She rose and let me in

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X:1 T:The Fair one let me in M:C L:1/8 S:Thomas D’Urfey (1683) K:Emin B2|G2 FE B2e2|d3c B2 AG|c3B A2 GF|^D6B2| G2 FE B2 e2|^d3e f2g2|e2 d^c c3B|B6|| Bc|d3d edcB|c2d2 e3d|c2 BA A3G|G6 g2| e3B c2 BA|f2g2 ^d3B|cBAG A2B2|d6||



SHE ROSE AND LET ME IN. Scottish, English; Air (4/4 time). E Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABBCCDD. The air, which has disputed provenance, was printed in London by Daniel Wright in his Aria di Camera (1727), and in a corrupt form in William Thomson’s Orpheus Caledonius (ii. No. 14, 1733, "where the music is much improved"). In song form, it was published in Thomas D'Urfey's Pills to Purge Melancholy, vol. 1 (1719, p. 324), and in Allan Ramsay’s Tea Table Miscellany (1734), where it is marked as being old. Ritson (Essay on Scottish Song) concluded it was an “English song of great merit, which has be ‘Scotified’ by the Scots themselves.” Chappell cites the melody’s earliest use by Thomas D’Urfey for his song “The Fair one let me in” ("set by Thomas Farmer") in A New Collection of Songs and Poems (1683). Tne antiquarian William Stenhouse strenuously argued for Scottish provenance, and John Glen (Early Scottish Melodies) dismissed English claims by his finding of a 'fine set' of the tune in the Scottish Margaret Skinkler’s Manuscript Musick Book (1710), under the title of “She roase and let ‘m In.” Glen says the Sinkler version “is natural and assuredly superior to the strained artificial set presented by Chappell from D’Urfey.” The tune appears as the theme for the third section of James Oswald's variation sonata from his Curious Collection of Scots Tunes (c. 1739), each section of which is based on a traditional Scottish air, and also appears in the [James] Gillespie Manuscript of Perth, 1768, under the heading "Scots Tunes." William Chappell (1859) took exception to the national origin of both words and music to this song and categorically states they are English, not Scottish. He acknowledges the tune is popularly claimed as Scotch, and quotes a letter from Dr. Beattie (appearing in The Life of James Beattie, L.L.D.), who says of "the celebrated Mrs. Siddons”:

She loves music, and is fond of Scotch tunes, many of which I played to her on the violin-cello. One of these, 'She rose and let me in,' which you know is a favourite of mine, made the tears start from her eyes. 'Go on,' said she, 'and you will soon have your revenge;' meaning that I should draw as many tears from her as she had drawn from me (by her acting).

Words to the song were printed in Thomson's Orpheus Caledonius, vol. 2 (1733, No. 14). The first stanza goes:

The night her silent sable wore,
And gloomy were the skies;
Of Glitt’ring stars appear’d no more,
Than those in Nelly’s Eyes.
When at her Father’s Yate I knock’d,
Where I had often been,
She shrowded only with her Smock,
Arose and loot me in.


Additional notes



Printed sources : - McGibbon (Scots Tunes, Book 1), c. 1746; p. 9. Oswald (Caledonian Pocket Companion, Book 1), 1760; p. 21. Daniel Wright (Aria di Camera), London, 1727, No. 6.






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