Volume III, song 207, page 216 - 'Tibbie Dunbar' - Scanned...
Volume III, song 207, page 216 - 'Tibbie Dunbar' - Scanned from the 1853 edition of the 'Scots Musical Museum', James Johnson and Robert Burns (Edinburgh and London: W. Blackwood & Sons, 1853)
Verse 1: (to the tune of 'Johnny McGill'): 'O wilt thou go wi' me, sweet Tibbie Dunbar; O wilt thou go wi' me, sweet Tibbie Dunbar; Wilt thou ride on a horse, or be drawn in a car, Or walk by my side, O sweet Tibbie Dunbar. I care na thy daddie, his lands and his money, I care na thy kin, sae high and sae lordly: But say thou wilt hae me for better for waur, And come in thy coatie sweet Tibbie Dunbar.'
The 'Scots Musical Museum' is the most important of the numerous eighteenth- and nineteenth-century collections of Scottish song. When the engraver James Johnson started work on the second volume of his collection in 1787, he enlisted Robert Burns as contributor and editor. Burns enthusiastically collected songs from various sources, often expanding or revising them, whilst including much of his own work. The resulting combination of innovation and antiquarianism gives the work a feel of living tradition.
Although Johnson attributed a number of the songs in the 'Museum' to Burns, this information has at times been found to be unreliable. As a result, it is difficult to confirm that this song was in fact the work of Burns. It is possible, however, that he was responsible for collecting or revising it for the 'Museum'. The tune is thought to be the composition of its namesake, John McGill of Girvan, and is described by John Glen, in 'Early Scottish Melodies' (1900), as a 'sprightly Scottish jig'.