Blink o'er the Burn Bessie

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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. An 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 begins:

Leave kindred and friends sweet Betty,
Leave kindred and friends for me;
Assur'd thy servant is steady,
To love, to honour, to thee.


Source for notated version:

Printed sources: McGibbon (Scots Tunes, Book 1), c. 1762; p. 15. Oswald (Caledonian Pocket Companion, Book 1), 1760; p. 19. Daniel Wright (Aria di Camera), London, 1727; No. 69.

Recorded sources:




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