Blathrie o’it (The)

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X:1 T:Blathrie o’it, The M:C L:1/8 R:Air B:James Aird – Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 3 (Glasgow, 1788, No. 223, p. 163) N:”Humbly dedicated to the Volunteers and Defensive Bands of Great Britain and Ireland” Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G G>A|B2 g>e d<BA>B|{A}G2 d>e {e}d2 G>A|{GA}B2 g>e d<BA>G|{GA}B2 e>f e2:| |:Tg>e|d>eg>a (g/a/b) Tag|a>ga>b d2 g>a|(g/a/b) Tag (e/d/e/f/) gG|{GA}B2 e>f e2:|]

BLATHRIE O'IT, THE. AKA - "Bagrie O't," "De'el take the gear and the bladrie o't," "Shame fa the gear and the blathrie o't." Scottish, Air (whole time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. "Bagrie o't" was published by David Herd in vol. 2 of his Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs (Edinburgh, 1777, p. 19). As "The Blathrie o't", the song also appears as "Song 33" in James Johnson's Scots Musical Museum (vol. 1, 1787, p. 34), as "Song 44" in Calliope, or the Musical Miscellany (London, 1788, p. 83), and in David Sime's Edinburgh Musical Miscellany (vol. 2, 1793, pp. 164-165). The tune predates these latter 18th century publications, whowever, and can be found some thirty years prior in James Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion (1759) and in William McGibbon's Collection of Scots Tunes (1755), and would seem to have originated earlier than even those publications.

Herd's first stanza is:

When I think on this warld's pelf,
And how little I hae o't to myself,
I sigh when I look on my thread-bare coat,
And shame fa' the gear and bagrie o't.'

In his notes on the Museum, poet Robert Burns remembers encountering a woman and child who sang a version of this song with the first line "O, Willie weel I mind, I lent you my hand". The 'Museum' version begins:

When I think on this warld's pelf,
And the little wee share I have o't to my self,
And how the lass that wants it is by the lads forgot,
May the shame fa' the gear and the blathrie o't.'

The melody to James Hogg's song "When the Kye Come Hame" appears to be an adaption of the air to "Blathrie o'it."

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 3), 1788; No. 223, p. 163.

Recorded sources: -

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