Volume I, song 023, page 24 - 'The Turnimspike' - Scanned...
Volume I, song 023, page 24 - 'The Turnimspike' - Scanned from the 1853 edition of the 'Scots Musical Museum', James Johnson and Robert Burns (Edinburgh and London: W. Blackwood & Sons, 1853)
Verse 1 (to the tune of 'Clout the Cauldron': 'Hersell be Highland shentlemen, Be auld as Pothwell brig, man; And mony alterations seen Amang te Lawland which, man. Fal lal lal' etc.
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.
Glen (1900) refutes Stenhouse's (1853) claims that the melody is ancient, stating that he cannot find evidence of its being published in any form, printed or manuscript, before 1733. Stenhouse's anecdote is more interesting to the lay reader however, he recounts how Bishop Chisholm of Dunblane used to say of 'Clout the Cauldron'; 'if he were going to be hanged, nothing would sooth him so much as to hear this tune played by the way'.