Hill of Burnie (The)

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X:1 T:Hill of Burnie, The M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel B:John Gow – A Favorite Collection of Slow Airs, B:Strathspeys and Reels (London, c. 1804, p. 14) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:Bb g|Tf2 dB Tc2 AF|B2 FD ECCg|Tf2 dB c2 AF|BFGE DB,B,:| E|(D/E/F) FB FBFB|EBDB cCCE|(D/E/F) FB FBFB|DFBF DB,B,E| D/E/F FB GBFB|EBDB cCCE|DFBd cFAg|fdce dBc||

HILL OF BURNIE, THE. Scottish, Reel (cut time). B Flat Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. A stream is called a burn in Scotland, and burnie is the diminutive. While there is no evidence, it may be possible the tune is associated with Angus Fletcher's song "The lassie o' the glen," which first appeared in several newspapers about the year 1802 or 1803, just prior to John Gow's 1804 reissue of John & Andrew Gow's c. 1795 Favorite Collection of Slow Airs, Strathspeys and Reels. It was written to a Gaelic air, "Cum an Fhiasag ribeach bhuam".

Beneath a hill, 'mang birken bushes,
By a burnie's dimpilt linn,
I told my love, with artless blushes,
⁠To the lassie o' the Glen.
⁠O the birken bank sae grassy
Hey the burnie's dimpilt linn!
Dear to me's the bonnie lassie
Living in yon rashie glen.

Additional notes

Printed sources : - John Gow (A Favorite Collection of Slow Airs, Strathspeys and Reels), London, c. 1804; p. 14. Edmund Lee (Mrs. Parker's Selection of Scotch Tunes, Strathspeys and Reels), Dublin, n.d.; p. 5 (early 19th century).

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