Annotation:Blink o'er the Burn Bessie

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X:1 T:Blink o'er the Burn M:3/4 L:1/8 B:Daniel Wright – Aria di Camera (London, 1727, No. 69) N:”being A Choice Collection of Scotch, Irish & Welsh Airs N:for the Violin and German Flute by the following masters N:Mr. Alex. Urquahart of Edinburgh, Mr. Dermot O'Connar of Limrick N:Mr. Hugh Edwards of Carmarthen” F: Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:D a2|f3e (f/g/)a|A2 (gf)(ed)|B4 (f/g/a)|f3 e (f/g/a)| A2Te3d|d4 (f/g/a)|f3d (f/g/a)|A2 (gf)(ed)|B4 (fg)| a2 (ba)(gf)|g2Td3d|d4||D2|(F2A2) d2|(A2f2) ed| B4 (AG)|(F2A2)d2|A2 (ag)(fe)|d4D2|F2A2d2| A2 (gf)(ed)|B4 (fg)|a2 (ba)(gf)|g2 (ag)(fe)|d4||

BLINK O'ER THE BURN, BESSIE (AND I'LL FOLLOW THEE). AKA - "Blink o're the Burn Sweet Betty." Scottish, English; Air (3/4 time). England, Northumberland. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABBCCDD. The melody "Blink o'er the Burn sweet Bessy" is the indicated tune for "A Song" in poet Allan Ramsay's Tea Table Miscellany (1724, p. 329[1]), the music for which was printed by Alexander Stuart/Stewart in his Musick for Allan Ramsay’s Collection of Scots Songs, Part 2 (Edinburgh, c. 1724; pp. 50-51). Another early printing of the tune can be found in Daniel Wright's Aria di Camera (London, 1727). The title appears in Henry Robson's list of popular Northumbrian song and dance tunes, compiled and printed c. 1800. Composer Franz Joseph Haydn (1750-1819) fashioned a setting of the air. Robert Burns adapted the song for Johnson's Scots Musical Museum, from an older song by Joseph Mitchell (d. 1738), who was a "literary adventurer" patronized by Sir Robert Walpole. Mitchell's original, which appears in the Tea Table Miscellany, begins:

Leave Kindred and Friends, sweet Lady,
Leave Kindred and Friends, for me;
Assur’d, thy Servant is steddy
To Love, to Honour, and thee.
The Gifts of Nature and Fortune,
May fly, by Chance, as they came,
They’re Grounds the Destines sport on,
But Virtue is ever the fame.

Additional notes

Printed sources : - McGibbon (Scots Tunes, Book 1), c. 1762; p. 15. Oswald (Caledonian Pocket Companion, Book 1), 1760; p. 19. Alexander Stuart (Musick for Allan Ramsay’s Collection of Scots Songs, Part 2), Edinburgh, c. 1724; pp. 50-51. Daniel Wright (Aria di Camera), London, 1727; No. 69.

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