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To ilka lovely BRITISH Lass,
Frae Ladies Charlotte, Anne and Jean, Down to ilk bonny finging Bess,
Wba dances barefoot on the Green.
OUR moft humble slave,
Wha ne'er to serve youshall decline, Kneeling, wad your acceptance crave,
When he presents th:s sma' propine,
Then take it kindly to your care,
Revive it with your tunefư notes : Its beauties will look sweet and fair, Arising faftly through your
The wanton wee thing will rejoice,
When tented by a sparkling eye, The spinnet tinkling with her voice,
It lying on her lovely knee.
While kettles dringe on ingles dour,
Or clashes stay the lazy_lass ; Thir sangs may
frae the sowr, And gayly vacant minutes pass.
E’en while the tea’s fill’d reeking round,
Rather than plot a tender tongue, Treat a' the circling lugs wi' sound,
Syne safely fip when ye have sung.
May' happiness had up your hearts,
And warm you lang with loving fires : May pow'rs propitious play their parts,
In matching you to your desires.
EDINBURGH, January 1, 1724.
LTHO’it be acknowledged, that
our Scots tunes have not lengthA ened variety of musick, yet they
have an agreeable gaiely and na
tural sweetness, that make them acceptable wherever they are known, not only among ourselves, but in other countries. They are for the most part fo chearful, that on hear. ing them well play'd or fung, we find a difficulty to keep ourselves from dancing. What further adds to the esteen we have for them, is, their antiquity, and their being univer fally known. Mankind's love for novelly would appear to contradiet this reason; but will not, 'when we consider, that for one that can tolerably entertain with vocal or instrumental mufick, there are fifty that content ihemselves with the pleasure of bearing, and singing without the trouble of being taught : Now, such are not judges of the fine flourishes of new musick imported from Italy and elsewhere, yet will
listen with pleasure to tunes that they know..and can join with in the chorus. Say that our way is only an harmonious speaking of merry, willy, or juft thoughts, after the poet has dress’d ibem in four or five stanzas , yet undoubtedly These must relißi best with people, who have not bestowed much of their time in acquiring a taste for that downright perfe&t mufick, which requires none, or very little of proet's abistance.
MY being well assured, how acceptable new words to known good tunes would prove, eller geged me to the making verses, for above fixły of them, in this and the second volume : about ibirly more were done by fome ingenious young gentlemen, who were so well pleased with may undertaking, thal they generousty lent me their assistance ; and to them the lovers of sense and mujuk are obliged for some of tbe best songs in the collection. Tbe reft are such old verses as bave been done time out of mind, and only wanted to be cleared from the dross of blundering transcribers and printers ; such as, The Gaberlunzie inan, Muirland Willy, &c. that claim their place in our collection, for their merry images of the low character.
THIS eleventh edition in a few years, and the general demand for the book by persons af all ranks, wherever our language is understood, is a sure evidence of its being acceptable. My