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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 first 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: Anon

The smiling morn, the breathing spring,
Invite the tuneful birds to sing;
And while they warble from each spray,
Love melts the universal lay.
Let us, Amanda, timely wise,
Like them improve the hour that flies,
And in soft raptures waste the day
Among the Birks of Invermay.

For soon the winter of the year
And age, life's winter, will appear;
At this, thy living bloom will fade,
As that will strip the verdant shade.
Our taste of pleasure is then o'er,
The feathered songsters are no more:
And when they droop and we decay,
Adieu the Birks of Invermay.

Behold, the hills and vales around
With lowing herds and flocks abound;
The wanton kids and frisking lambs
Gambol and dance about their dams.
The busy bees, with humming noise,
And all the reptile kind rejoice:
Let us, like them, then sing and play
About the Birks of Invermay.

Hark, how the waters, as they fall,
Loudly my love to gladness call;
The wanton waves sport in the beams
And fishes play throughout the streams;
The circling sun does now advance,
And all the plants around him dance:
Let us as jovial be as they,
Among the Birks of Invermay.

Joseph Corfe (arr.)
(1740 - 1820)

The Birks of Invermay

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

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