Her absence will not alter me

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HER ABSENCE WILL NOT ALTER ME. Scottish, Slow Air (cut time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The air appears in a several 18th and early 19th century publications and musician's manuscript collections, including John Johnson's Scots Musical Museum, vol. 1 (1787, p. 72), David Sime's Edinburgh Musical Miscellany (1793, pp. 356-358), and Edward Riley's Flute Melodies, vol. 2 (New York, 1817, p. 42). The first verse, from the Scots Musical Museum, goes:

Though distant far from Jessy's charms,
I stretch in vain my longing arms,
Though parted by the deeps of sea,
Her absence shall not alter me.
Though beauteous nymphs I see around,
A Chloris, Flora, might be found,
Or Phyllis with her roving eye;
Her absence shall not alter me.

Allen Cunningham (The Songs of Scotland, 1825) says:

This is a favourite song with our Scottish mariners; and their affection is very natural. The hero indeed speculates on the inconstancy of a sailor's affection: he imagines woman to be all truth, and a mariner to be all levity. He has no suspicion that while he "is on India's burning coast" his love may forsake him; and he labours to assure the world that he is unchangeable and immutable.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: McGibbon (Scots Tunes, Book 1), c. 1746; p. 4.

Recorded sources:




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