Scots Recluse (The)

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SCOTS RECLUSE, THE. Scottish, Air (whole time). D Major. A song often attributed to rustic writer John Lapraik (1727–1807), “When I upon thy bosom lean,” is sung to the air. It appears in his Poems on Several Occassions (Kilmarnock, 1788), directed to be sung to the tune of "Johnny's Grey Breeks (1)." There is evidence that his song was modeled on an older one, an anonymous piece printed in The Weekly Magazine, or Edinburgh Amusement of Oct. 14, 1773, albeit in a different form. At any rate, Lapraik's contemporary, poet Robert Burns, copied and amended Lapraik's song for the Scots Musical Museum. The tune for the song in the Museum, however, is from James Oswald's Curious Collection of Scots Tunes, an early work published in 1740. Oswald did not claim composition of the melody, but neither did he initially claim composition for many others in his later Caledonian Pocket Companion, although he did indicate his compositions with an asterisk next to the titles in the index.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Manson (Hamilton's Universal Tune-Book, vol. 2), 1846; p. 34. Oswald (A Curious Collection of Scots Tunes), 1740; pp. 14–15. Oswald (Caledonian Pocket Companion, vol. 1), 1760; p. 13.

Recorded sources:




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