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Corfe, organist of Salisbury Cathedral, 1792 - 1804, issued two sets of "Twelve glees.... composed from ancient Scotch melodies" in the early 1790s, to satisfy two contemporary enthusiasms: that for mixed sex social music, and that for all things North-British. The current arrangement comes from the second set.

These glees were selected from a repertoire of well-known Scottish songs that had been anthologised in the previous seventy years. Corfe appears to have been particularly indebted for source material to James Johnson's "Scots Musical Museum", Edinburgh 1787, which included texts edited and improved by Robert Burns. Verses that are not underlaid were not included by Corfe, and have been imported from external sources (most especially the aforementioned "Scots Musical Museum").

Lyrics: Lady Anne Lindsay

Young Jamie lo'ed me weel, and sought me for his bride;
But, saving a croun, he had naething else beside:
To make the croun a pund, young Jamie gaed to sea,
And the croun and the pund were baith for me.

He had nae been gone a year and a day,
When my father brak his arm, and our cow was stown awa;
My mother she fell sick - and Jamie at the sea, -
And auld Robin Gray came a-courting to me.

My father couldna work, and my mother couldna spin;
I toiled day and night, but their bread I couldna win;
Auld Rob maintained them baith, and wi' tears in his e'e
Said "Jennie, for their sakes, O marry me".

My heart it said nay; I looked for Jamie back;
But the wind it blew high, and the ship it was a wrack;
His ship it was a wrack - Why didna Jamie dee?
Or why do I live to cry, Wae's me?

My father urged me sair: my mother didna speak;
But she looked in my face till my heart was like to break:
They gi'ed him my hand, tho' my heart was in the sea;
Sae auld Robin Gray he was gudeman to me.

I hadna been a wife a wekk but only four,
When mournfu' as I sat on the stane at the door,
I saw my Jamie's wraith - for I couldna think it he,
Till he said, "I'm come hame to marry thee".

O sair, sair did we greet, and muckle did we say;
We took but ane kiss, and we tore ourselves away:
I wish that I were dead, but I'm no like to dee;
And why was I born to say Wae's me!

I gang like a ghaist, and I carena to spin;
I daurna think on Jamie, for that wad be a sin;
But I'll do my best a gude wife aye to be,
For auld Robin Gray he is kind to me.

Joseph Corfe (arr.)
(1740 - 1820)

Auld Robin Gray

(S.A.T.B. + reduction)

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