Auld Robin Gray
Robin Gray is a good old man who marries a young woman already in love with a man named Jamie. Jamie goes away to sea in order to earn money so that the couple can marry. The woman, who narrates the ballad, tells the story of being compelled by her parents' misfortune to marry Robin Gray while her lover is away. Robin promises to maintain her and her parents in return for her hand. Jamie returns a few weeks after the marriage, looking like a ghost. They have a sad reunion, kiss and tear themselves away from each other. The woman resolves to do her best to be a good wife to Robin, though she is extremely sad at the loss of her true love.
The original tune was composed by the Rev. William Leeves. George Thomson commissioned Joseph Haydn to arrange the ballad for piano and soprano, as well as for piano, violin, cello, and soprano.
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Wollstonecraft, Mary. Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman. Ed. Gary Kelly. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1976.
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