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A last request permit me here,—When yearly ye assemble a', One round, I ask it with a tear, To him, the Bard that's far awa. Burns had asked Johnson to also include the "old" text: "Let this be your last song of all in the collection and set it to the old words; and after them insert my Gude night and joy be wi' you a'" (quoted by Dick, p. Sir Alexander Boswell, son of James Boswell and a great admirer of Robert Burns also wrote new words for this old tune. Graham used Boswell's words together with the melody from the Skene Manuscript for his Songs of Scotland With Their Appropriate Melodies (1848, here p. 649) and she noted that this was still the "most familiar version". The first two verses - with only some minor variations - as well as some lines of the fourth would later be used in the Irish song: All the money e'er I had, I spent it in good company, All the hardships e'er I had, Alas they were to none but me.In 1803 James Johnson used it as the last song in Volume 6 of his Scots Musical Museum (No. "The Old Chieftain To His Sons" was published in 1803 in his Songs, Chiefly in The Scottish Dialect (p. His version was very popular throughout the 19th century. Other poets and songwriters also created new lyrics. James Hogg called his version "Good Night And Joy" and it was used as the last song of R. From what I've done for want of wit; My memory I will recal, I hope to mend it all as yet, Good night and joy be with you all.I wish that I might longer stay, To enjoy your Society; The Lord to bless you night and day, And still be in your Company. Most loving friend, God be thy guide, And never leave thy Company, And all things needful thee provide, And give thee all prosperity; We rather had thy Company, It thou woulds't have stayed us among; We wish you much felicity: Good grant that nothing doe thee wrong.
Of all the money that e'er I spent I've spent it in good company And all the harm that ever I did Alas it was to none but me And all I've done for want of wit To memory now I can't recall So fill to me the parting glass Good night and joy be with you all If I had money enough to spend And leisure to sit awhile There is a fair maid in the town That sorely has my heart beguiled Her rosy cheeks and ruby lips I own she has my heart enthralled So fill to me the parting glass Good night and joy be with you all Oh, all the comrades that e'er I had They're sorry for my going away And all the sweethearts that e'er I had They'd wish me one more day to stay But since it falls unto my lot That I should rise and you should not I'll gently rise and softly call Good night and joy be with you all"The Parting Glass" belongs to a family of songs that can be traced back to the 17th century.
In 1759 he remarked in his essay Happiness in a Great Measure Dependent on Constitution that the "music of Mattei is dissonance to what I felt when our old dairy-maid sung me into tears with ' Johnny Armstrong's Last Good Night,' or the ' Cruelty of Barbara Allen.'" (in The Miscellaneous Works, p. Peter Buchan later claimed that Scott's "eight lines [...] have long been current, and the air to which they are sung popular in Scotland", added two more verses and called it "The Last Guid Night" (1828, p. In 1881 William Christie published a tune for "Gude Nicht, An' Joy Be Wi' Ye A'" in the second volume of his Traditional Ballad Airs (1881, p.
182, with a text by the Baroness Nairne) and noted that this "ancient air [...] was sung to ' The Last Guid Nicht', in Aberdeenshire and also in Morayshire" (p. But this melody is very different from the one we know from the Skene Manuscript.
For here I grant some time I spent In loving kind good Company; For all offences I repent, And wisheth now forgiven to be; What I have done, for want of wit, To Memory I'll not recall: I hope you are my Friends as yet Good Night, and GOD be with you all.
Complementing I never lov'd, Nor talkative much for to be, And of speeches a multitude Becomes no man of quality; From Faith, Love, Peace and Unity, I wish none of us ever fall; God grant us all prosperity: Good Night, and GOD be with you all.Burns quoted the text in one of Sylvander’s letters to Clarinda in January 1788 (in: Complete Works of Robert Burns, Vol. 54 ) and also "had a high appreciation of the melody" (Dick, p. He had already used this tune for one of his own songs. Oft have I met your social band, And spent the cheerful, festive night; Oft, honour'd with supreme command, Presided o'er the sons of light: And by that hieroglyphic bright, Which none but Craftsmen ever saw Strong Mem'ry on my heart shall write Those happy scenes, when far awa. Amusingly the tune was even appropriated by the Temperance movement.