Highland Queen (1) (The)

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HIGHLAND QUEEN, THE. Scottish, Slow Air (whole time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABBCCDD. According to poet Robert Burns, "The Highland Queen, music and poetry, was composed by a Mr. M'Vicar, purser of the Solebay man-of-war.--This I had from Dr. Blacklock." The song was first published in Ruddiman's Edinburgh Magazine (April, 1758), David Herd's Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs (1776), and later in Johnson's Scots Musical Museum (1787). The first stanza goes:

No more my song shall be, ye swains,
Of purling streams or flowrie pains;
More pleasing beauties now inspire,
And Phoebus deigns the warbling lyre.
Divinely aided, this I mean
To celebrate, to celebrate,
To celebrate my Highland Queen.

The song appears in a number of songsters and collections of the 2nd half of the 18th century, including Carr's Caledonian Muse (1798), David Sime's Edinburgh Musical Miscellany (1792), Calliope (1788), Johnson's Scots Musical Musicians, vol. 1 (1787), and additionally was issued on songsheets. James Oswald printed an instrumental version in his Caledonian Pocket Companion, Book 11 (1760), and the melody was entered into numerous period musicians' manuscript collections on both sides of the Atlantic.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Oswald (Caledonian Pocket Companion, Book 11), 1760; p. 120.

Recorded sources:




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