Day returns my bosom burns (The)

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DAY RETURNS, MY BOSOM BURNS, THE. Scottish, Air (whole time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. "The day returns my bosom burns" is the title of a song by poet Robert Burns (1759-1796), set to an air by Captain Robert Riddell of Glenriddell (1755-1794), his neighbor near Dumfries, Ayrshire, who originally published the air under the title "Seventh of November" in his own Collection of New Music for the Piano-Forte or Harpsichord (1787). Burns wrote the song for Riddell, writes musicologist John Glen (Early Scottish Melodies, 1900), who also notes that Riddell's title, "The Seventh of November" was supposedly the anniversary of the composer's marriage. The first stanza goes:

The day returns, my bosom burns,
The blissful day we twa did meet,
Tho' winter wild in tempest toil'd,
Ne'er summer sun was half sae sweet.
Then a' the pride that loads the tide,
And crosses o'er the sultry line;
Than kingly robes, than crowns and globes,
Heav'n gave me more it made thee mine.

In a letter to Miss Chalmers, dated Sept. 16, 1788, Burns remarked that Johnson's Musical Museum was going into a thrid volume, "and, of consequence, finds ma a consumpt for a great deal of idle metre. One of the most tolerable things I have done in that way is two stanzas I made to an air that a musical gentleman of my acquaintance composed for the anniversary of his wedding-day, which happens on the 7th of November."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Davie (Davie’s Caledonian Repository), Aberdeen, 1829-30; p. 40. Johnson (The Scots Musical Museum, vol. III), 1790; Song 224, p. 223.

Recorded sources: Jean Redpath - "The Songs of Robert Burns, vol. 1" (1995).




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