Whistle and I'll Come to You My Lad

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X:1 T:Whistle and I’ll come to you my lad M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Air S:Gow – 3rd Repository (1806) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:Bb B/>c/|(dB)G {G}FED|Ccc c2 B/c/|(dB)G (FD)F|GBB B2 B/c/| (dB)G (FE)D|C(ed) c2 (d/e/)|(dB)G (FD)F|(GB)B B2:| |:d/c/|(Bd)f (Bd)f|(Bd)f f>ed/c/|(Bd)f (Bd)f|(ge)c c>ed/c/|(Bd)f (Bd)f| Bbg f>gf/e/|(dB)G {G}FED|C(ed) c2 B/c/|(dB)G (FD)F|(GB)B B2:|



WHISTLE AND I'LL COME TO YOU MY LAD. AKA and see "Drunk at Night and Dry in the Morning (2)," "Since Love is the Plan," "Whistle and I’ll Wait for You." Scottish (originally Irish), Slow Jig. G Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. A 4/4 time version of the tune is "Fife Hunt (The)." The air was reputedly composed by fiddler John Bruce, born between 1700 and 1720 in Braemar. He took part in the rising of 1745, but was imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle when Bonnie Prince Charlie was defeated, though his skill at the fiddle supposedly helped to mitigate his sentence. He later lived at Dumfries and there became acquainted with Robert Burns before his death in 1785. Burns thought Bruce composed the melody and said, "this I known, Bruce, who was an honest man, though a red-wud Highlander, constantly claimed it; and by all the old musical people here, (viz. Dumfries) his is believed to be the author of it." Burns wrote two stanzas to the tune for the Scots Musical Museum in 1787 and an additional two for the 1793 edition. They begin:

O whistle, and I'll come to you, my lad,
O whistle, and I'll come to you, my lad,
Tho father and mither and a' should gae mad,
O whistle, and I'll come to you, my lad.

Come down the back stairs when ye come to court me,
Come down the back stairs when ye come to court me,
Come down the back stairs, and let naebody see,
And come as ye were na coming to me.

Gow (1806) identifies the tune as "Irish," perhaps because a version was used as the vehicle of a song (beginning "Since love is the plan, I'll love if I can") by playwright John O'Keefe for his comic opera Poor Soldier (1783).

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Carlin (The Gow Collection), 1986; No. 380. Crosby (Caledonian Musical Repository), 1811; p. 144. Crosby (The Irish Musical Repository), 1808; p. 284. Goulding (New and Complete Instructions for the Fife), 1790; p. 30 (as "The Poor Soldier"). Gow (Complete Repository, Part 3), 1806, p. 12. Graham (Popular Songs of Scotland), 1908; pp. 244–245. Hamilton (The British Minstrel, and Musical and Literary Miscellany, vol. 3), 1843; p. 169. Johnson (Scots Musical Museum, vol. 2), 1788; No. 106. Johnson (Scots Musical Museum, vol. 6), 1803; No. 560. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 1), c. 1880, p. 33. Moffat (Minstrelsy of Ireland), 1897; p. 280. Murphy (Irish Airs and Jigs), 1809; p. 18 (as "Drunk at Night and Dry in the Morning", first two parts). O'Farrell (Collection of National Irish Music for the Union Pipes), 1804; p. 19 (as "Drunk at Night and Dry in the Morning"). O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 391. Shield (The Poor Soldier), 1783; pp. 3–5, 8.

Recorded sources: -



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