Volume VI, song 539, page 558 - 'Scroggam' - Scanned from the 1853 edition of the 'Scots Musical Museum', James Johnson and Robert Burns (Edinburgh and London: W. Blackwood & Sons, 1853)
Verse 1: 'There was a wife wonn'd in Cockpen, Scroggam She brew'd gude ale for gentlemen sing auld Cowl lay you down by me Scroggam my dearie, Ruffum.' 'Wonn'd' means lived.
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 is some doubt regarding who in fact wrote this comic song. Certainly, in the 'Museum', James Johnson lists Burns as the author of the song. Though William Stenhouse (1853) also identifies Burns as the author, he claims that there is another 'very old song to the same air', but withholds the name of it as he claims - for some unexplained reason - it is inadmissible. Stenhouse's strange decision to withhold this information means that it is also difficult to trace the origins of the air for this song. This song also appears under the title, 'Scroggam, My Dearie'.