Volume I, song 017, page 18 - 'The Lass of Livingston' -...
Volume I, song 017, page 18 - 'The Lass of Livingston' - Scanned from the 1853 edition of the 'Scots Musical Museum', James Johnson and Robert Burns (Edinburgh and London: W. Blackwood & Sons, 1853)
Verse 1: 'Pain'd with her slighting Jamie's love, Bell dropt a tear - Bell dropt a tear; The gods descended from above, well pleas'd to hear, well pleas'd to hear. They heard the praises of the youth from her own tongue, from her own tongue, Who now converted was to truth, and this she sung, and thus she sung.'
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.
Apparently this song has been 'toned down' for publication. Burns, in his notes on the 'Museum', records 'The original set of verses to this tune is still extant, and have a very great deal of poetic merit but are not quite ladies' reading.' The tune is fairly old, certainly it dates from before the eighteenth century, Glen (1900) goes into a great amount of detail regarding which song collections it was published in.