Verse 1: 'How sweet this lone vale and soothing to feeling yon Nightingale's notes which in melody melt oblivion of woe o'er my mind gently stealing a pause from keen anguish a moment is felt. The moon's yellow light o'er the still lake is sleeping An near the sad spot Mary sleeps in her tomb again the heart swells, the eye flows with weeping and the sweets of the vale are all shadow'd with gloom.' The 'Scots Musical Museum' is the most important of the numerous eighteenth- and nineteenth-century collections of Scottish song. When the engraver James Johnson started work on the second volume of his collection in 1787, he enlisted Robert Burns as contributor and editor. Burns enthusiastically collected songs from various sources, often expanding or revising them, whilst including much of his own work. The resulting combination of innovation and antiquarianism gives the work a feel of living tradition. The lyrics to this song were written by Andrew Erskine. Andrew was the less well-known brother of Thomas, the Earl of Erskine. The family's home life was interrupted in 1745 due to their open Jacobite support and this led to the Erskines' Grand Tour. Although Thomas' symphonies were popular at the time and garnered him some fame, his less well-known brother Andrew was also a folk song writer. In fact, Burns commented in his correspondence to George Thomson, 'Mr Erskine's songs are all pretty, but his 'Lone Vale' is divine.' The melody of this piece is adapted from 'Lord Breadalbane's March', also known as 'Boddich n'am Brigis'.
|Year||1787-01-01 - 1803-12-31|
|Subject Terms||poetry, Robert Burns|