Volume I, song 031, page 32 - 'Twine weel the Plaiden' -...
Volume I, song 031, page 32 - 'Twine weel the Plaiden' - Scanned from the 1853 edition of the 'Scots Musical Museum', James Johnson and Robert Burns (Edinburgh and London: W. Blackwood & Sons, 1853)
Verse 1: 'O! I hae lost my silken snood, That tied my hair sae yellow, I've gi'en my heart to the lad I loo'd; he was a gallant fellow. And twine it weel, my bonny dow, And twine it weel, the plaiden; the lassie lost her silken snood, In pu'ing of the bracken.' The Scots word 'plaiden' refers to a coarse woollen twilled cloth.
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.
There appears to be some disagreement as to the original melody for this song. William Stenhouse, the editor of the 'Museum' following Johnson's death, claimed to have heard 'an old lady who sang these verses to a very plaintive and simple air, in slow treble time, a copy of which, but much corrupted with embellishment appears in Oswald's Collecton, No. 12. .. ' John Glen (1900) disputes the validity of this claim, since the woman's version was never included for comparison. It is known, however, that the version of the song and tune Johnson used in the 'Museum' was taken directly from 'Calliope' or 'The Musical Miscellany', published in Perth, 1786.