Annotation:Una's Lock (1)

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X:1 T:The Cumberland Reel or Una’s Lock [1] S:Longman and Broderip’s Second Selection of the Most Favorite S:Country Dances, Reels, &c. [c. 1790/91?] Q:1/4=80 L=1/4 M:C| Z:Transcribed by Bruce Olson K:Bb F/|Bb/g/ f/d/c/B/|A/F/c/A/ d/F/c/F/|Bb/g/ f/d/c/B/|F/B/A/c/ d/B/B/:| |:d/|B/G/F3/4E/4 D/E/F/D/| E/C/C/B/ B/G/F/A/|B3/4G/4F3/4E/4 D/E/F/D/|B,/B/A/B/ d/B/B/:|]

UNA’S LOCK [1]. AKA and see "Charleville Lasses (The)," “Cumberland (The),” "Let Us be Merry in Our Old Clothes," "Little Duke's," "Miss Edmonston's Reel," “Miss Gibson (2)," "Mr. Robertson's Reel," "Wayside Wagon (The).” Scottish, Air. There is an air called "Onagh's Lock" or “Oonagh’s Waterfall" to which Robert Burns set his lyric "Sae flaxen were her ringlets," published in Johnson's Scots Musical Museum where it identified as "an Irish Air." Burn's himself is said to have known the tune as "Oonagh's Waterfall." The air to the song is different from the present reel, and what the connection between the titles might be is unknown, however, it may lie with the fact that Burns was no stranger to bawdy and obscene songs and version, and the original song "Una's Lock" (Ouna's Lock) crossed the line into the latter realm. Burns himself acknowledged its potency, calling it "a blackguard Irish song"[1]. See note for “Annotation:Onagh's Lock” for more thorough explanation. The lyric begins

'Twas on a sweet morning,
When violets were a-springing,
O The dew the meadows adorning,
The larks melodious singing,
O The rose-trees, by each breeze,
Were gently wafted up and down,
And the primrose, that there grows,
Bespangled nature's verdant gown.
The purling rill, the murmuring stream,
Stole gently through the lofty grove:
Such were the hours when Darby stole
Out to meet his barefoot love.

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Johnson (The Scots Musical Museum), No. 447.

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  1. See Burke and Smith's edition of Burns' posthumously published bawdy compilation Merry Muses of Caledonia, London, 1965, pp. 204-6.