "The Bridegroom Greits When the Sun Gaes Doun" (tune, per Wilson)
    NOTES: Original text is on with the attribution. The date is 1794 per site for Early American Secular Music and Its European Sources, 1589-1839.
    Per site for The First Hypertext Edition of The Dictionary of Phrase and Fable [this] was written to an old Scotch tune called "The bridegroom grat when the sun gaed down."
    Chambers: "The ballad was written early in the year 1772 ...." Chambers confirms that the "fair authoress, then a very young lady, was induced to write it, by a desire to see an old plaintive Scottish air, ('The Bridegroom grat when the sun gaed down,') which was a favourite with her, fitted with words more suitable to its character than the ribald verses which had hitherto, for want of better, been sung to it." - BS
    Broadside Bodleian, Firth b.25(24), "The Death of Auld Robin Gray," J. T. Burdett (London), c. 1855, seems to be some sort of a by-blow of this, since the characters are Robin Gray, Jamie, and Jenny, but it manages a happy ending by having Robiin die so that Jamie and Jenny are still available for each other.
    Stanley J. Kunitz and Howard Haycraft, Editors, British Authors Before 1800: A Biographical Dictionary, H. W. Wilson, 1952 (I use the fourth printing of 1965), give a fairly full account of the origin on this piece on p. 27:
    Anne Lindsay (1750-1825) was one of the daugbhters of James Lindsay, fifth earl of Balcarres, who lived in Fife. At the age of 21, she heard a ballad with "improper" words, which she rewrote and published anonymously as "Auld Robin Gray" in 1771.
    After a long period as an old maid, married Andrew Barnard, whom she accompanied to South Africa in 1793. Her Journal and Notes were probably her most important writings other than this song. When he died, she returned to Britain. In 1822, she finally admitted her authorship of this poem in a letter to Sir Walter Scott, and described how she came to write it. - RBW
    Last updated in version 3.0
    File: Pea482

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Mudcat time: 16 October 10:08 PM EDT

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