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Highlander's Lament

Highlander's Lament, 2-3 octaves, level 3, 2010, Flagstaff Publishing, FLSB431.
This melody appeared in the 'Scots Musical Museum' - a major eighteenth- and nineteenth-century collection of Scottish songs of which Robert Burns (1759-1796), Scotland's national poet, was contributor and editor. Burns commented, in his notes for the 'Museum', that the oldest title to this melody he had encountered was 'The Highland Watch's farewell to Ireland'. He goes on to say that 'the chorus I picked up from an old woman in Dunblane; the rest of the song is mine'.The tune is generally considered to have orginally been a composition for the bagpipes. It was published in 1762 in Edinburgh by Neil Stewart in his "Collection of the Newest and Best Reels or Country Dances."The song, which Scottish folk duo The Corries recorded as "My Harry was a gallant blade", tells the tale of the love of "Highland Harry"(who was a Harry Lunsdale) by Jeanie Gordon, a daughter of the Laird of Knockhaspie in Aberdeenshire. Thomson, the publisher of the poems of Robert Burns, corresponded with Beethoven (1770-1827) over commissioning the composer to make an arrangement of this melody with the text by Robert Burns. After asking Thomson to describe what thesong was about Beethoven created different settings.

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