Song number: 17 (1793)
Composer: Ignaz Pleyel
This song is modelled on a traditional one published in Allan Ramsay’s Tea-Table Miscellany. Burns enjoyed the earthiness of the song, and declined some of the suggestions Thomson made to refine it: “[…] in my Auld Rob Morris, you propose instead of the word, “descriving,” to substitute the phrase “all telling,” which would spoil the rusticity, the pastoral, of the stanza” (26 January 1793).
This is one of the very first Burns songs to appear in Thomson’s Select Collection of Original Scotish Airs, in the first set of 25 songs published in 1793. The string players found this setting particularly tricky and it was hard for the singers to ‘tell the story’ of the song, and to keep the tempo moving forward.
Download Song:There's Auld Rob Morris - GT (185)
*This song is part of the Robert Burns Period Performance project.