The air to Roslin Castle was wrongly attributed to James Oswald. Although it appears in his collection (1752) as Roseland Castle,* it is not marked as his tune.
It had appeared in a 1746 collection by William McGibbon as The House of Glams.**
The words were written by Richard Hewitt of Cumberland, who died in 1764. Hewitt was employed as a guide to Dr. Blacklock, who was blind. Blacklock was so impressed by the boy that he educated him.***
Below are some of the lyrics in a period book.****
For all of the words and sheet music send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘Twas in that season of the year,
When all things gay and sweet appear,
That Colin, with the morning ray,
Arose and sung his rural lay.
Of Nanny’s charms the shepherd sung,
The hills and dales with Nanny rung:
While Roslin Castle heard the Swain,
And echo’d back the cheerful strain.
Awake, sweet muse! the breathing spring
With rapture warms; awake and sing!
Awake, and join the vocal throng,
Who hail the morning with a song;
To Nanny raise the cheerful lay,
O! bid her haste and come away;
In sweetest smiles herself adorn,
And add new graces to the morn!
O hark, my love! on ev’ry spray,
Each feather’d warbler tunes his lay;
‘Tis beauty fires the ravish’d throng;
And love inspires the melting song:
Then let my raptur’d notes arise;
For beauty darts from Nanny’s eyes;
And love my rising bosom warms,
And fills my soul with sweet alarms.
O! come, my love! thy Colin’s lay
With rapture calls, O come away!
Come, while the muse this wreath shall twine
Around that modest brow of thine;
O! hither haste, and with thee bring
That beauty blooming like the spring,
Those graces that divinely shine,
And charm this ravish’d breast of mine!
FROM Roslin Castle’s echoing walls
Resound my shepherd’s ardent calls;
My Colin bids me come away,
And love demands I should obey.
His melting strain and tuneful lay,
So much the charms of love display,
I yield – nor longer can refrain
To own my love, and bless my swain.
*Oswald, James, The Caledonian Pocket Companion, London: Printed for the author. vol. 4. 1752. P.3.
**McGibbon, William. A Collection of Scots Tunes … Edinburgh: R. Bremner, 1746. P. 31.
***Chambers, Robert, A biographical dictionary of eminent Scotsmen, London: Blackie and son, 1875. P. 139.
****Johnson, James. The Scots Musical Museum… Edinburgh: McFadyen. 1787. P. 9.