Highland Widow's Lament

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HIGHLAND WIDOW'S LAMENT. Scottish, Air (4/4 time). D Minor/F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. The melody appears as an air to a Jacobite song in John Johnson's Scots Musical Museum, vol. 5 (1797, p. 514), with words written by Robert Burns. It was among the favorite airs of Burns, to which he set a lyric lamenting the destruction of the Highlands by the Duke of Cumberland's forces after Culloden. Stenhouse (Illustrations of the lyric poetry and music of Scotland, 1853) notes that verses were added to Burns' lyric by unknown hands; "these fabricated stanzas are no more to be compared with the fine verses of Burns, than the daubings of a sign painter with the pictures of Raphael."

Source for notated version: the air was communicated to Robert Burns by an old lady in the north of Scotland, according to Stenhouse.

Printed sources: Martin (Taigh na Teud), 1990; p. 9.

Recorded sources:




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