Volume I, song 024, page 25 - 'Blythe Jockey' - Scanned...
Volume I, song 024, page 25 - 'Blythe Jockey' - Scanned from the 1853 edition of the 'Scots Musical Museum', James Johnson and Robert Burns (Edinburgh and London: W. Blackwood & Sons, 1853)
Verse 1: 'My Jockey is the blithest Lad, that ever Maiden Woo'd; When he appears my Heart is glad, for he is kind & good. He talks of Love when e'er we meet, His words in raptures flow! Then tunes his Pipe, & sings se sweet, I have no pow'r to go, Then tunes his pipe, & sings so sweet I have no Pow'r to Go.' The second set of lyrics given to the same tune begin, 'To fly, like bird, from grove to grove, To wander like the bee'.
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.
This particular page shows two different songs, sung to the same tune. Neither the lyrics nor the tune bear any attribution. Burns annotated many of the songs included in the 'Museum', at the request of his friend Robert Riddell of Glenriddell. Unfortunately, no such notes exist for 'Blythe Jockey'. This suggests little was known of the origins of both the lyrics and the melody.