Bonnie Lassie Take a Man

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BONNIE LASSIE TAKE A MAN. AKA - "Bonny Lassie tak a man." AKA and see "Jockey's ta'en the parting Kiss." Scottish, Air (cut time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABBCCDD. "Bonnie lassie take a man" is Air X in Joseph Mitchell's ballad opera The Highland Fair; or, Union of the Clans (1731), "With the musick, which wholly consists of select Scots tunes, prefix'd to each song." Mitchell's song goes:

Think, my Fairest, how Delay,
Danger every Moment brings.
Present Time will fly away,
Time, that's ever on its Wings.

Doubting and Suspense at best,
Lovers late Repentance cost.
Then let's, eager to be blest,
Seize Occasion, ere 'tis lost.

Unfortunately, Mitchell's opera has been called "a poor piece of work," with "no intrinsic value," save for its "endeavor to exploit the Lowland airs and to arouse interest in the romance of Scottish history" (Allardyce Nicoll, A History of Early Eighteenth Century Drama 1700-1750, 1925, p. 250). Ayrshire poet Robert Burns employed the melody for his 1795 song "Jockey's ta'en the parting Kiss," printed in Johnson's Scots Musical Museum, vol. 6. The melody is modified from "Bonnie Lassie take a man", although the Highland Fair melody is still considered the superior version.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Oswald (Caledonian Pocket Companion Book 11), c. 1760; p. 128.

Recorded sources:




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