Annotation:Sae merry as we have been

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X:1 T:Sae merry as we have been M:3/4 L:1/8 R:Air B:William Thomson - Orpheus Caledonius, vol. 2 (1733, No. 3) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:D (fe)|d3e f2|D3E FA|E4 fe|d3e f2|F2 (G>A) B2| A4 (ag)|f2 (gf) (ed)|B2 (dB) (AG/F/)|(G3A) (Bc)|d2 (cB) (AG)| FB (AG) (FE)|D4||(fe)|d3 e (fe)|(dc) (de) (fg)|e4 (fe)| d3e fe|(dc) (de) (fg)|{fg}a4 (ag)|f2 (gf) (ed)| B2 (dB) (AG/F/)|(G3A) B c|d2 (cB) (AG)|(FBAG) (FE)|D4||

SAE MIRRIE AS WE HAE BEEN. AKA - "Sae merry as we twa ha'e been!" Scottish, Air (3/4 time). D Major (McGibbon, Young): G Major (Oswald): E Flat Major (Hamilton). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABBCC (Oswald): AABBCCDDEE (Young): AABBCCDDEEFF (McGibbon). "Sae merrie/merry as we hae been" is the refrain of an old song. The name of one of the tunes in the Skene Manuscript (c. 1630) is very similar, but it is not the tune by that title that has survived. Ramsay also printed a song in his Tea-table Miscellany called "Sae merry as we hae been", beginning "Now Phoebus advances on high," addressed "to Mrs. E.C." Chambers (Songs of Scotland prior to Robert Burns, p. 388) points out that the phrase "sae merry as we hae been" is a conventional expression, "like 'auld lang syne', which can never fail to awaken kindly social feelings. Words and music were printed by William Thomson in Orpheus Caledonius, vol. 2 (1733) and David Herd's Ancient Scots Songs (1775). They begin:

Now Phebus advances on high,
Nae Footsteps of winter are seen;
The Birds carrol sweet in the sky,
And Lambkins dance Reels on the Green.

Thro’ Plantings by Burnies fae clear
We wander for Pleasure and Health,
Where Buddings and Blossoms appear,
Giving Prospects of Joy and wealth

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Manson (Hamilton’s Universal Tune Book vol. 1), 1853; p. 163. McGibbon (Scots Tunes, book III), 1762; p. 64. Oswald (Caledonian Pocket Companion, Book 2), 1760; p. 21. William Thomson (Orpheus Caledonius, vol. 2), 1733; No. 3. Burk Thumoth (Twelve Scotch and Twelve Irish Airs with Variations), London, 1742; No. 3, pp. 6-7. David Young (A Collection of Scotch Airs with the latest Variations, AKA - The McFarlane Manuscript), c. 1741; No. 109, p. 152.

Recorded sources : - Flying Fish FF358, Robin Williamson - "Legacy of the Scottish Harpers, vol. 1" (1984).

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