Bonny brucket lassie (The)

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BONNIE BRUCKET LASSIE, THE. Scottish, Air (3/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Brucket means something fragile, striped or spotted. The tune is quite old and predates the 18th century. It appears, for example, in the Leyden Manuscript of 1692, and was published by James Oswald in his Curious Collection of Scots Tunes (1741). There was an older song that went to it (apparently with "indelicate" words), reworked by James Tytler, a "tippling" and eccentric printer and amateur balloonist, who, according to Burns, "drudges about Edinburgh as a common printer, with leaky shoes, a sky-lighted hat, and knee-buckles as unlike as George-by-the-grace-of-God, and Solomon-the-son-of-David; yet that same unknown drunken mortal is author and compiler of three-fourths of Elliot's pompous Encyclopedia Britannica, which he composed at half-a-guinea a week!" Burns says only the first two lines of the song were from the older version. Tytler's first stanza goes:

James Tytler

The Bonny Brucket Lassie,
She's blue beneath the e'en;
She was the fairest Lassie
That danc'd on the green.
A lad he loo'd her dearly,
She did his love return;
But he his vows has broken,
And left her for to mourn.

A setting of the song was composed by Franz Joseph Haydn [1] (1732-1809) (Hob. XXXIa:59), one of a number commissioned by William Napier. See more notes on Tytler at "Loch Erroch Side."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Johnson (Scots Musical Museum, vol. 1), 1787; Song 67, p. 69. Oswald (Caledonian Pocket Companion, Book 1), 1760; p. 15.

Recorded sources: See also listing at:
Hear Haydn's classical song settings on youtube.com [2][3]




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