Volume I, song 019, page 20 - 'The Happy Marriage' -...
Volume I, song 019, page 20 - 'The Happy Marriage' - Scanned from the 1853 edition of the 'Scots Musical Museum', James Johnson and Robert Burns (Edinburgh and London: W. Blackwood & Sons, 1853)
Verse 1: 'How blest has my time been! what joys have I known, Since wedlock's soft bondage made Jeffy my own! So joyfull my heart is, so easy my chain, That freedom is tasteless, and roving a pain.'
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.
Had Burns been involved with collecting songs for the first volume of the 'Museum', he would have opted to exclude any songs of English origin, or any whose 'Scottishness' was in doubt. However, he concedes that this is a good song, saying in his notes on the 'Museum', 'Another, but very pretty, Anglo-Scotish piece' (sic).