Kelvin Grove (1)

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X:1 T:Kelvin Grove [1] M:4/4 L:1/8 Q:"Moderato" B:Davidson's Gems of Scottish Melody (n.d., p. 28) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:C cd|e<gd<e cBAG|A2 de d2 cd|e<gd<e cBAG|A2 c>d c2:| |:de|f>efg {fg}a2 ef|g<edc {e}d2 cd|e<gd<e cBAG|A2 c>d c2:|]



KELVIN GROVE [1]. Scottish, Air (duple time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part (Howe): AABB (Kerr). A duple time "Kelvin Grove" (in the key of 'A') also appears in Francis Johnson's New Cotillions for Balls and Private Parties published Fleetwood & Hobson (New York, Philadelphia) in the early 19th century. The song was composed by Thomas Lyle (1792-1859), although its first appearance in print was in The Harp of Renfrewshire, where it was erroneously attributed to John Sim [1]. It appeared in Lyle's volume Collected Poems and Songs (1837). The song's setting is an area of woodland, beside the river Kelvin, which was a favourite spot for young lovers to meet. It begins:


Let us haste to Kelvin Grove, bonnie lassie, O,
Through it's mazes let us rove, bonnie lassie, O:
Where the rose in all her pride,
Paints the hollow dingle side,
Where the midnight fairies glide, bonnie lassie, O.

The air was printed in the second volume of 'The Scottish Minstrel (circa 1811), under the title "Kelvin Water," although the tune is much older than that volume. It was previously the vehicle for a risque song called "Bonnie Lassie-o (the Shearing's Nae for You)", which concerned the rape and pregnancy of a girl.


Additional notes



Printed sources : - G.H. Davidson (Davidson's Gems of Scottish Melody), n.d. (c. 1830's); p. 28. Howe (Second Part of the Musician's Companion), Boston, 1843/1850; p. 9. Howe (1000 Jigs and Reels), c. 1867; p. 141. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 3), c. 1880's; No. 372, p. 41. Manson (Hamilton's Universal Tune-Book, vol. 1), 1853; p. 155.






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  1. According to song collector William Christie (the younger) in his Traditional Ballad Airs, vol. II (Edinburgh, 1881, p. 138), Sim "had done much to get up The Harp of Renfrewshire, in which "Kelvin Grove" was first printed, and had contributed a number of pieces to it. Mr. Sim went to the West Indies, and died soon after his arrival. It was, however, found the Mr. Lyle had communicated "Kelvin Grove" to Mr. Sim, and was therefore declared the author if it."