Volume I, song 006, page 6 - 'The Banks of the Tweed' -...
Volume I, song 006, page 6 - 'The Banks of the Tweed' - Scanned from the 1853 edition of the 'Scots Musical Museum', James Johnson and Robert Burns (Edinburgh and London: W. Blackwood & Sons, 1853)
Verse 1: 'As on the Banks of Tweed I lay reclin'd beneath a verdant shade, I heard a sound more sweet than pipe or flute, Sure more enchanting was not Orpheus' lute; while list'ing & amaz'd I turned my eyes, the more I heard, the greater the surprize; I rose and follow'd guided by my Ear, And in a thickset grove I saw my Dear. Unseen, unheard, she thought, thus sung the Maid.'
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.
Robert Burns's own notes to the poem show that he did not think very highly of its lyrics; 'This song is one of the many attempts that English composers have made to imitate the Scottish manner. .. The music is pretty good, but the verses are just above contempt. - RB' (From J.C. Dick, 1908). Burns appears to have had a particular bugbear regarding Scots lyrics written by English songwriters. He mentions the anglicising of Scots song several times in the 'Museum', this is one example.