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Origins: Aye Waukin' O

DigiTrad:
AYE WAKIN OH


GUEST,Julia 14 Jan 04 - 10:34 PM
Phil Cooper 14 Jan 04 - 11:08 PM
GUEST,Chanteyranger 14 Jan 04 - 11:28 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Jan 04 - 12:13 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Jan 04 - 12:23 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Jan 04 - 12:38 AM
Malcolm Douglas 15 Jan 04 - 04:13 AM
GUEST,Julia 15 Jan 04 - 11:57 AM
GUEST,Chanteyranger 15 Jan 04 - 01:18 PM
GUEST,Philippa 15 Jan 04 - 06:31 PM
Jim McLean 15 Jan 04 - 06:39 PM
Scabby Douglas 15 Jan 04 - 07:45 PM
GUEST,Philippa 16 Jan 04 - 10:25 AM
Emma B 16 Jan 04 - 06:16 PM
Willa 16 Jan 04 - 06:31 PM
Malcolm Douglas 16 Jan 04 - 07:48 PM
Emma B 16 Jan 04 - 08:01 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Jan 04 - 09:33 PM
Jim McLean 17 Jan 04 - 07:39 AM
GUEST,Julia 17 Jan 04 - 07:31 PM
Peter Kasin 18 Jan 04 - 12:40 AM
GUEST,Philippa 02 Feb 04 - 03:15 PM
Rara Avis 03 Feb 04 - 09:33 AM
masato sakurai 03 Feb 04 - 09:41 AM
Jim McLean 03 Feb 04 - 05:56 PM
Felipa 07 Feb 04 - 02:07 PM
GUEST,McWilliams 08 Nov 12 - 02:17 PM
Anne Neilson 08 Nov 12 - 04:26 PM
Allan Conn 09 Nov 12 - 02:42 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Nov 12 - 05:53 AM
GUEST,Philippa 09 Nov 12 - 12:56 PM
GUEST,McWilliams 15 Nov 12 - 05:41 PM
GUEST,Allan Conn 15 Nov 12 - 06:54 PM
nigelgatherer 04 Dec 16 - 06:08 AM
GUEST,Rory 28 Dec 20 - 06:40 AM
GUEST 28 Dec 20 - 10:48 AM
GUEST,Rory 28 Dec 20 - 08:17 PM
GUEST,Rory 28 Dec 20 - 08:23 PM
GUEST,Rory 28 Dec 20 - 08:49 PM
leeneia 30 Dec 20 - 12:59 PM
Joe Offer 24 Jan 22 - 05:12 PM
Felipa 24 Jan 22 - 05:25 PM
Felipa 24 Jan 22 - 05:33 PM
Steve Gardham 24 Jan 22 - 05:35 PM
Felipa 24 Jan 22 - 05:59 PM
GUEST,Rory 24 Jan 22 - 07:47 PM
RTim 24 Jan 22 - 10:33 PM
GUEST,Gallus Moll 25 Jan 22 - 05:51 AM
MoorleyMan 25 Jan 22 - 08:06 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 25 Jan 22 - 09:13 AM
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Subject: Origins: Aye waukin' o
From: GUEST,Julia
Date: 14 Jan 04 - 10:34 PM

Hi all- I have this song clearly associated with Robert Burns, but find no evidence of it in lists of his works, bios etc. that I have looked at. Can anyone positively substantiate his association with it and if not, then who?
Muckle thanks


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye waukin' o
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 14 Jan 04 - 11:08 PM

I heard it on an Ossian recording (Fisherman's song for Attracting Seals). The notes said it was collected by Burns, who wrote one verse (I think the one about Grace MacFarland). Otherwise a lot of the other verses are shared with a song called The Hexhamshire Lass. Fairport Covention did a version of that on their album called, Nine. I'm sure there are others on the forum with more scholarly background on the song.


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Subject: ADD Version: Aye waukin' o
From: GUEST,Chanteyranger
Date: 14 Jan 04 - 11:28 PM

It's introduced in a recent edition of Burns's works, The Canongate Burns, as "...transformed by Burns from an original song. "

Aye waukin' o

Simmer's a pleasant time,
Flowers of every colour;
The water runs owre the heugh,
And I long for my true lover!

Chorus:
Ay, waukin O,
Waukin stil and weary
Sleep I can get nane,
For thinking on my dearie.

When I sleep I dream
When I wauk I'm eerie,
Sleep I can get nane,
For thinking on my dearie ---
Ay, waukin, O

(Chorus)

Lanely night comes on,
A' the lave are sleepin:
I think on my bonie lad,
And I bleet my een wi' greetin,---
Ay, waukin, O, &c.

-Chanteyranger


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Subject: Lyr Add: SIMMER'S A PLEASANT TIME (Robert Burns)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Jan 04 - 12:13 AM

Burns used a different title:

SIMMER'S A PLEASANT TIME
(Robert Burns)

Tune- Ay waukin' O

Simmer's a pleasant time,
Flow'rs of ev'ry color;
The water rins o'er the heugh,
And I long for my true lover.

Ay waukin O,
Waukin still and wearie:
Sleep I can get nane
For thinking on my dearie.

When I sleep I dream
When I wauk I'm eerie;
Sleep I can get nane
For thinking on my dearie.

Lanely night comes on,
A' the lave are sleeping;
I think on my bonnie lad
And I bleer my een with greetin'.

Ay waukin O,
Waukin still and wearie;
Sleep I can get nane
For thinking on my dearie.

The Poetical Works of Robert Burns, with Notes, Glossary and Chronological Table of His Life and Works, Bio. Memoir by Alexander Smith. Burt, Pub.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye waukin' o
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Jan 04 - 12:23 AM

You are fast on the draw, Chanteyranger.
Interesting how spelling changes from edition to edition.
Wauken is a Sc. variant of waken; there is no apostrophe at the end of the word (as in the title of this thread).

There is a version in the DT that is different from the Burns' song; something Wakin'.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye waukin' o
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Jan 04 - 12:38 AM

The apostrophe at the end of waukin in the song title should be a comma- "Ay waukin, O."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye waukin' o
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 15 Jan 04 - 04:13 AM

The late Bruce Olson did some work on this group of songs. A search here will locate quite a bit of good information in previous discussions, mostly from him. The searching you can do yourself, but here is a link to the entry at his website: http://users.erols.com/olsonw/SONGTXT1.HTM#AYWAKIN, where some history and a number of analogous songs are quoted.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye waukin' o
From: GUEST,Julia
Date: 15 Jan 04 - 11:57 AM

Thanks so much folks- it's the ol' alternate title thing again, I think. It seemed wierd to me that everyone who has recorded it credits it to Burns but I couldn't find it any where in his bios.
He did do a lot of "mending" and amending, so that muddies the water a bit as well, but just think, if he hadn't taken the time we might not have even his versions now....
BTW, speaking of typos, chanteyranger has "bleet"(to cry out faintly as a sheep) rather than bleer (to obscure or make misty) in the last verse- too picky, I know, (the slip o' the digit phenom) but SOMEbody might sing it that way... sigh
Best to all- J


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye waukin' o
From: GUEST,Chanteyranger
Date: 15 Jan 04 - 01:18 PM

Oh, my god, I did write "bleet." That's too funny. Yes, purely a typo, as the book clearly has it as "bleer." By the way, the Canongate edition gives a few translations of some of the dialect in the song:

simmer = summer
heugh = runs, cliff, or crag
waukin = waking
wauk = wake, restless
nane = none
lanely = lonely
lave = rest/remainder
bleer = blur


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye waukin' o
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 15 Jan 04 - 06:31 PM

I also associate the song with Burns; as you know he collected and adapted songs as well as composing his own.

Aye waukin' o has some similarity in tune and theme to a Gaelic song, O-ro chan eil cadal orm .


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye waukin' o
From: Jim McLean
Date: 15 Jan 04 - 06:39 PM

I arranged this song for a collection of Burns' songs recorded by Nigel Denver on Major Minor in 1968 or thereabouts. I got the song from Johnson's Musical Museum and changed it slightly by repeating 'Aye Waukin' O' at the end of each chorus.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye waukin' o
From: Scabby Douglas
Date: 15 Jan 04 - 07:45 PM

And I think that is now the way it's most commonly sung, Jim.
I never noticed that the repeated lineisn't in the printed versions before.

Thanks for pointing it out.

The song gained a revived prominence when, at his request, it was sung at John Smith's funeral.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye waukin' o
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 16 Jan 04 - 10:25 AM

let me correct myself; the Gaelic song I meant to refer to was "Cadal cha dèan mi", which you could translate as "Sleep I will get nane"


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Subject: Lyr Add: HARRY NEWELL
From: Emma B
Date: 16 Jan 04 - 06:16 PM

Although it is mentioned by Bruce Olson as one of the group of songs including Grace McFarlane (the version I sing), I Know Where I'm Going and Ay Waukin' O I couldn't find HARRY NEWELL (c. C18) in the DT - so just out of interest:-

HARRY NEWELL

When I came to this town
They call'd me Harry Newell
Now they've changed my name
And they call me the raking Jewell

They put me to bed
Thinking I was weary;
Sleep I could get none
For thinking of my dearie.

All the night awake
All the day am weary
Sleep I can get none
When I think of my dearie

Her cheeks are ruby-red
Her lips are like a cherry;
Her eyes as black as sloes
Her hair brown as a berry.

She is a lovely lass,
She has my heart in keeping;
When I go to bed
She hinders me from sleeping.

I'll send my love a letter
And I will entreat her;
In Belfast town with speed,
I will be sure to meet her.

Down by the Ropery'
All thro' mud and mire;
Down by Hampster Place,
There liv'd my heart's desire.

She was a beauty bright,
There's no one can excell her
She was my heart's delight,
I know not what befel her.


Ropery - a rope-walk


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye waukin' o
From: Willa
Date: 16 Jan 04 - 06:31 PM

Heather Heywood sings this (as Aye Wakin O) beautifully on CDTRAX054, Greentrax Recordings. Sleeve notes say: 'I'm not sure if this is a Burns song, though many people would associate him with it. Burns has a hand in many songs having been a collecor as well as a poet and writer. Many of his songs were influenced by, or reworkings of, traditional songs. This one has always been popular and there are several others with similar verses, a sort of traditional 'pick and mix'.'
She sings the version given by Q, with the repeat.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye waukin' o
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 16 Jan 04 - 07:48 PM

Perhaps we should quote the details Bruce gave for Harry Newall:

"Irish?: A New Song, Called Harry Newell. Eight verse broadside, c 1800-30? No music or tune citation. Printed in Holloway and Black's Later English Broadside Ballads, I, #88, 1975."

See also these broadside copies of another form of the song (also quoted by Bruce) at  Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads:

Fancy lad


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye waukin' o
From: Emma B
Date: 16 Jan 04 - 08:01 PM

Thanks Malcolm for the blue clickies. I couldn't actually get onto Bruce's webpage but I presumed it was the same broadside as I found in John Holloways and Joan Blacks book (ISBN 0 7100 7855 2) as well
where it gives the song as Northern Irish and C18.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye waukin' o
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Jan 04 - 09:33 PM

Olson also has the fragment from Hecht's Songs from Herd's MSS:

O wat, O wat and weary!
Sleep I can get nane
For thinking on my deary
A' the night I wak,
A' the day I weary,
Sleep I can get nane
For thinking on my dearie.

Olson's songs (Scarce Songs 1) "Jess Macpharlane" (1828), "Buff and Blue," also have a verse similar to the above (sleep I can get nane).


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Subject: Lyr Add: AYE WAUKIN' O (from Chambers)
From: Jim McLean
Date: 17 Jan 04 - 07:39 AM

In Chambers' Songs for Scotland Prior to Burns, 1862, 'There are various versions of this simple old song, but none so good as the following, which was taken from recitation many years ago, and inserted in a collection edited by Mr Robert Chambers in 1829. Burns furnished an improved version to Johnson's Museum'.

AYE WAUKIN' O

O, spring's a pleasant time,
Flowers o' ev'ry colour,
The sweet bird builds her nest,
And I long for my lover.

CHORUS: Aye waukin' O,
       Waukin' aye and weary,
       Sleep I can get nane,
       For thinkin' o' my dearie.

O I'm wat,wat,
O I'm wat and weary;
Yet fain I'd rise and run,
If I thought to meet my dearie.

When I sleep I dream,
When I wauk I'm eerie;
Sleep I can get nane,
For thinkin' o' my dearie.

Lanely night comes on,
A' the lave are sleeping;
I think on my love,
And blear my een wi' greeting.

Feather beds are soft,
Painted rooms are bonnie;
But a kiss o' my dear love,
Is better far than ony.

O for Friday night,
Friday at the gloamin!
O for Friday night!
Friday's long o' coming.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye waukin' o
From: GUEST,Julia
Date: 17 Jan 04 - 07:31 PM

I love the short version of the song just because it lets anyone relate to it. The lack of details leaves it open- it can range from a impatient cry of a passionate lover to a lament for the death of a spouse. I have recorded it on our new disc "Ae Fond Kiss" www.castlebay.net if anyone id interested.
Cheers- J


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye waukin' o
From: Peter Kasin
Date: 18 Jan 04 - 12:40 AM

So you're THAT Julia! I won't reveal my name, but you'd remember me as a former co-worker with your Maineiac brother, who also was in a "Danny Boy" skit with you at the Scottish harp workshop at Oberlin, '89.

Sorry for the drift, folks, but she can't receive PM's (why not sign up as a member, eh?).

Chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye waukin' o
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 03:15 PM

for the possibly related Gaelic song, see/hear a version at http://www.geocities.com/alltandubh/C/Cadal_Chan_Fhaigh.html


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye waukin' o
From: Rara Avis
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 09:33 AM

My copy of The Poetical Works of Robert Burns Edited From the best Printed and Manuscript Authorities, Hurst & Company Publishers lists the title as Simmer's A Pleasant Time. Under that it says Tune – "Aye Waukin, O" and a notation that "This is an old song, on which the poet appears to have made only a few alterations."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye waukin' o
From: masato sakurai
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 09:41 AM

From John Greig's Scots Minstrelsie (1893):

"Simmer's a Pleasant Time" (Music by John Greig)

p. 48
p. 49
p. 50
p. 60


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye waukin' o
From: Jim McLean
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 05:56 PM

Interesting, Masato, but not a very pleasant tune (my opinion).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye waukin' o
From: Felipa
Date: 07 Feb 04 - 02:07 PM

In the "Cambridge Edition" of The Poetical Works of Burns, edited by Raymond Bentman and published by Houghton Mifflin in 1974, not only is "Ay Waukin, O" included but there is a comment on it in the introduction:

"[Burns'] greatness lies not just in the range of subjects but in the enormous variety of tones, points of view, attitudes he can bring to a single subject. For example, the subject of a woman deserted in love, especially one who is left pregnant or with an illegitimate child. In earlier British literature she was treated with scorn, as an object of fun, as a moral lesson, as a cause for sentimental pity. Burns went beyond all these conventional postures.

"He usually assumes the pooint of view of the suffering girl. Indeed Burns almost always describes emotional states from the viewpoint of the person experiencing it. Most obviously, the deserted woman is lonely and longs for her lover to return:

Simmer's a pleasant time:
Flowers of every colour,
The water rins owre the heugh,
And I long for my true lover.

"In older treatments of the subject, and in Burns's possible source for theis song in Scottish folk songs, the traditional poet described nature as beautiful, then inserted a 'but' and contrasted it with her unhappiness. Burns leaves the contrast only implied. The firl appears too unhappily listless to bother with nice logical oppositions. Further, the function, so that the girl's mind seems just to wander from one observation to another, none of them meaning much to her. Yet the images serve to provide the reader with contrasts. The natural pleasantness, variety of color, movement of the water, oppose her sorrow, which has none of therm - numb, colorless, unvaried, unchanging."

(that isn't how I think of the song, but I'm not a literary critic)

The version sung by Ossian starts with the same verse, but is the song of a lovelorn man:

Her faither loues her weel,
Her mother lo'es her better,
And I lo'e the lass mysel'
Waes me I cannae get her.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye Waukin' O
From: GUEST,McWilliams
Date: 08 Nov 12 - 02:17 PM

Can anyone confirm or deny the meaning of "waukin" is a kind of song women sing when "working" in the tedious back and forth of working shorn wool into felt by hand. Waukin songs have a back and forth rhythm, suggesting the work, and length of the poem can be antiphonal, between the two who are working.

Reference is to the song, "Seinn O", one techno-dance version Mouth Music, Seinn O on Blue Door Green Sea label, another version Mary Jane Lamond, Seinn O sung in a slower antiphonal style.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye Waukin' O
From: Anne Neilson
Date: 08 Nov 12 - 04:26 PM

WauLking songs are the Gaelic work songs for the shrinking of a length of tweed (soaked in urine) -- usually done by eight or so women sitting around a long table and thumping the tweed onto the table before passing it on to the person on their left.

But "waukin" in the (Burns) song means waking, awake.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye Waukin' O
From: Allan Conn
Date: 09 Nov 12 - 02:42 AM

"Can anyone confirm or deny the meaning of "waukin" is a kind of song women sing when "working" in the tedious back and forth of working shorn wool into felt by hand."

Don't think it is about confirming or denying that. Scots hasn't got a single standard spelling system. You've simply got similar words with very different meanings. As Anne says the word you are talking about is completely different to what is in the song. A simple reading of the rest of the lyric shows that!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye Waukin' O
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Nov 12 - 05:53 AM

Some options from Chambers Scots Dictionary
Jim Carroll

Waughy, adj. feeling faint or sick; wan, sallow. Cf.
Wauchie. Wauk, v, to wake ; to watch ; to watch over, Cf. Wake.
Wauk, v. to walk. Cf. Walk.
Wauk, adj. moist, damp. Cf.
Waugh. Wauk, Wauck, v. to full cloth; to render hard or callous; to beat, to thrash ; used of cloth, &c.: to shrink after wetting.    Cf. Walk.
Wauken, v. to awake ; to become animated ; to use violent language ; to awaken; to revive a dormant legal process ; to watch over.    Cf. Waken.
Wauken, ppl. adj. awake; disinclined for sleep.
Wauken, v. to chastise.
Waukening, n. the act of awaking, or of awakening; outrageous scolding.
Wauker, n. a watcher; one who watches clothes during the night.
Wauker, «. a fuller.
Waukerife, adj. wakeful. Cf.
Wakerife. Waukfere, adj. able to go about. Cf. Fere.
Wauking, Waukan, n. the act of watching; the night-watch kept over a corpse un- buried, or of one buried in resurrectionist
times, or over clothes, or over the ' fauld' or sheepfold.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye Waukin' O
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 09 Nov 12 - 12:56 PM

although I wrote before "Aye waukin' o has some similarity in tune and theme to a Gaelic song, O-ro chan eil cadal orm," I would like to correct myself: note the similarity to the song "Cadal cha dean mi"

Cadal Cha Dean Mi

lyrics and translation


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye Waukin' O
From: GUEST,McWilliams
Date: 15 Nov 12 - 05:41 PM

"completely different to what is in the song. A simple reading of the rest of the lyric shows that!"
Actually, Allan, not so simple, but thanks for responding.

Thanks to all, I am so glad to have found your site. I've traveled to bonnie Scotland a couple of times for extended stays. I love the music and the spirit of the people and the place.

I'll be staying a while in Ireland next summer. I will be in the pubs, learning more and singing along.

Anne McWilliams


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye Waukin' O
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 15 Nov 12 - 06:54 PM

"Actually, Allan, not so simple, but thanks for responding."

Ay fair dos - maybe I'm not taking enough account of non-Scots having the unfamilar words/spelling to deal with. It is pretty straight forward though if you really look at it. The text isn't really that obscure. The repeating theme throughout the song is that the person can't sleep at night because of thinking about a lover. They are always awake!

"Aye waukin' O,
Waukin' aye and weary,
Sleep I can get nane,
For thinkin' o' my dearie."

translates basically as

"Always awake O,
Awake always and weary
Sleep I can get none
For thinking of my dearie"

Apart from the spelling of "waukin" and "nane" which are close enough to the English to make an educated guess anyway the only unfamiliar thing may be the Scots word "aye" which means "always".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye Waukin' O
From: nigelgatherer
Date: 04 Dec 16 - 06:08 AM

Jim McLean: "I arranged this song for a collection of Burns' songs recorded by Nigel Denver...and changed it slightly by repeating 'Aye Waukin' O' at the end of each chorus..."

Scabby Douglas: "...I never noticed that the repeated line isn't in the printed versions before..."

Although the repeated line isn't in either of the versions printed in the Scots Musical Museum, the repeated line features in a few older books. In George Thomson's Collection Vol.3 (1802) he added the line "O this love, this love!" to the end of each verse, "for the sake of the music."

In Wood's Songs of Scotland (1849), he gives the repeated line "Ay wakin', O!" at the end of each verse.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye Waukin' O
From: GUEST,Rory
Date: 28 Dec 20 - 06:40 AM

SOURCE TEXT FOR "AY WAUKIN O"

While stanza 1 and 3 are now known to be of Burn's authorship, the source text for the chorus and stanza 2 likely originated from William Tytler text (ca. 1779) and to a lesser extent David Herd text (ca. 1769).


Burns Chorus:
Ay waukin O,
Waukin still and wearie:
Sleep I can get nane
For thinking on my dearie.

Burns Stanza 2:
When I sleep I dream
When I wauk I'm eerie;
Sleep I can get nane
For thinking on my dearie.


William Tytler text:
Ay wa'king oh!
Wa'king ay and wearie;
Sleep I canna get,
For thinking o' my dearie.

When I sleep, I dream;
When I wake, I'm irie:
Rest I canna get,
For thinking o' my dearie.


David Herd text:
O WAT, wat—O wat and weary!
Sleep I can get nane
For thinking on my deary.
A’ the night I wak,
A’ the day I weary,
Sleep I can get nane
For thinking on my dearie.


William Tytler text appears in:
Appendix, "No. VIII: A Dissertation on the Scottish Musick,” in Hugo Arnot's, History of Edinburgh (Edinburgh: W. Creech, 1779), p.689.


David Herd text appears in:
a) Hans Hecht, ed., Songs from David Herd’s Manuscripts (Edinburgh: W.J. Hay, 1904), p. 240.
b) W. E. Henley and T.F. Henderson, eds, The Poetry of Robert Burns [The
Centenary Edition], 4 vols. (London: T.C. and E.C. Jack, 1896), vol III: p.338.


William Tytler (1711-1792) was an aquaintance of Robert Burns. In January 1793, writing to George Thomson about plans for his Select Collection, Burns had boasted “All the late Mr. Tytler’s anecdotes, I have with me, taken down in the course of my acquaintance with him from his own mouth.” Later, in his long letter to George Thomson in early September 1793, Burns mentions Tytler’s published dissertation (“Tytler’s Hist: of Scots Music”).

While most of the Tytler text provides close parallels not only to Burns’s full refrain but to his second stanza also, only two lines of Davd Herd's text appear in the refrain of Burn's song.

David Herd (1732-1810) had not included his text fragment in his Ancient and Modern Scots Songs (1769 etc.), but it was printed by Henley and Henderson among their annotations in 1896 (as “probably the true original”), and then by Hans Hecht in 1904.
Hecht noted several other Burns’s songs for which Herd’s manuscripts seemed to be the source and was confident that while Burns was in Edinburgh he had access, directly or through friends, to Herd’s manuscript collections.

The Tytler and Herd versions provide good sources for Burns’s chorus and stanza 2.
A close examination of Burns's manuscripts for drafts of the song provide evidence that indicate that stanza 1, and particularly stanza 3, can be attributed to Burns himself.

.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye Waukin' O
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 20 - 10:48 AM

The overlap with the 'Hexhamshire Lass' is interesting- the tune is not dissimilar either- rhythm quite different & the 'Lass' is less modal but the actual notes follow the same pattern....


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye Waukin' O
From: GUEST,Rory
Date: 28 Dec 20 - 08:17 PM

TYTLER TEXT PUBLISHED FOR
"AY WAUKIN O"

Robert Burns song "Ay waukin O" was printed in 1790 in James Johnson's
Scotts Musical Museum, Vol 3, 1790, p.222.
Though it was sent to Johnson in 1789.

From 1790 to 1802 the song "Ay waukin O" was published three times giving just the eight-line Tytler text:

Ay wa'king oh!
Wa'king ay and wearie;
Sleep I canna get,
For thinking o' my dearie.

When I sleep, I dream;
When I wake, I'm irie:
Rest I canna get,
For thinking o' my dearie.

The first in the sequence was in
a) Napier’s Collection (1790),
William Napier, A Selection of the Most
Favourite Scottish Songs, Chiefly Pastoral (London: 1790), p.14.
Tytler’s text was also used in the engraved music in Napier (p. 61).

followed by a second occurrence in
b) Johnson’s Scots Musical
Museum, volume IV (1792), as song 382, p.396.

and then by
c) Joseph Ritson, Scottish Song in Two Volumes (London: J. Johnson and J. Egerton, 1794), vol I p.47.

Notably, all three of these give just the eight-line Tytler text; all three, including Johnson, use the Tytler variant for the line “Sleep I canna get,” not the Herd or Burns variant; and none of the three gives any
part or version of Burns’s two extra stanzas.
All three also use the alternative tune, as first published by Napier, but reported to have come from Robert Riddell, of Friar’s Carse, Burns’s neighbour at Ellisland.
Johnson’s purpose in repeating the song in 1792 was presumably to give the Napier tune, but for Ritson, as for Tytler, the 8-line text without Burns’s additions represented the traditional song

.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye Waukin' O
From: GUEST,Rory
Date: 28 Dec 20 - 08:23 PM

BURNS'S NEW VERSES FOR
"AY WAUKIN O"

In 1795, for George Thomson’s Select Collection, Burns wrote a completely new set of English verses, “On Chloris Being Ill.”

Long, long the night,
Heavy comes the morrow
While my soul's delight
Is on her bed of sorrow.

Can I cease to care?
Can I cease to languish,
While my darling Fair
Is on the couch of anguish?
Long, long, &c.

Ev'ry hope is fled,
Ev'ry fear is terror,
Slumber ev'n I dread,
Ev'ry dream is horror.
Long, long, &c.

Hear me, Powers Divine!
Oh, in pity, hear me!
Take aught else of mine,
But my Chloris spare me!
Long, long, &c.


While the new verses were to accompany one of the tunes for “Ay Waukin” (though
it is not clear which), Burns kept the two sets of words distinct, by omitting the traditional refrain from Tytler, and replacing it with a brand new one:

Long, long the night,
Heavy comes the sorrow,
While my soul’s delight
Is on her bed of sorrow

Gone also are the pastoral opening and the allusions to summer. Only the first two lines of the refrain, and the third new stanza, seem to echo Burns’s version for the Scots Musical Museum:

Ev’ry hope is fled;
Ev’ry fear is terror;
Slumber e’en I dread,
Ev’ry dream is horror

Burns’s new verses were not, however, published till six years after his death, and when they then appeared in Thomson’s Fifty Scottish Songs (1802), Thomson put back the (Anglicized) title “Ay Waking, O!,”
relegated “On Chloris being Ill” to a small-type subtitle, and restored the traditional verses, heavily reworked, for a more familiar opening stanza:

Ay waking, O!
Waking ay and wearie,
Rest I canna get
For thinking on my dearie.
O this love, this love!
Life to me how dreary!
When I sleep I dream,
O! When I wake I’m eerie.
O this love, this love!

The new verses that Burns had written as a refrain are now repeated at the beginning rather end of each stanza after the first, and to fit the new setting of the music (with nine instead of eight lines to a stanza), Thomson has added a new refrain line, “O this love, this love!,” varied in the very last line to read “Spare, O spare my love!”


Ay waking, O!
Waking ay and wearie,
Rest I canna get
For thinking on my dearie.
O this love, this love!
Life to me how dreary!
When I sleep I dream,
O! When I wake I’m eerie.
O this love, this love!

Long, long the night,
Heavy comes the morrow
While my soul's delight
Is on her bed of sorrow.
Can I cease to care?
Can I cease to languish,
While my darling Fair
Is on the couch of anguish?
O this love, this love!

Long, long the night,
Heavy comes the morrow
While my soul's delight
Is on her bed of sorrow.
Ev'ry hope is fled,
Ev'ry fear is terror,
Slumber ev'n I dread,
Ev'ry dream is horror.
O this love, this love!

Long, long the night,
Heavy comes the morrow
While my soul's delight
Is on her bed of sorrow.
Hear me, Powers Divine!
Oh, in pity, hear me!
Take aught else of mine,
But my Chloris spare me!
Spare, O spare my love!

a) Fifty Scottish Songs with Symphonies and Accompaniments, wholly by Haydn,
vol. III (Edinburgh: Printed for George Thomson, 1802), p. 11.
b) A select collection of original Scottish airs &c, vol. III (Edinburgh: Printed for George Thomson, 1803), p. 111.

.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye Waukin' O
From: GUEST,Rory
Date: 28 Dec 20 - 08:49 PM

Since the publication of the texts of Tytler, Herd and Burns, there have been a number of songs composed that have used fragments of these texts dating from about 1793:
Jess Macfarlane (1793)
Hexhamshire Lass (1812)
Harry Newell (1800-1830)
to name a few.

.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye Waukin' O
From: leeneia
Date: 30 Dec 20 - 12:59 PM

YouTube has a video of Tony Cuffe singing this, and I have written down the melody in stick & dot form, using the second verse, which is easier to follow.

If you would like a jpg, send me a PM.


    Messages below are from a later thread.


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Subject: Origins: Aye Waukin' O!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Jan 22 - 05:12 PM

I didn't see a thread on this, but now I found one. I'll combine this with the other one. Was this song written by Burns, as David Kidman contends?
https://mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=403

Here's a recording of this song by Eddi Reader:


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye Waukin' O! - Burns?
From: Felipa
Date: 24 Jan 22 - 05:25 PM

yes, it is a Burns song, altered a bit For instance I never heard of Grace McFarlane in the Burns version.
possibly inspired by the Gaelic song Cadal cha déan mi (I can get no sleep) albeit not a translation.

http://robertburnsfederation.com/poems/translations/ay_waukin_o.htm


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye Waukin' O! - Burns?
From: Felipa
Date: 24 Jan 22 - 05:33 PM

I had long known it as a Burns song, but comparing the versions I did wonder if this was one of many songs Burns collected and rewrote. That does seem to be the opinion of others:
https://mainlynorfolk.info/folk/songs/aywaukino.html


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye Waukin' O! - Burns?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Jan 22 - 05:35 PM

There are several related songs from the 18th century so a rewrite would be typical of Burns. He reworked many old songs.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye Waukin' O! - Burns?
From: Felipa
Date: 24 Jan 22 - 05:59 PM

how did you miss this Origins discussion thread?
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=66062#1093078


    Yeah, I missed it. Don't know how. I'll combine them. -Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye Waukin' O! - Burns?
From: GUEST,Rory
Date: 24 Jan 22 - 07:47 PM

Summarising from the Origins thread:

While stanza 1 and 3 appear to be of Burns authorship, the source text for the chorus and stanza 2 likely originated from William Tytler text (ca. 1779) and to a lesser extent David Herd text (ca. 1769).


"Simmer's a pleasant time"
Printed in James Johnson's
Scotts Musical Museum, Vol 3, 1790, p.222

(Burns)
Simmer's a pleasant time,
Flow'rs of ev'ry color;
The water rins o'er the heugh,
And I long for my true lover.

(Tytler)
Ay waukin O,
Waukin still and wearie:
Sleep I can get nane
For thinking on my dearie.

(Tytler)
When I sleep I dream
When I wauk I'm eerie;
Sleep I can get nane
For thinking on my dearie.
Ay waukin &c.

(Burns)
Lanely night comes on,
A' the lave are sleeping;
I think on my bonnie lad
And I bleer my een with greetin'.
Ay waukin &c.



Burns Chorus:
Ay waukin O,
Waukin still and wearie:
Sleep I can get nane
For thinking on my dearie.

Burns Stanza 2:
When I sleep I dream
When I wauk I'm eerie;
Sleep I can get nane
For thinking on my dearie.


William Tytler text:
Ay wa'king oh!
Wa'king ay and wearie;
Sleep I canna get,
For thinking o' my dearie.

When I sleep, I dream;
When I wake, I'm irie:
Rest I canna get,
For thinking o' my dearie.


David Herd text:
O WAT, wat—O wat and weary!
Sleep I can get nane
For thinking on my deary.
A’ the night I wak,
A’ the day I weary,
Sleep I can get nane
For thinking on my dearie.

.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye Waukin' O! - Burns?
From: RTim
Date: 24 Jan 22 - 10:33 PM

I sang this at a Zoom session tonight.....I get to sing it once a year!! Burns Night!

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye Waukin' O
From: GUEST,Gallus Moll
Date: 25 Jan 22 - 05:51 AM

Erm...... the 300+ songs composed or collected by Robert Burns can be sung at any time of the year, not just on 25th January!!
(Same for his poems... )


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye Waukin' O
From: MoorleyMan
Date: 25 Jan 22 - 08:06 AM

It seems i sparked the debate off again when i sang it last night at the Mudcat Singaround!
I mentioned that although it appears (in chorus-plus-three-verse form) in the (presumably authoritative?) Alloway Press edition of the Complete Poetical Works, it inexplicably does not figure on the www.robertburns.org "complete works", which rather implies it was collected rather than written by Burns. I'd somehow missed the thread quoted above, thus hadn't had the time to explore further!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Aye Waukin' O
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 25 Jan 22 - 09:13 AM

If it wasn't for Burns' collecting and adapting of old songs many would have simply disappeared.

As well as his original work, he adapted many others from older traditional songs and 'improved' them on his terms - we can't tell if for the better or not.

The dates given by Rory earlier for similar songs are just an indication of the date they were first published, rather than proving a specific date & establishing the songs' provenance. Burns' songs like this one are probably an amalgamation of much older songs & impossible to date!

Or maybe there was ONE song actually composed c400 years away which went in different directions, but we will never know - that's the essence of traditional music, surely?
.... and yes, I've never heard it sung better than by Heather Heywood


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