In this special release for Burns Day 2019, Burns expert Katherine Campbell brings together 10 songs from the Bard for which the original tune is unknown. Sometimes this is because the music has been lost, e.g. the tune entitled ‘The Banks of Cree’, or sometimes it is because we don’t know what the original tune actually was. In one unusual case, ‘O Raging Fortune’s Withering Blast’, Burns composed his own melody which is unfortunately not extant.
Burns’s usual method of song composition was to start with a pre-existing melody, often drawn from the Scottish song or fiddle repertoire, and then to write lyrics to it. In the case of this CD, this process has been reversed, as the starting point has been Burns’s beautifully-crafted words, which often relate to his own personal experience.