I Fee'd a Lad at Michaelmas
X:1 T:I Fee'd a Lad at Michaelmas T:O Can You Labour Lea B:Johnson's Scots Musical Museum, via... B:The Popular Songs and Melodies of Scotland Z:Nigel Gatherer M:2/4 L:1/8 K:G G>GGB|A>GAB|G<GGB|e3 g| G>GGB|A>GAB|G<EE>D|G3|]
I FEE’D A LAD AT MICHAELMAS. AKA and see "Auld Lang Syne," "Many a man had a wife and wished he had none," "O Can You Labour Lea." Scottish, Air. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. An older pentatonic air, now universally recognized as the air for the song "Auld Lang Syne." Robert Burns originally wrote "Auld Lang Syne" as "For old long Sine my jo", although he suggested "The Miller's Daughter" (aka "The Miller's Wedding") and "I fee'd a lad at Michaelmas", as an alternative vehicles for his lyric (he pronounced the original to be mediocre).
"I fee'd a lad at Michaelmas" is itself a derivation of "The Miller's Daughter", printed by Robert Bremner in Scots Reels (c. 1757), and is a member of a family of tunes which includes "Comin' thro' the Rye," " Oh hey, Johnnie lad," and " For the sake of Somebody." English musicologists Bruce and Chappell conclude "I fee'd a lad..." was a composition of the popular English songwriter and composer William Shield, first appearing as a melody in the the overture to his opera Rosina in 1782 (words were not added until later). Alfred Moffat (The Minstrelsy of Scotland) disputes Shield's claim.