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* The air to which this song was written, part of which is anterior to the time of Burns, is said to have been the composition of James Gregg, a musician belonging to Ayrshire.-M.
But Jenny's jimps and jirkinet,
My lady's white, my lady's red,
Out o'er yon muir, out o'er yon moss,
Sae sweetly moves her genty limbs,
My lady's dink, my lady's drest,
MR THOMSON TO BURNS.
EDINBURGH, September, 1792.
For some years past, I have, with a friend or two, employed many leisure hours in selecting and collating the most favourite of our national melodies for publication. We have engaged Pleyel, the most agreeable composer living, to put accompaniments to these, and also to compose an instrumental prelude and conclusion to each air, the better to fit them for concerts, both public and private. To render this work perfect, we are desirous to have the poetry improved, wherever it seems unworthy of the music; and that it is so in many instances, is allowed by every one conversant with our musical collections. The editors of these seem in general to have depended on the music proving an excuse for the verses ; and hence, some charming melodies are united to mere nonsense and doggerel while others are accommodated with rhymes so loose and indelicate, as cannot be sung in decent company. To remove this reproach, would be an easy task to the author of “ The Cotter's Saturday Night ;" and, for the honour of Caledonia, I would fain hope he may be induced to take up the pen. If so, we shall be enabled to present the public with a collection infinitely more interesting than any that has yet appeared, and acceptable to all persons of taste, whether they wish for correct melodies, delicate accompani