Thou Art Gane Awa'
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


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This ballad is a variant air of a melody that appeared in 1657 in John Playford's The English Dancing Master, with the title Welcome home, old Rowley. That melody was a previously known Scottish air named Haud awa' frae me, Donald.

The melody here was published by Pietro Urbani in Selection of Scots Songs... Improved and with Simple and Adapted Graces (1792-1794). He borrowed the melody from Johnson's Musical Museum (1787-1803). The author of the words is unknown.

Pietro Urbani was a singer and musician. He was born in Milan in 1749. He moved to Edinburgh in 1785 where he taught, composed, and published music. In 1802 he put on some of Handel's Oratorios in Edinburgh and Glasgow. They were a complete failure, and he was ruined. He moved to Dublin and died there in 1816.

Urbani was once a friend of Robert Burns, but they had a falling out when Urbani published Burns' works without his permission.

Thou art gane awa', Thou'rt gane awa,
Thou art gane awa' frae me, Mary!
Nor friends nor I could make thee stay;
Thou has cheated them an' me, Mary!
Until this hour I never thought
That I could alter thee, Mary;
Thou'rt still the mistress o' my heart,
Think what you will o' me, Mary.

Whate'er he said or might pretend,
That stole that heart o' thine, Mary,
True love, I'm sure, was ne'er his end,
Or nae sic love as mine, Mary.
I spoke sincere, nor flatter'd much,
Nae selfish thought's in me, Mary.
Ambition, wealth, nor naething such;
No, I loved only thee, Mary!

Though you've been false, yet while I live,
I'll lo'e nae maid but thee, Mary;
Let friends forget, as I forgive,
Thy wrongs to them and me, Mary;
So then, farewell! o' this be sure,
Since you've been false to me, Mary;
For a' the world I'd not endure
Half what I've done for thee, Mary

Related Links
From The Songs of Scotland, Adapted to their Appropriate Melodies
See Bibliography for full information.