Annotation:Kind Robin Lo'es Me

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X:1 T:Kind Robin lo'es me M:C| L:1/8 R:Slow Air S:Gow - 4th Repository (1817) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:G D|G2G2G3B|A>BAG {F}E2 DE|G2G2G3B|A>GAB (d2e2)| G2~G2 g3B|(cB)(AG) {F}E2 DE|G2~G2{cd}e2 dB|d4 G3:| |:d|~d2 ed B2gB|(cB)(AG) E3d|~d2 ed (cB)(AG)|A2Bd e3e| d2 ef g3B|(cB)(AG) {F}E2 DE|G2 ~G2 {cd}e dB|d4 G3:|]

KIND ROBIN (LO'ES ME). AKA - "Kind Robin." AKA and see "Robin Cushie." Scottish, Slow Air (cut time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. A precursor melody, "Kind Robin", appears in the Blaikie Manuscript (c. 1695, the earliest surviving version of the air), which John Glen (Early Scottish Melodies) says, "has furnished the basis for the modern air, and which suits the old words perfectly, including also 'my mother sent me to the well.'" Glen gives the old lyric:

Hech hey! Robin, quo' she,
Hech hey! Robin, quo' she,
Hech hey! Robin, quo' she,
Kind Robin lo'es me.

Robin, Robin, let me be
Until I win the nourrice fee;
And I will spend it a' wi' thee,
For kind Robin lo'es me.

The 'old lyric' was reputedly very bawdy.

The song "Kind Robin Lo'es Me" was included in David Herd's 1776 Ancient and Modern Songs and Johnson's Scots Musical Museum (vol. 5, 1797, No. 478), although the second part of the tune used in the Museum " probably an eighteenth-century accretion, perhaps accompanying a bowdlerisation of the text"[1]. Melodic material from this tune appears in the song "Bonny Banks o' Loch Lomond." "Very Old" states Gow (1817), a statement explained in John Greig's Scottish Minstrelsy (p. 400, notes XXXV), which dates the original version of the words to a song of c. 1685 (covering the same ground as Glen, above):

The last verse of the present song, differing, as it does, in the rhythm of it's latter half from the rhythm of the other verses, is supposed to be a remnant of its progenitor. The superseded original, rather indelicate in some of it's passages, opens thus:

Hech, Hey! Robin, quo' she,
Hech, Hey! Robin, quo' she;
Hech, Hey! Robin, quo' she,
Kind Robin lo'es me.

Robin, Robin, let me be,
Until I win the norrice-fee;
And I will spend it a' wi' thee,
For Kind Robin lo'es me.

McGibbon (1762) prints the melody as "Robin Cushie," and a version of the air is contained in the MacFarlane Manuscipt (written for the Walter McFarlan, Laird of MacFarlane, 1740-1743, by David Young, containing both Lowland and Highland Scottish music set for fiddle).

The lyric by Carolina Oliphant, Lady Nairne (1766–1845), said to be a tribute to Lord Nairne, begins:

Robin is my ain gudeman,
Now match him, carlins, gin ye can,
For ilk ane whitest thinks her swan,
But kind Robin lo’es me.
To mak’ my boast I’ll e’en be bauld,
For Robin lo’ed me young and auld,
In simmer’s heat, and winter’s cauld,
My kind Robin lo’es me.

Robin he comes hame at e’en,
Wi’ pleasure glancin’ in his een;
He tells me a’ he’s heard and seen,
And syne how he lo’es me.
There’s some ha’e land, and some ha’e gowd,
Mair wad ha’e them gin they cou’d,
But a’ I wish o’ warld’s gude
Is Robin aye to lo’e me.

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Johnson (Scots Musical Museum, vol. 5), 1796; No. 478, p. 492. Gow (Complete Repository), Part 4, 1817; p. 5.

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  1. Evelyn Stell, MA thesis. "Sources of Scottish Instrumental Music 1603-1707", vol. 1, 1999, p. 318.