Volume I, song 034, pages 34-5 - 'Lucky Nancy' - Scanned...
Volume I, song 034, pages 34-5 - 'Lucky Nancy' - 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 Dainty David): 'While fops in saft Italian verse, Ilk fair ane's een & breast rehearse, While sangs abound and sense is scarce, these lines I have indited; But neither darts nor arrows here, Venus nor Cupid shall appear, And yet with these fine sounds, I swear, The maidens are delighted.' Chorus: 'I was telling you, Lucky Nancy, Lucky Nancy, Auld springs wad ding the new; But ye wad never trow' me.'
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 melody is known to have appeared in the 10th edition of Playford's 'Dancing Master' published in 1698. It also appeared, with no name, in Margaret Sinkler's MS. Music Book of 1710. Burns commented that 'the original verses of Dainty Davie and the anecdote which gave rise to them, are still extant, and were their delicacy equal to their wit and humour, they would merit a place in any collection'.