Sunday, December 8, 2013

At the Music Hall: My Love Is Like the Red, Red Rose.

"Where the Heart Is"
Screenprint on paper
The Victoria & Albert Museum
O my Luve's like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve's like the melodie
That’s sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry:

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee well, my only Luve
And fare thee well, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.
My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose

"My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose" is one of the most enduring traditional British Songs. Written in 1794 by Robert Burns, the song is based on traditional Scottish poetry. Alternate titles are: “My Love is Like A Red, Red Rose” or “Red, Red Rose.” The lyrics were originally published as a poem.

Burns, in the last decade of his life, was preoccupied with preserving traditional Scottish songs for future generations—managing to preserve over 300 songs for posterity. Perhaps the most notable of the lot was "Auld Lang Syne.” During this period, Burns developed this song based on traditional sources. He gave the song to Scots singer Pietro Urbani who published it. While there’s some debate about the details of all of this, the simple fact is that Burns lifted the song from traditional Scots folk songs in an attempt to preserve it.

This piece has remained popular for centuries. It was a favorite at the music halls and in the theatres of Britain and the U.S. It even was used repeatedly in early film soundtracks, and is still performed to this day.

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