Volume V, song 478, page 492 - 'Kind Robin looes me' -...
Volume V, song 478, page 492 - 'Kind Robin looes me' - Scanned from the 1853 edition of the 'Scots Musical Museum', James Johnson and Robert Burns (Edinburgh and London: W. Blackwood & Sons, 1853)
Verse 1: 'Robin is my only joe, For Robin has the art to loo', So to his suit I mean to bow Because I ken he looes me. Happy happy was the show'r, That led me to his birken bow'r, Whare first of love I fand the pow'r, And kend that Robin loo'd 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.
The first occurrence of this song was in 1692. The author of the 'Scotch Presbyterian Eloquence' recorded a sermon given by James Kirkton in which he highlighted the four types of songs extant: spiritual, allowable, malignant and profane. Whereupon he quoted 'Kind Robin looes me', although its categorisation remains unclear. The first three lines of this version, however, share the same first three lines as the song 'Whistle o'er the Lave o't' (song 249). The version given here was first recorded in the Blaikie manuscript book in the early 1700s.