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ADVERTISEMENT TO THE NEW EDITION.
At the request of the Publishers, and in the absence from this country of my accomplished friend, Dr. Charles Mackay, I consented to examine this Work, preparatory to its appearance in a new edition. I have carefully performed what I undertook, and have made such corrections or additions in the editorial department as to bring the work down to the present state of information about Scottish Songs and Song-writers. That portion of the Notes for which I am individually responsible I have denoted by my initials.
Among the Song-writers whose names I have attached to compositions hitherto designated anonymous, I would especially refer to Sir Robert Aytoun, Caroline, Baroness Nairn, and Mrs. Agnes Lyon. With the exception of a few compositions scattered about in the older collections, the English poems of Sir Robert Aytoun were understood to have been lost. It was my good fortune to discover a MS. of the long-lost poems when at a sale of books in St. Andrews, near the poet's birthplace. The MS. so discovered I proceeded to edit, along with Aytoun's already known compositions, and although the performance was accomplished so early as my seventeenth year, I have no reason to withdraw from any of the deductions at which I then arrived.
In editing “ The Modern Scottish Minstrel,” my friend Mr. Robert Chambers introduced me to a respected gentlewoman, the confidential friend of Lady Nairn, through whom I obtained the use of the MSS. of that singularly
gifted lady, and full particulars of her ladyship’s personal history. It was then (1855) I was enabled to make known that Lady Nairn was the writer of the popular version of the “ Lass o' Gowrie,” and that most of the other anonymous Songs which had become popular in Scotland since the era of Burns had proceeded from her pen.
Mrs. Agnes Lyon, a connection of my own, was wife of the Rev. Dr. James Lyon, minister of Glammis. It had long been reported in the family that she had composed the song, “Neil Gow's Farewell to Whisky," which had usually been attributed to the great violinist himself. The report proved true, and Mrs. Lyon's MSS., including “ The Farewell" in her own handwriting, and authenticated as her own composition,, were entrusted to my care by her daughter-in-law, to whom they had been specially bequeathed.
I cordially recommend the present Collection of Songs to my fellow-countrymen, and to all lovers of Scottish minstrelsy. The gifted compiler has done his part with his usual discrimination. There are Songs for all classes and for all moods. The swain will find this volume a delightful companion on the hill-side ; while it is admirably adapted for the boudoir and the drawingroom table. There are Songs inciting to virtue and to patriotism-Songs companionable in the hours of sorrow and sadness—and Songs brimful of joyousness for the hopeful and the merry-hearted.
2, GBATI TERRACE, LEWISHAM,
Note.-INDEX OF THE FIRST LINES WILL BE FOUND AT PAGE 317.
LASSIE WI' THE LINT-WHITE LOCKS Burns
Elizabeth Hamilton .