Volume V, song 474, page 488 - 'The Rinaway Bride' -...
Volume V, song 474, page 488 - 'The Rinaway Bride' - Scanned from the 1853 edition of the 'Scots Musical Museum', James Johnson and Robert Burns (Edinburgh and London: W. Blackwood & Sons, 1853)
Verse 1: 'A Laddie and a Lassie Dwelt in the South countrie, And they hae cassen their claiths thegither, And married they wad be: On Tyseday was the bridal day Appointed for to be. Then hey play up the rinaway Bride, For she has taen the gee.'
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.
It is now believed that this song was given to one of the Clarke editors, by a gentleman from Roxburghshire. The topic of this song is a typical folksong topic. Unlike the other popular style of music at the time, which tended to be orchestral, folksongs dealt with common life situations, amongst everyday people. This meant that it reached a wide audience and as a result invariably had a moral attached. The situation described in this piece would probably have been instantly recognisable to the audience and may even be a reflection of eighteenth-century society and its practices.