Volume VI, song 553, page 572 - 'Return hameward' - Scanned from the 1853 edition of the 'Scots Musical Museum', James Johnson and Robert Burns (Edinburgh and London: W. Blackwood & Sons, 1853)
Verse 1: 'Return hameward my heart again an' bide where thou was wont to be thou art a fool to suffer pain For love o' ane that loves not thee. My heart let be sic fantasie, Love only where thou hast good cause; Since scorn and liking ne'er agree, The fient a crum o' thee she faws.' The last sentence roughly translates as 'And not a crumb of the share did she obtain'.
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 song first appeared in Allan Ramsay's 'Tea-Table Miscellany' (1724-7), although it was not included until the 1734 edition. This suggests that although it may have been in existence, it had not come to Ramsay's attention until much later. There is no evidence to suggest that he wrote the song himself. The tune to this piece has been found published in other works under the alternative titles of 'The Spinning Wheel' and 'Fint a crum of thee she faws'.