Burns Farewell

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BURN'S FAREWELL (TO AYRSHIRE). AKA - "Freemason's Farewell," "Masonic Adieu." AKA and see "Peacock (3) (The)," "Parting Glass (2) (The)." Scottish (originally), Irish; Air (4/4 time). A Minor (most versions): B Minor (Ross). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The title (given as "Burns Farewell" by O'Neill and "Burns Farewell to Ayrshire" by Howe) refers to the Scots poet Robert Burns and his poem "The Farewell" addressed "To the Brethren of St. James's Lodge, Tarbolton," in anticipation of his planned emigration (Tarbolton is in Ayrshire). The song was printed in the Johnson's Scots Musical Museum, directed to be sung to the air "Goodnight and Joy Be Wi' You A'". This latter Scottish tune is said to be an antecedent to "Burns Farewell"/"Parting Glass" melody, but seems considerably distanced to this writer's ear. The "Burns Farewell" (similar versions by Howe and O'Neill) is more familiar to modern ears as the "The Parting Glass", popularized by Irish singer Tommy Makem in the 1960's, and is sometimes mistakenly attributed to Burns (who wrote no song or poem with those lines). See also the similar "Peacock (3) (The)", found in O'Farrell's Pocket Companion for the Union Pipes of the early 19th century. See also the "corrupt" Irish variant "Old Ireland a Long Farewell" and the related Amercian shape note hymn tune "Clamanda" (The Sacred Harp).

Source for notated version: "J. Kennedy" [O'Neill], referring to Chicago Police Patrolman John Kennedy.

Printed sources: Colclough (Tutor for the Irish Union Pipes), c. 1830; p. 19. Howe (Complete Preceptor for the Accordeon), 1843; p. 4. Howe (1000 Jigs and Reels), c. 1867; p. 146. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 269, p. 47. William Ross (Ross's Collection of Pipe Music), 1869, No. 101, p. 98.

Recorded sources:




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