Oh lassie art thou sleeping yet

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X:1 T:Oh let me in this ae night R:Air M:6/8 L:1/8 S:George Willig (Philadelphia, c. 1830)[1] Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:Bb F|F2F F>GA|B2B B2d|e2c d2B|{d}c2B G2B| F2F F>GA|B2B B2d|edB c2d|!fermata!B3 B2 !fermata!G| F2F F2A|B3 B2d|e3d3|c2B G2B| F2F F2A|B3 B3d|f2e Bcd|B3 B2||



OH! LASSIE, ART THOU SLEEPING YET. AKA and see "Lassie Art Thou Sleeping Yet," "Stone Barn (The)" (Pa.), "Scotch Lassie," "Muckin' o' Geordie's Byre." Scottish, Air and Jig. C Major (Hardings, Howe): D Major (Bayard, Kerr, Sweet). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Bayard (1981) states the tune dates from the 18th century (around 1760 or earlier), and has been a favorite of fiddler and especially fifers (becoming a "standard tune of martial bands" in the Eastern United States). The title is the first line of poet Robert Burns's song "O Let me in this ae Night," whose lyric was given final form in 1795. The poet adapted an older, more risque, song of insistent seduction called "O lassie, art thou sleeping yet," to make it acceptable to publisher James Johnson for inclusion in the Scots Musical Museum. The older song begins:

O lassie, art thou sleeping yet,
Or are you waking I had wit?
For love has bound me hand and fit
And I wad fain be in, jo

Chorus:
O let min in this ae night,
This ae, ae, ae night;
O let me in this ae night,
Or I'll ne'er come back again, jo.

Burns's song begins similarly, with a more restrained imploring:

O lassie, art thou sleeping yet,
Or art thou waking, I would wit?
For love has bound me hand and foot,
And I would fain be in, jo.

Chorus:
O let me in this ae nicht,
This ae, ae, ae nicht,
For pity's sake this ae night
O rise and let me in, jo.

Bayard finds are both quick 6/8 versions and slower 4/4 songs fashioned from the basic tune. "Lea Rig (The)" appears in 18th century collections by Oswald and Aird, while "My Ain Kind Dearie/Deary" was printed in Britain by Bremner, Johnson, and Walsh.

A 20th century American variant, collected in southwestern Pennsylvania, can be found in Bayard (1944), No. 63, listed simply as "Quadrille." The tune may belong to a larger tune family, asserts Bayard, including the Irish "Christmas Eve (1)," "Our President," "Here's a Health to Our Leader," and "Fearless Boys (The)"; all of which have developed from "some still more remote original single air" (Bayard, Hill Country Tunes, p. 61). Bayard collected from both fiddle and fife traditions, and the fife connection is strengthened by the tune's inclusion in Hopkins American Veteran Fifer (1905, No. 60).


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - six southwestern Pa. fiddlers and fifers [Bayard, 1981].

Printed sources : - Bayard (Dance to the Fiddle), 1981; No. 602A–F, pp. 530–532. Harding's All Round Collection, 1905; No. 130, p. 41. Hopkins (American Veteran Fifer), 1905; No. 60. Howe (Complete Preceptor for the Accordeon), 1843; p. 11. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 2), c. 1880's; No. 313, p. 34. Ostling, 1939; p. 23 (as "Scotch Lassie"). Sweet (Fifer's Delight), 1964/1981; p. 27.






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