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The 'Scots Musical Museum' - Volume VI, song 514, page 530 - 'Wee Willie Gray'

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Volume VI, song 514, page 530 - 'Wee Willie Gray'

Introduction:
Verse 1:
'Wee Willie Gray, an' his leather wallet;
Peel a willie wand, to be him boots and jacket.
The rose upon the breer will be him trouse an' doublet
the rose upon the breer will be him trouse an' doublet.'

'Peel a willie wand' is to peel a willow wand.
Image Rights Holder:
National Library of Scotland
Ref:
13646
Project:
754:Scots Musical Museum
Material:
Book
Dimensions:
129 x 211 mm
What:
The 'Scots Musical Museum' - Volume VI, song 514, page 530 - 'Wee Willie Gray'
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:
Robert Burns (1759-96) (song collector / composer / editor)
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)
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 Johnson, Burns wrote this song for inclusion in the 'Museum'. Whilst the attributions supplied by Johnson have not always proved to be accurate, in this instance he appears to be correct. William Stenhouse, editor of the 'Museum' (1853) following Johnson's death, noted that the accompanying tune was entitled, 'Wee Totum Fog'. John Glen (1900), however, disputes Stenhouses claim, stating that 'We have bever been fortunate enough to come across it, and thus are left in a 'fog''. Glen is generally considered the more reliable source.