Friday, June 15, 2018

Scottish Songs in Germany - "The Bush Aboon Traquair" (Pt. 2)

Go back to Pt. 1

 III. 

Ramsay's Tea-Table Miscellany was first published in 1723 but as far as I know at that time nobody in Germany was aware his works or of Scottish songs in general. Two decades later poet Friedrich von Hagedorn mentioned him shortly in the preface to his Sammlung neuer Oden und Lieder (1742, here 4th ed., 1756), a knowledgeable discussion of songs and poetry from all over Europe. 

But greater interest for the songs and ballads of Scotland only arose since the 1760s after the publication of both MacPherson's Ossian and Percy's Reliques, particularly among those promoting what would be called Volkslieder or national songs. Herder derived many of his ideas from Britain and Scotland was a kind of "dreamland" for him in this respect. Of course most of the Scottish ballads in his Volkslieder (1778/9) were taken from the Reliques. But he was also familiar with Ramsay's works and translated two texts from the Tea-Table Miscellany (see Vol. 1, pp. 73-8). On the other hand: the popular repertoire of Scottish and also Irish national airs never made it to Germany at that time. In fact barely anyone knew the tunes of these songs (see also Waltz 2011, pp. 13-5). Interestingly Herder had even acquired the first three volumes of the Scots Musical Museum (see Bibliotheca Herderiana, 1804, p. 290) but he never made use of it in his relevant works. 

As far as I can see only one single Scottish tune was made available in print before 1802. The Abbé Vogler published the melody of "The Birks of Invermay" as "Chanson Ecossaise" in his Polymelos ou Caractères de Musique de differentes Nations (1791, No. 2, pp. 4-5), a small collection of international national airs arranged for easy piano (see here in my blog). The same year at least an Irish song found its way into a musical periodical. German singer Felicitas Heyne returned from a concert tour in Britain with a copy of the popular "Shepherd's I have lost my love". Publisher Bossler in Speyer printed the song as "Altes Irrländisches Volkslied" with a German translation in his Musikalische Korrespondenz der Teutschen Filharmonischen Gesellschaft für das Jahr 1791 (pp. 278-9 & Notenbeilage, pp. 130-1). But otherwise not a single Scottish song with both text and tune was published in Germany during the 18th century. 

Since the 1790s continental composers like Pleyel and Haydn wrote arrangements for Scottish songs for the anthologies of British publishers George Thomson and William Napier. These works were at first not made available on the German music market. But in 1802 the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung published a review of Napier's Selection of Original Scots Songs in Three Parts. The Harmony by Haydn (here Vols. 2 & 3, 1792 & 1795, at the Internet Archive) and reprinted two songs from this anthology (AMZ 5, Beylage I, pp. I - IV; review cols. 53-5). The following year Haydn's Alt-Schottische Balladen und Lieder came out, a small selection of songs from Napier's big collection with German translations (1803/4, at the Internet Archive). This was the very first anthology of Scottish song printed in Germany. 

Of course "The Bush aboon Traquair" wasn't included here. As mentioned above it had already appeared in the first volume of Napier's Selection that was published before he hired the famous Austrian composer to write the arrangements. But at around the same time Haydn arranged the song for another anthology, publisher William Whyte's Collection of Scottish Airs (2 Vols., Edinburgh & London, 1804 & 1807, here Vol. 1, 2nd. ed., 1806, No. 2; Hob. XXXIa:204; see Friesenhagen 2005, No. 366, pp. 5-7). But this version wasn't made available in print outside of Britain and therefore remained unknown to German music buyers. 

A second anthology of Scottish songs appeared in Germany only in 1817: Der Schottische Barde, oder Auserlesene Sammlung von National-Gesängen, mit der Originalmusik (see RISM; nyd). Editor Benjamin Beresford (c. 1750-1819; see Shelley 1936), an English writer and teacher living on the continent - mostly in Germany - since 1795 had published during the last 20 years a number of anthologies of German songs translated into English, for example The German Erato (1797 [ESTC T187020, at the Internet Archive) and A Collection of German Ballads and Songs with their original Music (1799, here 2nd ed. 1800 [ESTC T185153], at the Internet Archive). Here he did it the other way round and offered Scottish songs to the German audience. The texts were translated by Helmina von Chezy (1783-1856; see Wikipedia), a popular and well-known writer, poet, playwright, journalist. 

Among the 19 pieces included here - arranged for piano and voice - we can also find "Der Wald von Traquair" (see RISM). This was the very first time this song was published in Germany, nearly a century after its original publication in the Tea-Table Miscellany. But it seems that this anthology wasn't a particularly big success. Only two extant copies are known and as far as I can see neither this song nor any of the others from this book managed to win any kind of popularity. 

In fact the tune of "The Bush aboon Traquair" needed some help from France to become better known in Germany. In December 1825 French composer François-Adrien Boieldieu's "Scottish" opera La Dame Blanche (see f. ex. Fiske, p. 103) had its debut in Paris and already in April the following year a German adaptation was published. It was first performed in Vienna in July and in Berlin in August. Soon a reviewer noted that Boieldieu's "admirable music has won a lot of friends" (AMZ 28, No. 42, October 1826, p. 684). This opera quickly became immensely popular in Germany.

Eugène Scribe's libretto was loosely based on some of Sir Walter Scott's works, f. ex. Guy Mannering, and the composer used a couple of tunes regarded as Scottish to make it sound more authentic. Most important was "Robin Adair" that would later become a great hit in Germany (see my article about this song at JustAnotherTune.com). But Boieldieu also used the melody of "The Bush aboon Traquair" in the Overture (see the piano-vocal score, German ed., 1826, p. 2, ms. 12-29). That way many German music fans became familiar with this tune. But neither the song's title nor its texts were made available and therefore it was only known as a nameless "Scottish" melody: 


Otherwise the song is missing from relevant musical anthologies published at that time. It is neither in Beethoven's 25 Schottische Lieder (op. 108, 1822, at Beethoven-Haus, Bonn) nor in Weber's Schottische National-Gesänge (1826, at SLUB Dresden). These were German editions of their works for George Thomson's anthologies. Thomson kept on using the arrangement of "The Bush aboon Traquair" that Pleyel had written for him in the 1790s and never commissioned a new arrangement from any of the other composers who worked for him (see f. ex Vol.1 of the octavo edition, 1828, No. 7). 

For some reason "The Bush aboon Traquair" was also mostly ignored by the editors and arrangers of international Volkslieder, a genre that began to get more popular since the 1820s (see here in my blog). Prof. Thibaut in Heidelberg didn't arrange the song for his choir and it doesn't appear in his unpublished manuscript Alte National-Gesänge (see RISM). It can't be found in Zuccalmaglio's and Baumstark's Bardale. Sammlung auserlesener Volkslieder der verschiedenen Völker der Erde (1829, at the Internet Archive) and even O. L. B. Wolff didn't include this song in his Braga, an anthology of foreign Volkslieder in 14 volumes (1835, see Vol. 5, at the Internet Archive). Only Friedrich Silcher used the tune in his Ausländische Volksmelodien (here Vol. 3, 1839, No. 6, pp. 8-9):


Silcher (1789-1860), Musikdirektor at the University of Tübingen, composer, arranger, music educator and choirmaster, had already published successful collections of German Volkslieder. But he was also fascinated with foreign songs and between 1835 and 1841 he compiled four volumes of Ausländische Volksmelodien arranged for vocals with accompaniments by piano and guitar (for more see here in my blog). This anthology was for the most part based on Thomas Moore's collections, both the Popular National Airs and the Irish Melodies while his knowledge about Scottish songs seems to have been very limited. 

In fact the two "Scottish" songs in the first two volumes - "Stumm schläft der Sänger" (I, No. 1, p. 2) and "Oft in der stillen Nacht" (II, No. 7, p. 10) - were borrowed from Moore and even the adaptation of Burns' "My Heart's in the Highlands" (II, No. 1, p. 1) was supplied with a tune from the Popular National Airs. It seems that Silcher had at that time no access to any Scottish collection, neither those published in Britain nor the few available in Germany. 

"The Bush aboon Traquair" was the first - and in fact the only - original tune from Scotland that he used in his collection. But it is obvious that he borrowed it directly from La Dame Blanche to which he refers in a note at the bottom of the page: "es wird kaum nöthig sein, zu bemerken, dass Boieldieu diese Melodie in die Ouverture seiner Oper 'die weisse Frau' verflochten hat". There is good reason to assume that Silcher wasn't familiar with the original title and words of "The Bush aboon Traquair". Therefore he had to use another text and for some reason selected a poem by Friedrich Rückert. This is not a bitter lament about an untrue former lover like Crawford's original text but an unequivocal expression of love ("I am living in my sweetheart's breast/ In her quiet dreams [...]):
Ich wohn' in meiner Liebsten Brust,
In ihren stillen Träumen.
Was ist die Welt und ihre Lust?
Ich will sie gern versäumen.
Was ist des Paradieses Lust
Mit grünen Lebensbäumen?
Ich wohn' in meiner Liebsten Brust,
In ihren stillen Träumen.

Ich wohn' in meiner Liebsten Brust,
In ihren stillen Träumen.
Ich neide keines Sternes Lust
In kalten Himmelsräumen.
Was ist die Welt und ihre Lust?
Ich will sie gern versäumen.
Ich wohn' in meiner Liebsten Brust,
In ihren stillen Träumen. 
Friedrich Rückert ((1788-1866, see Wikipedia), a scholar and a true genius, was professor of Oriental languages. In fact he knew more languages than anybody else and translated Indian and Arabian literature into German. But he was also an immensely popular poet of astonishing productivity who wrote numerous poems in all possible circumstances and about all possible topics from love and death to patriotism. Most famous are surely the Kindertodtenlieder written after the death of two of his children. 

This particular text was from a happier time. It belongs to a collection of poems called Liebesfrühling that he created during the years 1819 - 1821 when he was courting his future wife (see Erdmann 1988, pp. 215-9). Only very few of these pieces were published at that time in periodicals. The complete set including "Ich wohn in meiner Liebsten Brust" was first made available in 1834 in an edition of Rückert's Gesammelte Gedichte (pp. 187- 406, here No. LXXII, p. 314). The Liebesfrühling was later published in extra-editions (see f. ex. Frankfurt/M., 1844, at the Internet Archive) and would become one of most popular poetry collections of the second half of the 19th century (see Erdmann, p. 216). 

For some reason Rückert himself was not particularly fond of music (see Demel in Erdmann, pp. 412 & 415) but nonetheless his poems were immensely popular among German composers. Everyone from Schubert and Schumann to Strauss and Mahler as well as numerous more obscure musicians set them to music. Around 1400 settings have been counted (see Demel in Erdmann 1988, pp. 417-550). According to a search in Hofmeisters Monatsberichten at least 16 settings of the text used by Silcher were published between 1838 and 1886, mostly by lesser known composers. But he was one of the first. Only one attempt by the rather obscure Adolf von Lauer in 1838 (see Hofmeister) predated his version. 

Combining this particular poem with a Scottish tune was surely a new idea. I am not sure if it really works. At least we can say that this version was never particularly popular in Germany. Many songs from Silcher's anthologies including some from the Ausländische Volksmelodien became standards that were reprinted in numerous songbooks. But that's not the case with "Ich wohn' in meiner Liebsten Brust". Perhaps the tune was too difficult to sing. I know of only one songbook, musicologist Victorie Gervinus' Volksliederbuch published posthumously in 1896 (No. 72, p. 86). These were the songs she used to sing at home for family and friends and a considerable number of them were taken from Silcher's works. 

The original version also appeared occasionally in other publications. In Eduard Fiedler's Geschichte der volksthümlichen schottischen Liederdichtung (1846, pp. 73-6) we can find a chapter about Ramsay's contemporaries with a critical discussion of Crawford's work as well as translations of both "The Bush aboon Traquair" and "Tweedside". The arrangement from Graham's Songs of Scotland (Vol. 1, 1849, pp. 18-9) was reprinted in a music journal (NZM 5, 1851, pp. 322-3). A handbook of English Literature for schools published in 1852 included a small chapter about Robert Crawford with some introductory remarks and the original texts of "The Bush" and "Tweedside" (II, pp. 271-2).

Since the 1860 more anthologies of Scottish songs began to appear. In some of them new translations and arrangements of "The Bush aboon Traquair" can be found. Hermann Kestner, private scholar from Hannover and one of the most knowledgeable experts for international national airs, included his version - arranged for four voices by Eduard Hille - in Schottische Volkslieder (Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 3-5), a part of his series with the title Ausländische Volkslieder für Sopran, Alt, Tenor und Bass bearbeitet und mit deutscher Übersetzung versehen (see also here in my blog). He called it "Der Wald von Traquair". The text was not an exact translation but rather a free adaptation:
Im schönen Walde von Traquair
Schlug einst mein Herz in Wonne,
Die Zweige rauschten um uns her
Im Strahl der goldenen Sonne.
Dort schwur sie Liebe mir und treu,
Wo wir so traulich sassen.
O schöner Traum, du zogst vorbei,
Sie hat mich längst verlassen.

O damals lächelt' sie so mild,
Als ob ihr Herz voll Liebe;
ich träumte all' mein Glück erfüllt,
Als ob es stets so bliebe.
Doch jetzt verlässt sie Wald und Flur,
Wo wir uns einst gesehen,
Blick' ich sie an, so zürnt sie nur
Und lässt mich lieblos stehen.

Wie blühte einst der Wald so schön!
Noch athm' ich seine Düfte.
Jetzt trifft ihr Zorn mich wie das Wehn
Der kalten Winterlüfte
Der schöne Wald ist öd' und leer,
verstummt sind uns're Lieder.
Zum schönen Walde von Traquair
Kehr' ich nun nimmer wieder. 
Between 1872 and 1877 young scholar Alfons Kissner (for more see here in my blog) - in 1875 he became professor for English and French at the University of Erlangen - compiled a series of anthologies of Scottish, Irish and Welsh songs, newly arranged mostly by his father Carl Kissner and with most of the texts translated by himself. These were in fact the first anthologies published in Germany with a more systematic approach. "The Bush aboon Traquair" was included in Schottische Lieder aus älterer und neuerer Zeit für eine Singstimme mit Begleitung des Pianoforte (1874, Heft 2, No. 10, pp. 22-3). He offered both the original text and his own translation of two verses as well as some short and accurate notes about the song's history. 


Composer Max Bruch had published an anthology of Scottish songs in 1864: 12 Schottische Volkslieder mit hinzugefügter Klavierbegleitung (at the Internet Archive; for more see again here in my blog). For some reason "The Bush aboon Traquair" was not among the songs arranged for this collection. But "Der Wald von Traquair" in an arrangement for a choir was already performed in 1866 in Koblenz (see Signale für die musikalische Welt 24, 1866, p. 457). This version only appeared a decade later in Fünf Lieder für gemischten Chor a Capella (op. 38, Simrock, Berlin, 1875, see Hofmeister), together with for example an aria from Wagner's Tannhäuser and a song about the Rhine. Bruch used Kestner's translation - "Im schönen Walde von Traquair" - just like Wilhelm Meyer who just had arranged the song for male choirs for his Volks-Liederbuch (1873, No. 70, pp. 75-6) and O. L. Lange who included an arrangement for voice and piano in his Ausländischer Liederschatz, an anthology of international Volkslieder (1886, No. 42, p. 50). 



All in all this wasn't much. At that time a considerable number of songs regarded as Volkslieder from Scotland and Ireland had become widely known popular standards that regularly appeared in songbooks of all kinds. I will only mention "My Heart's in the Highlands", "Robin Adair", "The Blue Bell of Scotland" and "Here comes the Bard". But for some reason "The Bush aboon Traquair" never was that popular and never became part of the common singing repertoire like these others. Even Silcher's special version with Rückert's appealing poem was surprisingly unsuccessful. Only Bruch's arrangement has survived until today and is still occasionally performed and recorded. Here we can once again see that song's or tune's popularity in one country did not always guarantee its success somewhere else. 


Literature
  • Cynthia Cathcart, Tweedside — For Ireland I’d Not Tell Her Name. The Melody and Lyrics of a Traditional Song, 2016, at WireStrungharp 
  • Leith Davis, At "sang about": Scottish song and the challenge of British culture, in: Leith Davis, Ian Duncan & Janet Sorensen (ed.), Scotland and the Borders of Romanticism, Cambridge & New York, 2004, pp. 188-204 
  • Jürgen Erdmann (ed.), 200 Jahre Friedrich Rückert. 1788-1866. Dichter und Gelehrter. Katalog der Ausstellung, Coburg, 1988 
  • Roger Fiske, Scotland In Music: A European Enthusiasm, Cambridge 1983 
  • Matthew Gelbart, The Invention of "Folk Music" and "Art Music". Emerging Categories from Ossian to Wagner, Cambridge 2007 (New perspectives in Music History and Criticism) 
  • Matthew Gelbart, Allan Ramsay, The Idea of 'Scottish Music' and the Beginnings of 'National Music' in Europe, in: Eighteenth-Century Music 9, 2012, pp. 81-108 
  • John Glen, Early Scottish Melodies, Edinburgh 1900, at the Internet Archive 
  • G. F. Graham, The Songs of Scotland Adapted To Their Appropriate Melodies Arranged With Pianoforte Accompaniments By G. F. Graham, T. M. Muddle, J. T. Surenne, H. E. Dibdin, Finlay Dun, &c. Illustrated with Historical, Biographical, and Critical Notices, 3 Vols, Edinburgh, 1848-9, at the Internet Archive 
  • Peter Holman, A Little Light on Lorenzo Bocchi: An Italian in Edinburgh and Dublin, in: Rachel Cowgill & Peter Holman (ed.), Music in the British Provinces, 1690-1914, Aldershot & Burlington, 2007, pp. 61-86 
  • Karen McAulay, Our Ancient National Airs: Scottish Song Collecting from the Enlightenment to the Romantic Era, Farnham 2013  (rev. ed. of: Our Ancient National Airs. Scottish Song Collecting c. 1760 - 1888, PH. D. thesis, University of Glasgow, 2009,online available at http://theses.gla.ac.uk/1242/)
  • David McGuinness & Aaron McGregor, Ramsay's Musical Sources: Reconstructing a Poet's Musical Memory, in Scottish Literary Review 10, 2018, pp. 49-71 [just published] 
  • Musick for Allan Ramsay’s Collection of 71 Scots Songs, set by Alexander Stuart. With an introduction by Kirsteen McCue, University of South Carolina Libraries, Columbia, 2017 (= Scottish Poetry Reprints 11) 
  • Claire Nelson, Tea-Table Miscellanies: The Development of Scotland's Song Culture, 1720-1800, in:Early Music 28, 2000, pp. 596-604 & 607-618 
  • Steve Newman, The Scots Songs of Allan Ramsay: 'Lyrick' Transformation, Popular Culture, and the Boundaries of the Scottish Enlightenment, in: Modern Language Quarterly 63, 2002, pp. 277-314 
  • [OC 1962 =] Orpheus Caledonius: A Collection of Scits Songs Set to Music by William Thomson. Two Volumes in One. Foreword by Henry George Farmer, Hatboro, 1962
  • Bruce Olson, Titles of Tunes in Ballad Operas Published With Music, 1998 (csufresno.edu) 
  • Bruce Olson, An Incomplete Index of Scottish Popular Song and Dance Tunes Printed in the 18th Century, 1998 (csufresno.edu) [this "concordance" is for me still the best starting-point for any research into the publication history of Scottish tunes] 
  • Murray Pittock, Allan Ramsay and the Decolonisation of Genre, in: The Review of English Studies. New Series 58, 2007, pp. 316-337 
  • Murray Pittock (ed.), The Scots Musical Museum, 2 Vols., Oxford, 2018 (= The Oxford Edition of the Works of Robert Burns II & III) [see here II, p. 22, but these short notes about "The Bush aboon Traquair" are disappointing] 
  • Philipp Allison Shelley, Benjamin Beresford, Literary Ambassador, in: PMLA 51, 1936, pp. 476-501
  • William Stenhouse, Illustrations of the Lyric Poetry of Scotland. Originally compiled to accompany the "Scots Musical Museum," and now published separately, with Additional Notes and illustrations, Edinburgh & London, 1853, at the Internet Archive 
  • Sarah Clemmens Waltz, Great Expectations: Beethoven’s Scottish Songs, in: Beethoven Journal 26, 2011, pp. 12-25 
  • James Grant Wilson, The Poets and Poetry of Scotland. From the Earliest to the Present Time, Blackie & Son, London, n. d. [1877], at the Internet Archive


Thursday, June 14, 2018

Scottish Songs in Germany - "The Bush Aboon Traquair" (Pt. 1)

I. 

Scottish songs used to be quite popular in Germany. But the repertoire originally created and published in Scotland during the 18th century - from Ramsay to Burns - only began to appear there since the early 19th century. A few of these songs became very popular and part of the common singing repertoire. Others were occasionally included in some anthologies without really gaining a foothold.

An not untypical example is "The Bush aboon Traquair", one of the songs first introduced by Allan Ramsay in his ground-breaking Tea-Table Miscellany in 1723. During the 18th and 19th centuries it surely was one of the most popular and most often printed Scottish songs in Britain. Here is the version that can be found in the first volume of the Scots Musical Museum in 1787 (No. 80, p. 81): 

Hear me, ye nymphs, and every swain,
I'll tell how Peggy grieves me;
Though thus I languish, thus complain,
Alas! she ne'er believes me.
My vows and sighs, like silent air,
Unheeded, never move her;
At the bonny bush aboon Traquair,
'Twas there I first did love her.

The day she smil'd, and made me glad,
No maid seem'd ever kinder;
I thought myself the luckiest lad,
So sweetly there to find her.
I try'd to sooth my am'rous flame,
In words that I thought tender:
If more there pass'd, I am not to blame,
I meant not to offend her.

Yet now the scornful flees the plain,
The fields we then frequented,
If e'er we meet, she shews disdain,
She looks as ne'er acquainted.
The bonny bush bloom'd fair in may,
Its sweets I'll ay remember;
But now her frowns make it decay;
It fades as in December.

Ye rural powers, who hear my strains,
Why thus should Peggy grieve me?
Oh! make her partner in my pains,
Then let her smiles relieve me.
If not, my love will turn despair,
My passion no more tender;
I'll leave the bush aboon Traquair,
To lonely wilds I'll wander.

In Germany this song was published several times, at first in 1817 and then occasionally throughout the century, usually together with a German translation of the original text. But in one case the tune was combined with a poem by a popular German writer that gave the song a completely different meaning. 

In the following I will at first sketch the publication history of "The Bush aboon Traquair" in Britain during the 18th century and then discuss the different German versions published in the 19th century. This is all quite interesting because we can see the rather hesitant and somewhat slow introduction of the Scottish song repertoire in Germany. Anthologies with a more systematic approach only appeared since the 1860s. 


II. 

The words of "The Bush aboon Traquair" were first published in Allan Ramsay's Tea-Table Miscellany (Edinburgh 1723 [ESTC N63220], here 1724 [ESTC N45927], pp. 3-5; also reprint, Dublin 1724 [ESTC T82653], pp. 293-4). 

Ramsay (1668-1758; see Wikipedia; see also Gelbart 2012; Pittock 2007; Newman 2002) was not only a poet, playwright, editor and publisher but also an intellectual on the search for a Scottish cultural identity and surely one of the great literary innovators of his time. The Tea-Table Miscellany offered mostly new or edited texts for popular older tunes. With this collection he laid the groundwork for the modern repertoire of Scottish national songs. It was also a kind of early prototype of later collection of national songs or Volkslieder. He can be seen as the one who "started the process of organizing collections around national - and even nationalist - symbolism [...]. Suddenly tunes were being called upon less for immediate practical use [...] and more to represent, and later characterize, a nation - to be a body of national music" (Gelbart 2012, pp. 82-3 & 85). 

The text of "The Bush aboon Traquair" was written not by Ramsay himself but by one Robert Crawford (1695-1733), one of the "ingenious young Gentlemen, who were so well pleased with my undertaking, that they generously lent me their assistance" (preface 10th ed., p. vi). He also contributed some other songs, all those marked with a "C". The best known among them is "Tweedside" (pp. 7-8). Not much is known about Mr. Crawford but it seems that he died early: "he was drowned in coming from France in 1733" (see Wilson, pp. 133-4). This particular "bush" that gave the song its title was "a small grove of birches that formerly adorned the west bank of the Quair water, in Peeblesshire, about a mile from Traquair House, the seat of the Earl of Traquair" (dto.). Later visitors only found "a few solitary ragged trees" (see Stenhouse, p. 85). 

Crawford wrote a new text to an already existing tune most likely of the same or a similar title. Otherwise the readers of the Tea-Table Miscellany wouldn't have known how to sing this song (see now McGuinness & McGregor 2018 about Ramsay and music). But unfortunately no earlier versions of the melody have survived. The tune was only made available about two years after the first publication of the text in two musical anthologies. It seems that both appeared at around the same time although the exact dates are not clear (see McCue in Musick, pp. xiv-xv, xix; see also McGuinness & McGregor, pp. 50-3). 

Ramsay himself commissioned arrangements from Alexander Stuart, a local musician about whom very little is known, and then published them in a book of six parts with the title Musick for Allan Ramsay’s Collection of 71 Scots Songs (available at SC Digital Library). This was intended as a musical companion to the Tea-Table Miscellany (see McCue, in Musick). Apparently few copies were printed and only two have survived until today. "Bush aboon Traquair" can be found here also as the second tune (pp. 4-5). 

Meanwhile in London another Scottish musician published a much more ambitious anthology: Orpheus Caledonius: Or, A Collection of Scots Songs. Set to Musick by W. Thomson. Mr. Thomson (bef. 1695-1753; see Farmer in OC, 1962) had "made a career performing 'Scotch songs' there" (Gelbart 2007, p. 34). He even sang at court and this collection was dedicated to the Princess of Wales who had "graciously heard some of the following Songs" and then "encouraged" him to publish them. 

Thomson borrowed most of the texts from the Tea-Table Miscellany but without acknowledging his source. The tunes were apparently not lifted from Stuart's Musick (see McCue, p. xxi). As a Scot himself he may have known them all along. Mr. Ramsay was not happy about receiving no credit (see preface to 10th ed., 1734, p. vii)) but one can say that with this book his modernized Scottish songs were introduced to and made popular among the sophisticated London audience. The list of the subscribers is quite impressive. In fact Thomson's Orpheus Caledonius was a very successful publication (see Farmer, in OC 1962, pp. iii & v ) and a second edition with 50 additional songs came out in 1733. 

"The Bush aboon Traquair" appeared in Thomson's anthology as the third song (No. 3 & pp. 5-6; see also new ed., 1733, Vol. 1, No. 3& pp. 5-6):



 At this point both Mr. Crawford's new text and the old tune were available in print. But what do we know about the song's prehistory? Nothing. No earlier variants of the tune nor any earlier texts have survived. Stenhouse claimed in his notes to the Scots Musical Museum (1839, I, p. 84; Illustrations, p. 84) that this "charming pastoral melody is ancient". That sounds like an exaggeration. The tune must of course be at least a little bit older than Crawford's text but there is no way of knowing how old it really was at that time. 

Graham in his Songs of Scotland (Vol. 1, 1849, pp. 18-9) noted "that the tune was probably written down at first for some musical instrument; as its compass is too great for ordinary voices". This sounds like a reasonable assumption. But "we have no clue to any older words, nor even the tune" (Glen, p. 83) and - if it was a song and not an instrumental - the ""old song is lost" (Stenhouse, p. 84). This is different from - for example - "Tweedside", the other great hit with a new text by Crawford. Here at least some earlier variants and texts are known from manuscripts (see Cathcart 2016, at wirestrungharp). But in case of "The Bush aboon Traquair" Ramsay's project has really succeeded. All traces of possible predecessors have been obliterated. The new text has completely replaced any older versions. 

Later folklorists and musicologists had some problems with Ramsay's approach (see f. ex. McAulay, p. 26, diss. p. 38; Gelbart 2012). But he was no collector in the modern sense. His aim was not to simply document what existed at that time. Ramsay - and his associates - "essentially re-wrote the repertoire" (McAulay, p.42, diss. p. 57). What they did was to revitalize these songs and tunes and make them more popular than they had been before. A melody like the one of "The Bush aboon Traquair" was saved from obscurity and - with new words - codified in print. It started a new life and then crossed social, cultural as well as even national boundaries. 

This "new" old song quickly became a standard, the text was regularly reprinted and the tune was supplied with new texts. Already in 1725 Mr. Crawford's brand-new words were included in Ambrose Philips' Collection of Old Ballads (Vol. 3, No. LII, pp. 253-4). First and foremost it was Ramsay himself who promoted the song. The text was easily available in the numerous new editions of the Tea-Table Miscellany. The 10th already appeared in 1734. 


But he also used the tune - with a new text ("At setting day and rising morn") - in the second version of his Gentle Shepherd. He had turned this pastoral play into a ballad opera á la Gay's Beggar's Opera (see Holman, pp. 67-7). The debut was in January 1729 but tunes were first included only in an edition published c. 1736. Strangely this melody was not printed here ([ESTC T184414], text: sang XIX, p. 77; see tunes; but see the text with the right tune in later ed.: Glasgow 1758, Sang XVIII, pp. 86-7; Glasgow 1796, p. 16). 

Meanwhile the tune found favor among writers of ballad operas and we can find it for example - always with new words, of course - in Thomas Walker's Quaker's Opera (1729, Air XXII, p. 41), John' Gay's Polly (1729, Air XIII, p. 14, tunes, p. 3), Lacy Ryan's Cobler's Opera (1729, Air XVIII, p. 21 , tunes, p. 10), James Ralph's Fashionable Lady, or Harlequin's Opera (1730, Air X, p. 14) and Joseph Mitchell's The Highland Fair, or Union of the Clans (1731, Air V, p. 12), to name only a few (see Olson, Titles). That also means that this melody was regularly performed in the theaters. 

The tune or the whole song with Crawford's text also appeared in songbooks of all kinds throughout the century, for example in publisher John Watts' popular anthology The Musical Miscellany; Being a Collection of Choice Songs Set to the Violin and Flute By the most Eminent Masters (1729, Vol. 2, p. 97-8), Barsanti's Collection of Old Scots Tunes (1740, p. 7), James Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion (Vol. 2, 1747, p. 17), Geminiani's Treatise of Good Taste in the Art of Musick (London 1749, pp. 18-21), a Compleat Tutor for the Guittar, a fashionable instrument at that time (ca. 1750s, p. 20), Robert Bremner's Thirty Scots Songs for a Voice and Harpsichord (1757, p. 18-9) or Johann Samuel Schröter's Six Lessons from the Favourite Miscallaneous Quartettos (1777, p. 7). The tune was also still recycled for the stage, for example in Thomas Linley's Duenna (1775, p. 38) with new words by Richard Brinsley Sheridan: "O had my love ne'er smil'd on me". This song was performed by Michael Leoni, one of the most popular singers at that time. 

During the 1780s "The Bush Aboon Traquair" was revived by Domenico Corri, who included the song with his own arrangement both in the Select Collection of the Most Admired Songs (Vol. 3, 1783, p. 88) and the Select Collection of the Most Favourite Scots Songs (Vol. 2, 1788, p. 5). It could also be found - as already mentioned - in the Scots Musical Museum (Vol. 1, 1787, No. 80, p. 81) - here the words are still credited to Mr. Crawford - and in a popular anthology like Calliope, or, the Musical Miscellany (Vol. 1, 1788, No. CCXXVI, pp. 423-4). 

Of course the editors of all the ambitious anthologies of Scottish songs that appeared in the 1790s couldn't leave out this old standard. It was the first song in William Napiers Selection of the most Favourite Scots Songs, Chiefly Pastoral (Vol. 1, No. 1, p. 2). Urbani included it in his Selection of Scots Songs (Vol. 1, 1792, pp. 24-5) and George Thomson commissioned an arrangement from composer Ignaz Pleyel for the very first volume of the Select Collection Of Original Scotish Airs For The Voice (1793, No. 5; see also later ed., 1803, No. 5). The song can also be found in Joseph Ritson's anthology Scotish Song in Two Volumes (1794, Vol. 1, No. XLVII, pp. 101-2), here again with a reference to Mr. Crawford as the the author. 


"The Bush Aboon Traquair" survived into the 19th century and was always easily available (see also Copac). The text was regularly reprinted in songsters, in collections of poetry, on broadsides and in chapbooks like for example one published in Stirling around 1820 (at the Internet Archive), here as an oldie together with Burns' "Lovely Jean", the popular hit "The Death of Wolfe" and others. The tune appeared in numerous publications, for example in a piano arrangement in Gow's Vocal Melodies of Scotland (c. 1816, p. 2) or as sheet music, for example in an arrangement for harp by Philippe-Jacques Meyer (c. 1820, at the Internet Archive). The song with text and tune together can be found in many songbooks, both popular and antiquarian. In fact this old classic never really vanished from the music market and remained a standard. At the end of the 19th century it was still one of the best known Scottish songs.