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The 'Scots Musical Museum' - Volume II, song 123, page 129 - 'The Miller'

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Volume II, song 123, page 129 - 'The Miller'

Introduction:
Verse 1:
'O Merry may the maid be
That marries with the miller,
For foul day and fair day
He's ay bringing till her.
Has ay a penny in his purse,
For dinner and for supper:
And gin he please, a good fat cheese,
And lumps of yellow butter.'
Image Rights Holder:
National Library of Scotland
Ref:
2280
Project:
754:Scots Musical Museum
Material:
Book
Dimensions:
130 x 211 mm
What:
The 'Scots Musical Museum' - Volume II, song 123, page 129 - 'The Miller'
Subject:
The 'Scots Musical Museum' is the most important of the numerous eighteenth- and nineteenth-century collections of Scottish song. When the engraver James Johnson started work on the second volume of his collection in 1787, he enlisted Robert Burns as contributor and editor. Burns enthusiastically collected songs from various sources, often expanding or revising them, whilst including much of his own work. The resulting combination of innovation and antiquarianism gives the work a feel of living tradition.
Who:
William Stenhouse (commentator and editor of the 1853 edition of the 'Museum')
William Clarke (c. 1755-1820) (musical editor for Volume VI of the 'Scots Musical Museum')
Stephen Clarke (c. 1735-97) (musical editor)
James Johnson (c. 1750-1811) (printer / publisher / engraver / editor)
Robert Burns (1759-96) (song collector / composer / editor)
When:
Between 1787 and 1803 (first publication of the 'Scots Musical Museum')
Where:
The National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh
Background:
The 'Scots Musical Museum' is the most important of the numerous eighteenth- and nineteenth-century collections of Scottish song. When the engraver James Johnson started work on the second volume of his collection in 1787, he enlisted Robert Burns as contributor and editor. Burns enthusiastically collected songs from various sources, often expanding or revising them, whilst including much of his own work. The resulting combination of innovation and antiquarianism gives the work a feel of living tradition.
Description:
According to Glen (1900), this 'melody does not appear in any collection known to us before the Museum, and it is our belief that such a good tune would not have escaped either the musician or compiler if current much before 1788'. This is in contrast to the views of William Stenhouse, editor of the 1853 edition of the 'Museum', who believed 'this song, with the exception of the first verse, which is said to belong to a much older song, was written by Sir John Clerk of Pennycuik; and was published in Yair's Collection of Songs, called 'The Charmer', vol. ii, 1751'. Glen is generally considered to be the more reliable source.