Poortith Cauld

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POORTITH CAULD. Scottish, Air (3/4 time). A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. The melody is an adaptation of the dance tune "Cauld Kail in Aberdeen (1)." Poet Robert Burns set verses to the tune and sent them without comment to publisher George Thomson, who printed the song in his Select Collection (1798). It was one of the Scottish songs set by the classical composer Joseph Haydn [1] [XXXIa:17bis]. The song begins:

O poortith cauld, and restless love,
Ye wrack my peace between ye;
Yet poortith a' I could forgive,
An 'twere na for my Jeanie.

Chorus:
O why should Fate sic pleasure have,
Life's dearest bands untwining?
Or why sae sweet a flower as love
Depend on Fortune's shining?


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