Bonny Mary (1)

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BONNY MARY. AKA and see "Ann Thy Charms My Bosom Fire." Scottish, Air (3/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABBCCDDEE. The air, originally by Scottish cellist and composer James Oswald (1710-1769), was used as the vehicle for a song by Robert Burns ("Anna, thy charms my bosom fire"), written for Miss Ann Stewart, who was engaged to the poet's friend, Alexander Cunningham. The tune demonstrates one of the characteristics of Scottish music, the alteration of the major with its relative minor (Emmerson, 1971), and James Chalmers Dick calls it "a good melody of the professional style of the eighteenth century."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Oswald (Curious Collection of Scots Tunes), 1740; No. 15. Oswald (Caledonian Pocket Companion), 1760, vol. 1; p. 24. Johnson (Scots Musical Museum, vol. IV), 1803; Song 530.

Recorded sources:




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