Long Er Onie Old Man

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LONG ER ONIE OLD MAN. Scottish. A development of a tune called "Old Man (3) (The)" in the earlier Straloch Manuscript (1627). Dauney, in his Ancient Scottish Melodies (1888, p. 261) says:

This tune is the same with that known to us under the name of "My Jo, Janet," the words of which first appeared in Ramsay's Tea-Table Miscellany in 1724, and do not seem, from their style and phraseology, to have been much older. Of the original song, "Long er onie old man," we have no trace; but as "The Bridegroom greets when the Sun gaes down," was the ancient name of the air of "Auld Robin Gray," and no doubt suggested by the modern ballad, it is not improbably that the very humorous song of "My Jo, Jane," and "Long er onie old man," were allied by some such significant bond of connection.

The Leyden Manuscript (c. 1692) contains a variant called "Robin and Janet." Nigel Gatherer sees similarities with the American old-time tune "Barlow Knife (1)."

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