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Lyr Req: Of A' the Airts the Wind Can Blaw (Burns)

Timothy Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 15 Oct 97 - 09:38 AM
Wolfgang 15 Oct 97 - 10:57 AM
Wolfgang 15 Oct 97 - 11:08 AM
Shula 15 Oct 97 - 11:30 AM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 15 Oct 97 - 07:02 PM
Wolfgang 16 Oct 97 - 10:37 AM
Jon W. 16 Oct 97 - 04:25 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 18 Oct 97 - 04:54 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 18 Oct 97 - 05:25 PM
Jim Dixon 02 Feb 09 - 08:28 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 03 Feb 09 - 09:19 AM
Jim McLean 04 Feb 09 - 07:24 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 10 Feb 09 - 11:20 AM
Jim McLean 10 Feb 09 - 01:30 PM
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Subject: O' A' the Airts the Wind Can Blaw
From: Timothy Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 15 Oct 97 - 09:38 AM

This "air" appears on Hamish Moore's Dannsa' Air An Drochaid (Stepping on the Bridge) played on the piano. He lists it as traditional, but also as one of his favourite Burns songs.

For you Canadians, it seems to be the same tune used for Scarborough Settler's Lament (A. Glendenning, 1840) as sung by Stan Rogers on For The Family, although Stan didn't use some of the Scots words found in the original. The words used by Stan are in the database, I believe.

Question:
Am I right in assuming that the melody is traditional, and the Burns words written for it?
Secondly, does anyone have an ABC or know where a MIDI can be found? (This part is for someone else, not me)
Thirdly, what are the lyrics to the Burns song? They don't seem to be in the database and I don't own any Burns songbooks.


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Subject: RE: O' A' the Airts the Wind Can Blaw
From: Wolfgang
Date: 15 Oct 97 - 10:57 AM

this wayfor the lyrics


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Subject: RE: O' A' the Airts the Wind Can Blaw
From: Wolfgang
Date: 15 Oct 97 - 11:08 AM

or this way (more Burns poem than on the other site)


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Subject: RE: O' A' the Airts the Wind Can Blaw
From: Shula
Date: 15 Oct 97 - 11:30 AM

Dear Wolfgang,

Though I didn't need the lyrics, having had the poetry of Bobby Burns liberally sprinkled on my porridge in childhood, was most delighted to be led to these links, and thereby to more links on Burns. Thank you so very, very much!

Shula


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Subject: RE: O' A' the Airts the Wind Can Blaw
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 15 Oct 97 - 07:02 PM

The first link didn't work. The second link got me to the list of the poems, but when I clicked on this one the link was dead.:(


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Subject: Lyr Add: OF A' THE AIRTS THE WIND CAN BLAW (Burns)
From: Wolfgang
Date: 16 Oct 97 - 10:37 AM

Tim, we both have had so many funny experiences with the web that we know that neither you nor I are to blame. Both links worked again for me (don't ask me why), so I do just this little copy and paste job:

Of a' the airts

Of a' the airts the wind can blaw,
I dearly like the west,
For there the bonnie lassie lives,
The lassie I lo'e best:
There's wild woods grow, and rivers row,
And mony a hill between;
But day and night my fancy's flight
Is ever wi' my Jean.

I see her in the dewy flowers,
I see her sweet and fair :
I hear her in the tunefu' birds,
I hear her charm the air:
There's not a bonnie flower that springs
By fountain, shaw, or green;
There's not a bonnie bird that sings,
But minds me o' my Jean.


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Subject: Tune Add: OF A' THE AIRTS THE WIND CAN BLAW (Burns
From: Jon W.
Date: 16 Oct 97 - 04:25 PM

If it's true that the tune is the same as the Stan Rogers song, then it's in the DT database also. I got the following ABC by downloading the MIDI tune from the DB (hold down the shift key while clicking on "CLICK HERE TO PLAY" at the bottom of the page of lyrics) and running it through a free software program called MIDI2ABC. See previous thread on testing ABC. I can't guarantee it didn't get mangled a little in the process.

% input file a:scarset.mid
X: 1
T:
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
Q:1/4=50
K:E % 4 sharps
% Extended bar : extra 1/2 units in bar 2
% Last bar contains 15/2 units not 8
% Number of bars = 6
% MIDI Key signature, sharp/flats=4 minor=0
% Time signature=6/4 MIDI-clocks/click=24 32nd-notes/24-MIDI-clocks=8
B,/2EE/2E/2E/2E/2EB,/2Ec/2B/2B/2G/2|FE/2C5/2 B,/2 +CE+EE/2EE/2 +EE+E|B,/2Ec/2Bc/2eG/2B5/2c/2|Bc/2eE/2B/2GFE/2FG/2A/2|
+G/2F/2+ F/2E/2C5/2B,/2 +CE+ EE/2EE/2E|B,/2Ec/2B/2GFG/2E5/2|


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Subject: RE: O' A' the Airts the Wind Can Blaw
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 18 Oct 97 - 04:54 PM

Scarborough Settler's Lament is in there indeed, although the lyrics are screwed up. ("banished Swill" ?? "Pentland's craggy comb"??)

The "air" that Hamish Moore's pianist Hilda Chaisson plays as O' A' the Airts the Wind Can Blaw is the same tune to which Scarborough Settler's Lament is sung. I listened to them both last night. (My, what a voice Stan had) The Burns lyrics seem to fit with the tune, now that I've tried it, although I have yet to hear a recorded version of the Burns lyrics.

I have since learned that the Burns song is usually called I Love My Jean, and that the "air" was originally a strathspey.


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Subject: RE: O' A' the Airts the Wind Can Blaw
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 18 Oct 97 - 05:25 PM

The correct lyrics to Scarborough Settler's Lament can be found at http://www.summerfolk.org/chords/ssl-crd.html


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Subject: Lyr Add: OF A' THE AIRTS THE WIND CAN BLAW (Add'l)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 02 Feb 09 - 08:28 AM

Here are some additional verses from The Pocket Encyclopedia of Scottish, English, and Irish Songs (Glasgow, 1816)—but see the footnote.

LOVELY JEAN. [OF A' THE AIRTS THE WIND CAN BLAW]
TUNE—"Miss Admiral Gordon's Strathspey."

3. Upon the banks o' flowing Clyde
The lasses busk them braw;
But when their best they hae put on,
My Jeanie dings them a';
In hamely weeds she far exceeds
The fairest o' the town;
Baith sage and gay confess it sae,
Tho' drest in russet gown.

4. The gamesome lamb, that sucks its dam,
Mair harmless canna be;
She has nae faut, (if sic ye ca't,)
Except her love for me:
The sparkling dew, o' clearest hue,
Is like her shining een;
In shape and air, wha can compare
Wi' my sweet lovely Jean?

5. O blaw, ye westlin winds, blaw saft
Aiming the leafy trees;
Wi' gentle gale, frae muir and dale,
Bring hame the laden bees,
And bring the lassie back to me
That's ay sae neat and clean;
Ae blink o' her wad banish care,
Sae lovely is my Jean.

6. What sighs and vows, amang the knowes
Hae past atween us twa!
How fain to meet, how wae to part
That day she gade awa!
The powers aboon can only ken,
To whom the heart is seen,
That nane can be sae dear to me,
As my sweet lovely Jean!*

* Burns says he "composed this song out of compliment to Mrs. Burns;" but he adds the following—"N. B. It was during the Honey Moon." It appears, however, that the first two verses only are the production of Burns. By whom the rest were composed is unknown to the Editor of this work. [Editor's note]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Of A' the Airts the Wind Can Blaw (Burns)
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 03 Feb 09 - 09:19 AM

The air, "Miss Admiral Gordon's Strathspey", was the composition of William Marshall, a fiddle-player himself and an employee of the Duke of Gordon (I think he was the Butler). I think Burns met him at Castle Gordon during his Highland Tour of 1787; he certainly called him "the first composer of strathspeys of the age", i.e., the "best" (notwithstanding the fame of his older contemporary, Niel Gow). "Strathspey", incidentally, is the valley of the River Spey; there's a kind of dance-tune called a "Strathspey" which is in Reel Time but has a much more irregular rhythm, making use of cut and dotted quavers (i.e. the familiar "Scots Snap"). Most settings of the song in question have been made more regular, in keeping with European classical norms; the version in SMM is (obviously) as Burns knew the air, and the note-values for which he composed the words. The story goes that the air - which is very similar to "The Low Lands of Holland" - was Jean Armour's favourite, so Burns put the words given by wolfgang above to this "slow strathspey". The words just recently posted by Jim Dixon are by a clergyman (the name Gilfillan comes to mind?).   Incidentally, at the time of composing the song, Burns was building the house at Ellisland in Dumfriesshire where and Jean would live for a few years, but she was still living in Ayrshire (to the North-West). Finally, in the first measure, the word "row" should be pronounced to rhyme with "how", and the word "grow" pronounced not as in English English but as in Scots English, i.e., to rhyme with "how" again. Sometimes, these words are spelt with a final "e", "rowe" and "growe".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Of A' the Airts the Wind Can Blaw (Burns)
From: Jim McLean
Date: 04 Feb 09 - 07:24 AM

In addition to what ABCD wrote, there is a footnote to 'I Love My Jean' by William Stenhouse, in Johnson's SMM. He said the air was partly composed by William Marshall by adding a second strain to the old air called 'The Lowlands of Holland has twin'd my Love and me'. The melody posted by Jon W is for the first verse as the song is really in two parts. Verse 2 is sung to the second strain added by Marshall as previously stated.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Of A' the Airts the Wind Can Blaw (Burns)
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 11:20 AM

It was someone called Hamilton (James, or John), who added the extra verses to the song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Of A' the Airts the Wind Can Blaw (Burns)
From: Jim McLean
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 01:30 PM

Yes, ABCD, it was John Hamilton, an Edinburgh bookseller and publisher. He contributed quite a few songs to Johnson's Scots Musical Museum and wrote The Braes o' Bowhether which is seen by some as a model for Tannahill's Braes o' Balquhither. Tannahill's song was to a different tune although in the same genre. Johnson took whole lines from Burn's Bonnie Peggy Alison including the melody.


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