" Treu und herzinniglich, Robin Adair"
A British Tune In Germany
A while ago I started researching a song family that is nowadays usually represented by "Eileen Aroon". Here is for reference the tune and one verse of the version that is best known these days. In fact I heard it first this way:
This group of songs can be traced back to the early 18th century and includes variants with quite different lyrics and sometimes also music (see my attempt at a Chronological List [CL]). Among them is a song called "Robin Adair" that seems to have been one of the most popular hits of the 19th century both in Britain and in the USA. It was first introduced to English audiences by singer John Braham in 1811 and then published as sheet music by numerous music sellers. Here is for example an edition from Liverpool (1812). It names not only Braham but also Scottish singer John Sinclair, one of the many artists who at that time started to perform this popular hit:
This "Robin Adair" was then reprinted regularly in countless publications on both sides of the ocean over the next hundred years .We can find it for example in Helen K. Johnson's influential Our Familiar Songs (New York 1889, pp. 355-7) or in the appropriately titled collection Songs Every Child Should Know. A Selection Of The Best Songs Of All Nations For Young People by Dolores M. Bacon (New York 1907, p. 70, both available at the Internet Archive). The tune is identical to today's "Eileen Aroon":
But interestingly the song was equally popular in Germany during the 19th and early 20th century. It is listed more than 70 times in Hofmeister's Musikalisch-Literarischen Monatsberichten between 1829 and 1900 (found via the database Hofmeister XIX) but even that number is far from complete. I came across half a dozen translations - or better adaptations - of which one became particularly widespread. The German "Robin Adair" can be also found in numerous songbooks. One of many examples is the second edition of August Härtel's Deutsches Liederlexikon, according to the subtitle a "collection of the German people's best and most popular songs and chants". This weighty tome was published in Leipzig 1867 (No. 762, p. 597):
About 40 years later it appeared in a book called Deutsche Lieder. Aus alter und neuer Zeit (c. 1900-1910, p. 195):
In the first book the song was identified as "Scottish" and in the second one as "Irisches Volkslied". Apparently the editors were sometimes divided about its origin. But these hints as well as the reference to Boieldieu's popular opera La Dame Blanche can serve as helpful starting-points for further research. These example clearly suggest that the German "Robin Adair" was no mayfly but for a considerable time a part of the common song repertoire.
This piece also became a standard for German Männergesangvereine - male choirs - and at least half a dozen different four-part arrangements were published during the 19th century. Here is for example a version by Wilhelm Greef, choirmaster and seminary teacher in the town of Moers. It was first published in 1854 in the 9th booklet of his popular series Männerlieder, alte und neue, für Freunde des mehrstimmigen Männergesanges (here 6th ed., 1869, No. 21, p. 25, at the Internet Archive) :
Other important and influential arrangers like Friedrich Silcher and Ludwig Erk also took care of the song and and even today it is still performed by male choirs, as can be seen in a video recorded in 2012 that is available at YouTube.
The tune was also sung with different texts. One was called "Heut' muß geschieden sein". This variant can be found for example in a songbook for schools with the title Deutsches Jugendliederbuch für höhere Lehranstalten, a popular collection compiled by Bavarian music teacher and composer Simon Breu that was first published in 1908 and then regularly reprinted (here from the 11th ed., 1923, Nr. 68, p. 64).
This looks like a fascinating story and in fact it was. The following text is a first attempt at untangling the German history of "Robin Adair". As usual it became much larger than I had first expected. The sheer number of relevant publications was somewhat surprising. But also felt it necessary to discuss some important topics, especially the early history of the Volkslied in Germany. I often had to use the German term, simply because it was defined quite different from the current English term "folk song" but instead had much wider connotations.
But at first it is helpful to return to the British Isles and give a short overview of the history and development of "Eileen Aroon" and "Robin Adair" in Ireland, Scotland and England from the first available printed version in 1729 up to the year 1826 when the tune was introduced in Germany. This is of course not the complete story of this song family. A more detailed account can be found in my Chronological List and here I will only mention the most important stepping-stones.
I. "Aileen Aroon" & "Robin Adair" in Britain 1729 - 1826
We know neither how old this tune is nor the name of its composer. There have been attempts to attribute the original "Eibhlin-a-ruin" to one Carroll O'Daly (or Gerald O'Daly or Cerbhall Ó Dálaigh). According to an "anecdote" from the repertoire of the Irish harper Cormac Common (1703-c.1790) - first published by Joseph C. Walker in 1786 in the Historical Memoirs Of The Irish Bards - he had written it "two centuries ago" for a lady by the name of Elinor Kavanagh (Appendix, p. 60, at the Internet Archive):
"A man of Cormac's turn of mind must be much gratified with anecdotes of the music and poetry of his country. As he seldom forgets any relation that pleases him, his memory teems with such anecdotes. One of these, respecting the justly celebrated song of Eibhlin-a-ruin, the reader will not, I am sure, be displeased to find here. Carroll O'Daly[...], brother to Donough More O'Daly, a man of much consequence in Connaught about two centuries ago, paid his addresses to Miss Elinor Kavanagh. The lady received him favourably, and at length was induced to promise him her hand. But the match, for some reason now forgotten, was broken off, and another gentleman was chosen as a husband for the fair Elinor. Of this, Carroll, who was still the fond lover, received information. Disguising himself as a Jugleur or Gleeman he hastened to her father's house, which he found filled with guests, who were invited to the wedding. Having amused the company a while with some tricks of legerdemain, he took up his harp, and played and sung the song of Eibhlin A Ruin, which he had composed for the occasion. This, and a private sign, discovered him to his mistress. The flame which he had lighted in her breast, and which her friends had in vain endeavoured to smother, now glowed afresh, and she determined to reward so faithful a lover. To do this but one method now remained, and that was an immediate elopement with him: this she effected by contriving to inebriate her father and all his guests".
This story was revived in 1812 in Matthew Weld Hartstonge's Minstrelsy of Erin (pp. 168-9) and from then on regularly recycled in all kinds of publications, for example the influential Gentleman's Magazine (Vol. 97, 1827: January, p. 60). James Hardiman included the tale his Irish Minstrelsy (1831, Vol. 1, p. 356) but claimed that it all had happened much earlier, maybe in the 13th century. In 1861 the Illustrated Dublin Journal (pp. 182-184) published a much embellished version with the title "O'Daly's Bride". Later S. J. Adair-Fitzgerald reanimated the original anecdote in his Stories Of Famous Songs (1898, p. 16) but told his readers it was a "true story" while William Grattan Flood in the Story Of The Irish Harp (1905, p. 62; see also his article in Grove's Dictionary, 2nd ed., Vol. 1, 1911, pp. 770-1) even claimed to know the exact year: "'Eibhlin a Ruin' [...] was composed in 1386 by Carrol O'Daly, a famous Irish harper". In fact there had been a couple of "real" poets by the name of Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh since the middle ages and Grattan Flood simply tried to associate one of them with this song. But this was of course pure fantasy.
The principle behind these tales was simply: the older the better. But it would be too easy to dismiss them as a forgeries. What was first clearly marked as an anecdote became a "true story" only during the 19th century when "Robin Adair" was a great hit. It could then be used as the proof that the tune was originally from Ireland and that the Scots had stolen it from the Irish. Moreover the song now acquired authenticity as well as an historical context and could be associated with a legendary Irish poet. In fact this legend became indelibly linked to "Eileen Aroon" and one may say that it is now an essential part of the song (for a more thorough discussion of this problem see CL 035)
The very first real evidence for the existence of this tune dates from the year 1729. Playwright Charles Coffey included a melody with the title "Ellen A Roon" in The Beggar's Wedding. John Gay's Beggar's Opera had been a great success the year before and "there was a rage for these ballad operas [...] between 1728 and 1733" (Kidson, p. 102). Coffey was among the first to jump on the bandwagon. The premiere in Dublin was on March 24th at Smock Alley but it seems it was a failure there. Only two more performances are documented. In London "The Beggar's Wedding" was first staged on May 29th at the New Haymarket Theatre and there it was much more successful: 35 performances are known (see Boydell, p. 45; London Stage 2.2, p. 1036; London Stage 3.1, p. cxxxix). Coffey used the tune in the 3rd act as "Air XVII" (2nd ed., p. 63; Air XVIII since the third edition):
The first two editions did not include the music. But for the third edition he added an appendix with all the tunes (ESTC N033008, ECCO). Interestingly the B-part looks quite different from the version of the melody known today. It's is not clear if this particular variant was common at that time or if Coffey himself had edited the tune (reprinted in Moffat 1898, p. 338; also SITM 600, p. 52):
Apparently this version of "Ellen A Roon" didn't have much influence and to my knowledge it never appeared again. The same can be said about a variant with another different B-part that was included in the third edition of printer John Walsh's Second Book of the Compleat Country Dancing-Master (ca. 1735/6, "Ellin a Roon", p. 18; online available at IMSLP). It was not until 1741/2 that the song reached a wider audience. Kitty Clive (1711-1785) - a very popular actress and singer (see BDA 3, pp. 341-362) - learned a version with Gaelic text while in Dublin, according to a magazine "in Compliment to the Irish Ladies and Gentleman, for the Civilities which she hath received". Her very first performance of "the celebrated Song called Ellen a Roon" seems to have been on August 19th that year (from Boydell, p. 72-3). The following year she also started to sing this piece in London. The debut was on March 8th, 1742 after the third act of the comedy The Man Of Mode at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane (London Stage 3.2, p. 974):
"The celebrated Irish Ballad Elin a Roon, sung by Mrs. Clive in Irish, as she perform'd it at the Theatre Royal in Dublin".
She sang the song again a couple of times during the next months, once for example "at the particular desire of several ladies of quality" (London Stage 3.2, p. 977) and it seems it was one of the greatest hits of the season. Her version was also published as sheet music :
- Aileen Aroon, An Irish ballad. Sung by Mrs. Clive at ye. Theatre Royal, n. p., n. d. [ca. 1742] (see Copac, facsimile reprint in Maunder 1993, p. 449)
It is not that difficult to see that in this variant the B-part is much closer to the current version of the song than in Coffey's version. But it is five bars longer (measures 13 - 17). Of course it is not possible to say if this was the original form of the tune:
Nonetheless Kitty Clive's version became a standard for the next 50 years. Other singers and instrumentalists added "Aileen Aroon" to their repertoire (see f. ex. Boydell, p. 299) and it was regularly performed on stage both in Ireland and England, for example by Welsh harper John Parry in 1757 and later also by popular singers like G. F. Tenducci, Gasparo Savoi, Elizabeth Linley, Ann Catley and Michael Leoni (see CL, Nos. 012, 019, 020, 027, 032). The tune can be found in Burke Thumoth's Twelve Scotch And Twelve Irish Airs (London 1745, No. 13, pp. 26-7, see also YouTube), Matthew Dubourg wrote variations (1746, reprinted in The Monthly Melody, c. 1760, pp. 34-5; see Boydell, p. 109), James Oswald included it 1755 in the fifth volume of his Caledonian Pocket Companion (No. 21), Scottish publisher Robert Bremner used a simple arrangement for the "English guittar" in his Instructions for this instrument (Edinburgh, c. 1758, p. 21, pdf available on Rob McKillop's website) and shortly before the turn of the century the tune was recycled once again by James Aird in his Selection Of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs (Vol. V, No. 72, p. 29, from a later edition of Vol. 5 & 6, 1801). Not at least this melody was borrowed for a considerable number of new songs, for example for two verses of "The Roast Beef Of Old England", a "cantata" based on William Hogarth's painting The Gate of Calais (1750s, see CL, No. 008) or for another of these kind of cantatas, "The Courtship" by one George Rollos (1760, see, CL, No. 015). But of course this was common practice at that time.
Towards the end of the 18th century a certain antiquarian interest for this old song arose. I have already mentioned Joseph Walker's Historical Memoirs Of The Irish Bards (1786). In 1792 Edward Bunting (1773-1843) was hired to write down the music performed at the Belfast Harper's Festival. Among the harpists playing there was Dennis Hempson (1695-1807) from Magilligan. Later that year he visited Hempson at home and collected his version of "Elen A Roon". This tune can be found in one of his notebooks, a "Book of Irish Airs" started "in the year 1792 and finished in 1805", that is now available online on the website of the Queen's University, Belfast (see MS4/29/064 , Queen's Special Collections; see also O'Sullivan 1983, No. 123, pp. 175-6, also SITM No. 6038, p. 1099). Bunting only published this variant in 1840 in the third volume of his Ancient Music of Ireland in a piano arrangement and claimed that in "this setting" the song was "restored to its original simplicity" (sic!; p. 90; No. 123, p. 94). Here is the melody line of the first 20 bars:
This variant is clearly related to the one used by Kitty Clive 50 years earlier. According to Bunting these "variations" had been written in 1702 by Cornelius Lyons, "harper to the Earl of Antrim [...] another of Carolan's [(1670 - 1738)] contemporaries" (dto., p. 70). I assume he had received this information from Mr. Hempson. Of course there is no way to prove this claim. But interestingly another reference to this particular harper suggests that there might be some truth to it. The MacLean-Clephane Manuscript, a Scottish music collection from around 1800 includes a number of "harp airs". These had apparently been "taken from the playing" of another Irish harper by the name of O'Kain. Among them is an interesting version of "Elan A Rún", that was - according to an accompanying note - "improved by Lyons and O'Kain's prescription á Dubourg, an Irish fiddler" (see SITM No. 3712, p. 675). So perhaps Mr. Lyons really had a hand in the transmission of the tune and maybe some variant of it already existed around 1700. This is not unlikely but without other supporting evidence it remains a speculation.
What we know is that "Aileen Aroon" - or "Ellen a Roon" - was very popular in England since the early 1740s. But at the same time there existed in Scotland a rather obscure song with the title "Robin Adair" that was sung to a closely related tune. The earliest evidence for this piece can be found in a Scottish keyboard manuscript apparently started in 1739, the music book of one Elizabeth Young. (NLS MS 5.2.23, in Early Music Vol. 2, Reel 3, tune also in SITM No. 849, p. 156]:
Unfortunately this is only the first half of the song: the B-part is missing. At least this version shows that the tune was known in Scotland already at that time and that it was associated with the song called "Robin Adair". But we can also see that this Scottish variant was not simply an offspring of Kitty Clive's popular hit but was known there before her "Aileen Aroon" was published. A text for "Robin Adair" came to light only 25 years later when it was included in some songsters, for example in The Lark, according to the subtitle a "Select Collection Of The Most Celebrated And Newest Songs, Scots and English" (Vol. 1, Edinburgh 1765, p. 268). It was a simple drinking song. But of course it is not clear if this were the original Scottish words for the tune.
At around the same time David Herd collected a fragment of two verses that he didn't use for his Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs (1776, see Hecht 1904, pp. 275, 334/5). But only in 1793 a complete tune with four verses was published. It can be found in the second volume of David Sime's Edinburgh Musical Miscellany. A Collection Of The Most Approved Scotch, English, And Irish Songs, Set To Music (Song CXXX, pp. 304/5) :
Not much is known about Mr. Sime. He was a musician and teacher in Edinburgh and died in 1807 (see Brown/Stratton, p. 373). But apparently this publication was very successful. A year later the second volume was reprinted as The New Edinburgh Musical Miscellany (ESTC T301078, ECCO) and in 1804 respectively 1808 a second edition of the complete work came out (see Copac). As the subtitle say this was not only a collection of Scottish songs but the editor also did include English and Irish pieces as well as current hits by "Dibdin, Hook, and other celebrated composers". These books were clearly not intended as an antiquarian publication but as a handy compilation of songs both old and new that were popular at that time.
The tune used by Sime looks like a simplified and abbreviated version of the variant made popular by Kitty Clive. The B-part is five bars shorter. Measures 13-17 are missing. Even though Sime's collection was published more than 50 years after Mrs. Clive's "Aileen Aroon" there is still a certain possibility that his version is closer to the original form of the song. Interestingly we know a couple of English and Scottish songs from the 17th century with exactly the same meter and structure as "Robin Adair" even though they were sung to different tunes. One of them is "Franklin Is Fled Away (O Hone, O Hone)" a ballad apparently first published in the 1650s (see Simpson, pp. 233-5, Chapell 1855, p. 370; text f. ex.: Pepys 2.76 at EBBA):
Franklin, my loyal friend,
O hone, O hone!
In whom my joys do end,
O hone, o hone!
Franklin my heart's delight,
Since last he took his flight,
Bids now the world good-night,
O hone, O hone.
Here even the internal refrain is applied in the same way as in "Aileen Aroon" and "Robin Adair". Another song from this group is "Wellady". It seems that a tune of this name was known since the 1560s. Later it was used for example for a ballad about the execution of the Earl of Essex in 1601 (see Chappell 1855, p. 174-5, Simpson, p. 747; HEH Britwell 18290 at EBBA):
Sweet Englands pride is gon,
Which makes her sigh and grone
He did her fame advance,
In Ireland, Spaine, and France ,
And now by dismall chance,
Is from her tane.
A Scottish example is "Mournful Melphomene", a ballad about Princess Elizabeth, who had died at the age of 14 in 1650. The first broadside with the text was published shortly afterwards (see f. ex.: Roxburghe 3.42, at EBBA):
Assist my quill,
That I may pensively
Now make my will;
Guide thou my hand to write,
And senses to indite,
A Lady's last goodnight:
Oh! Pity Me
According to this broadside the original tune for the song was "O Hone, O Hone" (i. e. "Franklin Has Fled Away"). In 1779 the text was reprinted in a book called The True Loyalist; or, Chevalier's Favourite (pp. 65-72 , ESTC T114471, ECCO) and there "Robin Adair" was in fact indicated as the tune. Another Scottish song from this group is "Cromlet's Lilt". We can find the the text with what was possibly the original melody in the second volume of William Thomson's Orpheus Caledonius (1733, No. I, p. 1):
Since all thy vows, false Maid,
Are blown to Air,
And my poor Heart betray'd,
To sad Despair,
Into some wilderness,
My grief I will express,
And thy Hard-heartedness,
O cruel Fair.
It is clear to see that all these songs were built on the same pattern. Melodies and lyrics are interchangeable and one can sing any of these texts to every one of these tunes. It strikes me as very odd that the relation of "Aileen Aroon" and "Robin Adair" to this group of ballads has never been addressed. They all - but especially "Franklin Has Fled Away" - could have easily been used as a model and blueprint by the anonymous creator - whoever that was - of the very first exponent of the song family discussed here. It is not unlikely that "Aileen Aroon", "Robin Adair" - or perhaps a common ancestor - started out as a local Irish or Scottish variant of "Franklin" and/or "Welladay". This approach would also help to place this hypothetical original version safely into the second half of the 17th century, exactly the time when the other pieces mentioned here were all easily available. But at least the popularity of this particular form strongly suggests that the shorter version of the tune á la Sime could be closer to how the song originally looked like than the extended variant learned by Kitty Clive in Dublin half a century before the publication of the Edinburgh Musical Miscellany.
It is also easy to see that the tune of "Robin Adair" is nearly identical to the one used for today's "Eileen Aroon". In fact Sime's collection played a key role in the further history of this song family because his variant of the melody would quickly replace Kitty Clive's version as the standard form of the tune. Mostly responsible for this development were Robert Burns, George Thomson and Thomas Moore.
Burns (the following summarized from CL, Nr. 042) experimented with this tune in 1793 and created three new sets of lyrics: "Phillis The Fair", "Had I A Cave" & "Address To General Dumourier" (see Dick 1903, pp. 5, 45, 247, 352, 366, 456). It's not clear if Burns had learned this "crinkum-crankum tune" from Sime's book or if he was already familiar with it. Interestingly in the second letter to Thomson he noted that he had "met with a musical Highlander [who] well remembers his mother singing Gaelic songs to both 'Robin Adair' and 'Gramachree'" (Lockhart, No. XXXIII, p. 404). But he started creating these lyrics only in 1793, exactly the year that the Edinburgh Musical Miscellany came out and his texts were clearly written to this variant of the tune. For reasons I do not understand both James Dick (1903) and Donald Low (1993, No. 239, 240, pp. 616-19) in their editions of the Songs of Robert Burns decided to use "Aileen A Roon" from James Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion (V, 21) for their setting of these songs. Of course that doesn't sound right. As already mentioned Oswald's variant had been derived from Kitty Clive's extended Irish version and they had to mutilate that tune a little bit. Here is "Had I A Cave", but with the correct form of the melody, from George Gebbie's Complete Works of Robert Burns (1886 ,1909, p. 204):
Burns' three new texts were all published posthumously and only "Had I A Cave" became a popular song in its own right. The first one to use this text was George Thomson, who included it in his Select Collection Of Original Scottish Airs. During the late 18th and early 19th century there was a great interest in Scottish songs. A considerable amount of relevant collections were published, sometimes as handy volumes with texts, tunes and a thorough bass like James Johnson's Scots Musical Museum (1787-1803) but also as lavish productions with modern arrangements by eminent European composers like Pleyel, Haydn and even Beethoven. Thomson - clerk in Edinburgh and part-time publisher - was responsible for the most ambitious of these projects. It ran for over 50 years. One can't say that his publications were particularly popular among later experts for Scottish music. In fact he was often criticized heavily and even derided for his efforts (for the background see Fiske 1983, pp. 55-79, McCue 2002 & 2003, Will 2012). But the criticism often missed the point. Thomson had a different idea of "authenticity". He was interested in the tunes and therefore it was no problem for him to dress them in new arrangements by the best musicians available at that time and - if necessary - replace the old texts with new lyrics by contemporary poets like Burns.
"Robin Adair" was first published in 1799 in the "Fourth Set" of 25 songs (No. 92) and then 1801 in a new edition where Thomson combined the first four sets to two volumes of 50 songs each (here Vol. 2, No. 92):
Of course he discarded the old text. A profane drinking song surely wasn't up to his standards. Instead he preferred Burns' "Had I A Cave". The tune was clearly borrowed from Sime's Edinburgh Musical Miscellany. Thomson kept most of grace notes of that version as well as the upbeat note before the first measure. The arrangement - for two voices, cembalo, violin and violoncello - was written by popular Austrian composer Ignaz Pleyel. This version was later reprinted for example in a collection called The Beauties Of Melody (London 1827, p. 155-6, at The Internet Archive) and is now available in a modern edition of all of Pleyel's works for Thomson (Rycroft 2007, Vol. 2, No. 22, p. 32).
But apparently Mr. Thomson wasn't completely satisfied with this arrangement and he commissioned a new one from Joseph Haydn - also a duet - that was then published in a revised edition of this volume in 1803 (No. 92; see Rycroft 2001, pp. 198-9; a manuscript is available online at the BnF):
In 1815 Thomson ordered another new arrangement from Ludwig van Beethoven but for some reason never used it. That version was only published much later - in the 1860s - in Germany (see chapter VI). Instead he stayed with Haydn's work that appeared again in later editions, for example one from around 1822 (No. 92, at BStB-DS) and also in the first volume of the less costly octavo edition (1822-3, No. 45, at the Internet Archive, see McCue 2003, pp. 114-5). Interestingly here we also find as an alternate text six verses of "an old song for the same air". This was in fact "Cromlet's Lilt", as already noted a closely related piece with exactly the same structure and meter:
Thomson's collection may not have been a particularly great success but it established Burns' new words as one of the standard texts for this tune. But I must admit that I am somewhat irritated that "Robin Adair" wasn't included in any of the other editions of Scottish songs from this era. It was a surprising omission in the Scots Musical Museum even though Burns was heavily involved in that project. Nor can it be found in the collections published for example by William Napier, Pietro Urbani or William Whyte. But instead this tune variant "returned" to Ireland with the help of Thomas Moore and Sir John Stevenson. The year 1808 saw the publication of the first volume of their Selection of Irish Melodies and among the songs included was "Erin, The Tear And The Smile In Thine Eyes" (pp. 14-19, available at the Internet Archive):
Erin! the tear and the smile in thine eyes
Blend like the rainbow that hangs in thy skies!
Shining through sorrow's stream,
Saddening through pleasure's beam,
Thy sons, with doubtful gleam,
Weep while they rise!
Erin! thy silent tear never shall cease,
Erin! thy languid smile ne'er shall increase,
Till, like the rainbow's light,
Thy various tints unite,
And form, in Heaven's sight,
One arch of peace!
It is a little bit surprising that Moore and Stevenson didn't use the well-known older version of the tune that had been so popular during the 18th century. But for some reason they resorted to the simpler Scottish variant. Nonetheless they listed this "air" with the title "Aileen Aroon". Veronica ní Chinnéide in an article about The Sources of Moore's Melodies (1959, p. 118) suggests that they had taken the melody from Thomson's collection but of course it could have also been lifted directly from the Edinburgh Musical Miscellany. The latter seems to me more likely, because just like Sime they used the key of 'Bb' while Thomson's versions are in 'C'. At this point the very same variant of this tune was identified both as "Scottish" and as "Irish". It always depended on the source. Later all the Irish poets who tried their hand at new words for "Eileen Aroon" always used this version of the melody. Moore had set an example and writers like John Banim, Gerald Griffin or Thomas Davis (see CL, B14-16) followed him in this regard.
The 1810s saw more attempts at recycling this tune with the help of new lyrics. One example was a song called "Now Is The Spell-Working Hour Of The Night". That piece can be found for example in Crosby's Irish Musical Repository (1808, pp. 272-3, at the Internet Archive). But apparently it wasn't particularly successful and sank without much traces. Much more important was the new "Robin Adair" introduced by singer John Braham in 1811. Braham (see Wikipedia; BDA 2, pp. 291-303), one of the greatest singing stars of that era, performed it first on December 7th that year at a concert at the Lyceum, Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Two days later the Morning Post (9.12.1811, p. 3, at BNA) published a glowing review:
"[...] To many of the songs he [Braham] gave an effect which perfectly astonished us, and the frequent encores with which he was honoured, bore simple testimony to the taste, and to the gratification of the audience. He introduced the ballad of 'Robin Adair,' which he sung with exquisite feeling, and with all that simplicity of manner which is necessary to render it perfect justice. The audience were absolutely in raptures with it. It was tumultously encored, and loudly called for a third time. The last call was not complied with. It was certainly not necessary, as from the impression it made, being sung but twice, it is probable that the last two lines will often be repeated by many of those who were present -
'Oh! I shall ne'er forget/Robin Adair.'"
The sheet music came out a week later as can be seen from an ad in the Morning Post from December 14th (p. 1, available at BNA):
- Robin Adair. The Much Admired Ballad Sung With Enthusiastic Applause By Mr. Braham At The Lyceum Theatre, The Symphony & Accompaniments Composed & Arranged For The Harp Or Piano Forte by W. Reeve, Button & Whitaker, London 1811/12 (see Copac; pdf of original sheet music from my collection, now also at the Internet Archive; this is an unofficial second edition printed since late in December '11 or early January '12. It includes on the cover a letter by Mr. Reeve to all local newspapers warning against "spurious copies" of this song by competing publishers; see in my blog: John Braham's "Robin Adair" (1811) - The Original Sheet Music)
Reeve (1757-1815, see New Grove, 2nd ed., p. 75) was an organist and popular composer who apparently knew what was commercially viable. But it is not clear how much he was involved in the creation of this new version besides writing the accompaniment and the instrumental parts:
What's this dull town to me,
Robin's not near.
What was't I wish'd to see,
What wish'd to hear;
Where all the joy and mirth,
Made this town heaven on earth,
Oh, they're all fled with thee,
What made th' assembly shine,
What made the ball so fine,
Robin was there.
What when the play was o'er
What made my heart so sore.
Oh, it was parting with
But now thou'rt cold to me,
But now thou'rt cold to me,
Yet he I loved so well
Still in my heart shall dwell,
Oh, I can ne'er forget,
The tune was of course derived - directly or indirectly - from the variant published by Sime. But there were some interesting changes. Most important are the eighth-notes in the third, seventh and sixteenth bar. This kind of acciaccatura has been called the "Scotch Snap" (see Grove 3, 1883, p. 139). Measure 10 also looks a little bit different. Here the melody line goes up to the f'' and then an octave down to the f'. In all the other versions the interval was not that great and it only went down from an eb'' to the g'. I am not sure if this was done on purpose or if it simply was an error by the printer. For my ears this particular phrase sounds more wrong than right. But at least this variation helps to determine if later versions of this tune were directly derived from the original sheet music. Besides that there are also some more minor variations and ornamentations, especially the triplet in measure 11 that is also a distinguishing mark of this variant.
The new text is of course strikingly different from the one of the first "Robin Adair". The old drinking song may have looked a little bit too old-fashioned at that time. We don't know who was responsible for this new set of words. It could have been Braham himself or some anonymous street- or tavern-poet from whom he had bought this piece. But at least it should be noted here that it surely wasn't Lady Carolina Keppel (1734-1768) who has often been associated with the song. According to an immensely popular legend she is said to have written it ca. 1757 because her illustrious family didn't allow her to marry one Robert Adair (c. 1715-1790), an Irish surgeon. Here is a version of the story that was printed in the Canadian newspaper Family Herald And Weekly Star in the 1890s (Old Favourites, p. 59):
This of course sounds highly suspicious and extremely unlikely. In fact this fairy-tale was fabricated only in 1864 - more than 50 years after Braham had introduced the song - by one William Pinkerton in an article in the magazine Notes & Queries (pp. 500-504). Even though Mr. Pinkerton wasn't able to prove his claims the story quickly won widespread popularity and was regularly recycled, often in embellished versions and usually without acknowledging Pinkerton's article. Typical examples can be found for example in Charles Bombaugh's Gleanings For The Curious (1890, p. 805), in the Random Sketches On Scottish Subjects by John D. Ross (1896, pp. 51-7) or Lady Russell's The Rose Goddess and Other Sketches Of Mystery & Romance (1910, pp. 87-91).
For some reason this legend was sometimes even promoted by serious researchers and Lady Keppel's name found its way into many songbooks and some library catalogs. But this story is too good to be dismissed as a simple fake or an example for bad research. As in the case of "Aileen Aroon" and Cearbhall O'Dalaigh it became an integral part of the song. A legend like this is of course always much more interesting than the simple truth. It has turned a profane popular hit into a ballad presumably created by a real person who even happened to be a member of the nobility.
We may not know the writer of this text but interestingly there is some evidence for its real historical background. Irish poet Gerald Griffin (1803-1840) later noted that the song is "supposed to refer to the attachment of the then Prince of Wales to Mrs. Fitzherbert". This suggestion can be found in "The Foreman's Tale - Sigismund", the first story in his posthumously published Tales Of The Jury Room (1842, p. 131; see Wikipedia about Maria Fitzherbert). In fact that was the most popular scandal at the time the new "Robin Adair" was introduced and the new lyrics fit perfectly well to this particular affair. I am not aware of any other evidence for this assumption. But it sounds not unreasonable and not at least it helps to explain why the song became so immensely popular. This is the kind of real background story that everybody surely knew about in 1811 and it would not have been too difficult to understand the allusion to the Prince of Wales and his not so secret wife.
But no matter who really wrote this text and what it may have been all about, John Braham's performance turned the song into a big popular "hit". According to a report in the Metropolitan Magazine in 1837 (p. 136) "the publisher sold, (for Braham's profit,) in one year, for home consumption and exportation, upwards of two hundred thousands copies". Of course other popular artists quickly added "Robin Adair" to their repertoire and were anxious to throw their own version of this ballad on the market to get a slice of the cake. A reviewer in the Repository Of Arts, Literature, Commerce etc noted in April 1812 (p. 228-9):
"The revival of the old ballad of " Robin Adair" (now the rage in the musical world), is due to Mr. Braham. His unparalleled vocal powers have given new interest to an air which, of itself, possessed the merit of beautiful simplicity. No wonder, then, if the success of the song has roused the industry of a number of composers to run, as it were, a race, who should furnish tho most popular production founded on this elegant theme. Not only the song itself has been harmonized by several hands, but it has received a variety of dressings, in the shape of allegretto, rondo, variations, &c."
In a short time a considerable number of well-known musicians and their publishers had jumped on the band-wagon and new arrangements were for example published by Joseph Mazzinghi, John Parry, Antony Corri, Thomas Howell, William Ling and Charles Stokes (see more reviews in Repository of Arts, Literature, Vol. 7, 1812, p. 288; The Monthly Magazine, 1812, Vol. 33, pp. 53, 166; Vol. 34, pp. 155, 445) as well as Anne-Marie Krumpholtz (see Copac and the Internet Archive) and Sophia Dussek (see Copac, online at Hathi Trust). Of particular interest and also of importance for the subsequent history of the song is Mazzinghi's version:
- Robin Adair, A Simple Irish Ballad. Sung with unbounded applause by Mr. Braham, At the Lyceum Theatre, Arranged with an Accompaniment for the Harp or Piano-forte, Also may be had with Variations for Piano Forte, Harp & Flute, By J. Mazzinghi, Printed by Goulding & Co., London n. d.  (online available at Frances G. Spencer Collection of American Popular Sheet Music, Baylor University Libraries Digital Collections; see the review in Monthly Magazine, Vol. 33, 1812, No. 224, March 1, p. 166)
Joseph Mazzinghi (1765-1844; see BDA 10, pp. 159-161; New Grove, 2nd ed., 16, pp. 192-3), an English composer of Corsican descent, was one of the mainstays of the music scene in London at that time and he apparently had always his finger at the pulse of popular taste. So it is no wonder that he also threw his hat in the ring. At first it is important to note that here this song was called an "Irish ballad". I assume Mr. Mazzinghi was perfectly familiar with the tune's history and he surely also saw it's connection to Thomas Moore's "Erin, The Tear And The Smile In Thine Eyes" that had been published three years earlier. Interestingly he simplified the melody line a little bit. The "Scotch Snap" was only retained for the last refrain line and he also corrected measure 10 where he the octave was replaced with the original interval. In fact his version looks much closer to Moore's variant of the tune than to Braham's. Not at least he - or the publisher - not only used the latter's new text but also included an alternate set of lyrics. The name of the author was not revealed. Instead there is only a note that it is the "property" of the publisher:
Welcome on shore again,
Welcome once more again,
I feel thy trembling hand;
Tears in thy eyelids stand,
To greet thy native land,
Long I ne'er saw thee, love,
Still I prayed for thee, love,
When thou wert far at sea,
Many made love to me,
But still I thought on thee,
Come to my heart again,
Never to part again,
And if thou still art true,
I will be constant too,
And will wed none but you,
"Robin Adair" seems to have been ubiquitous during these years. Very quickly parodies appeared, for example one that was published in the Theatrical Inquisitor And Monthly Mirror in 1814 (p. 246, at Google Books) but apparently had been "written at the Time Mr. Braham first introduced it". I wonder if the "George" mentioned here is an allusion to the Prince of Wales:
What's all this noise about
Why this incessant rout
Tweedle dum - tweedle dee,
By George, I plainly see,
The world's a humming thee,
Thou art beloved, I'm told,
Because thou art so old
By some thou'rt finely dressed,
By others much caress'd,
With all a welcome guest,
What makes the play so fin?
What gives a zest to wine?
What, when my song is o'er,
Will make you loudly roar,
Encore! Encore! Encore?
The song was even referred to in Jane Austen's Emma (see chapter 28, p. 216 in this edition from 1896):
And of course more artists including some stars of the European music scene felt it necessary to add this piece to their repertoire. German piano virtuoso Friedrich Kalkbrenner - who lived in England since 1814 - wrote a Fantaisie for the Piano Forte in which is Introduced the Favorite Air of Robin Adair (available at NAIC; naa) and in the early 20s Italian singer Angelica Catalani sang a version of the song with variations composed for her by Sir John Stevenson that was also published as sheet music (available at NAIC, naa). In June 1826 a writer for the magazine Harmonicon noted that the song had been "sung, piped, fiddled, whistled, drummed and harmonized to death in this country to bear reviving just at present" (p. 119). But it was not laid to rest and instead remained popular in England throughout the 19th century. Braham's version was regularly published again, for example in songbooks from the 40s and 50s like Bingley's Select Vocalist (1842, p. 124) or Davidson's Universal Melodist (1847, p. 286, here without the "Scotch Snap"). The text also appeared on numerous broadsides (see for example Harding B 17(258b) and Harding B28(56) at Broadside Ballads Online), there were new arrangements (see Copac) and the tune was used for new songs including parodies like "Moggy Adair" (see for example Harding B16(151b), at BBO).
The song also quickly migrated to North America. Braham's original version was reprinted by publishers like Dubois in New York (available at the Levy Collection). In 1817/18 young English singer Henry Phillips (1801-1876, see The New Grove, 2nd ed., 19, pp. 598-9) sang "Robin Adair" on his very successful tour. One critic noted that "Mr. Philipp's performances excite universal applause wherever he is seen" (New York Evening Post, 11.3.1818, AHN) and Poulsen's American Daily Advertiser on December 17th, 1817 (AHN) remarked that the song "will long vibrate in our ears, when the singer and actor has taken his leave". That was correct and it seems that it became even more popular in the USA than in Britain. The text and the tune were included numerous publications of all kinds like songsters, magazines or music books.
"Robin Adair" looks like an early example for what today would be called an international hit and it became also known in France. Of course Kalkbrenner's Fantaisie was published in Paris (see the sheet music at IMSLP). But most important in this respect was its inclusion in an immensely popular French opera: La Dame Blanche by Francois-Adrien Boieldieu (1775-1834) with a libretto by Eugéne Scribe (1791-1861). Boieldieu was one of the most successful French opera composers of that era. He wrote more than 40 pieces for the stage and many of them were performed all over Europe. The debut performance of this opéra comique was on December 10th, 1825 in Paris. It became an instant success and remained a part of the standard repertoire for the stage for nearly a century.
This opera is set in Scotland and the plot is loosely based on some works by Sir Walter Scott, especially Guy Mannering and The Monastery. For that reason Boieldieu used some Scottish tunes, besides "Robin Adair" for example also "The Yellow Hair'd Laddie". The story looks a little bit simplistic (see this textbook in French and English, available at the Internet Archive). The hero is a young officer by the name of Georges Brown who arrives in a village called Avenel. The local castle has just been set up for sale by auction. But with the help of the "White Lady", in fact a girl who once had treated his wounds after a battle, he is able to buy the castle and pay the price with the money from the former owners' secret treasure. In the end he turns out to be the real heir of the house of Avenel. The bad guy has to leave and Georges can marry the girl. The tune of "Robin Adair" appears in the 3rd scene of the 3rd act and is simply called an "air écossais" (see textbook, pp. 35-6 and piano version, pp. 322-326):
At this point Georges had already purchased the castle by auction but hadn't yet paid the price because he didn't have any money. But he is welcomed and celebrated by the people of the village and young girls bring him the keys of the castle. Then the choir starts singing "le chant ordinaire de la tribu d'Avenel":
Chantez la guerre,
Chantez la guerre,
Luckily he remembers the tune:
Attendez, attendez, attendez,
J'achéverais, je crois
And then he hums the second part. Everybody is happy that Georges still knows "des vieux airs de notre patrie" and they all celebrate "notre noveau seigneur". The tune serves here as a means to identify the long lost heir. The idea is good but why exactly the composer used "Robin Adair", first a drinking song and then a popular tearjerker, is not that easy to understand. Boieldieu's source was clearly Braham's version and he has retained the "Scotch snaps" in the refrain lines:
But the second part looks a little bit different. He has conflated measures 9 and 10 as well as 13 and 14 to a four bar-phrase. Measures 11 and 12 were dropped and instead these four bars are repeated. The tune's second part now has 10 instead of 8 bars and this would later create some problems for arrangers who wanted to combine this variant form of the melody with lyrics written to the original version of the song. Boieldieu's "air écossais" from La Dame Blanche was the start of a new line of tradition that will become especially important for the history of the tune in Germany. This will be discussed in the following chapters.
II. How "Robin Adair" Came To Germany
The story of "Robin Adair" in Germany started with Boieldieu's La Dame Blanche. One can not say that the tune was completely unknown there. For example Kalkbrenner's Fantaisie sur Robin Adair was of course also offered by German music sellers (see Whistling 1817, p. 361, at BStB-DS). Hofmeister in Leipzig published Mauro Giuliani's Six Airs Irlandois nationales. Varieés pour la Guitarre that included "Robin Adair" as No. 4 (see sheet music: Boijes Samling 244, at Statens Musikverk, Stockholm). But I have found no evidence that song was more widely known in Germany at that time. By all accounts Braham's version was never sold there before 1826 and it seems there was no mention of it in the music press. But Boieldieu's opera took the German music lovers by storm and popularized the tune. Already in April 1826 a piano version of La Dame Blanche including a German translation was published. All the arias were also available individually (see the ad in AMZ 28, No. 17, 1826, Intelligenzblatt VIII, p. 36, at BStB-DS):
- La dame blanche. Opera comique en trois Actes. Die weisse Dame. Vollständiger Clavierauszug von C. Zulehner. Mit französischem und deutschem Texte. Die deutsche Uebersetzung ist von Fr. Ellmenreich, Simrock, Bonn c. 1826 (available at the Internet Archive; see the review in Caecilia Mainz, Vol. 5, 1826, p. 81, at Google Books)
The relevant lines of the "Air écossais" (see pp. 170/1) were of course not too difficult a challenge for Mrs. Ellmenreich, a former singer and actress who regularly translated the librettos of foreign operas:
Laut tön' das Siegeslied,
ja, laut und hell.
Laut tön' das Siegeslied,
ja, laut und hell.
La, la, la, la la [etc]
The debut performance of the German version - with the title Die Dame auf Avenel - was in Vienna on July, 6th and on August 1st opera fans in Berlin first saw this piece (see AMZ, 28, No. 37, September 1826, pp. 603, 608, at BStB-DS). A reviewer in the Berliner Allgemeinen Musikalischen Zeitung (Vol. 3, Nr. 32, August 1926, pp. 255-7, at BStB-DS) was not always impressed by neither Boieldieu's and Scribe's work nor this piano version. Especially the way the composer had used the Scottish air didn't seem too convincing to him (p. 257):
"In the third act, everything clears up, only in the music prevails a dismal gray. The choir sings the song of the House of Avenel, but the listener believes to see a troop of dancing nymphs in front of him. Who could deny this tune's delicacy and grace? But what says the French text? 'c'est le chant ordinaire de la tribu d'Avenel.' God bless the brave heroes!"
He also reported a "lukewarm reception" of some of the arias. But already at that time the critics and the audiences in Berlin were sometimes living on another planet and by all accounts this opera became very successful in Germany. Two months later another reviewer noted that Boieldieu's "admirable music has won a lot of friends" (AMZ 28, No. 42, October 1826, p. 684). Soon afterwards the opera was staged five times in Leipzig (see AMZ 28, No. 52, December 1826, p. 855) and performances in towns like Kassel, Stuttgart, Bremen and Dresden followed (see AMZ 29, 1827, pp. 140, 182, 588, 811, at BStB-DS). In Vienna even a parody with the title Die Schwarze Frau ("The Black Lady") was produced (see AMZ, 29, No. 6, Februar 1827, p. 98).
Of course every publisher jumped on this new bandwagon and threw the opera's music in piecemeal fashion - for every possible instrument - on the market. The copyright law was clearly not such a big problem at that time. In fact the sheer number of relevant publications that were made available in the following two years is somehow staggering (see for example Intelligenzblatt zur Caecilia, 1826, No. 18, pp. 22-25, at Google Books, Whistling 1827, pp. 4, 6, 10, 23, 29, at BStB-DS). The vocal pieces were also brought out as sheet music. Whistling's Handbuch (1827, p. 56, at BStB-DS) reported the publication of "individual arias" by Schott, Lischke, Cranz, Böhme, Haslinger and one more version was printed in 1828 by Diabelli in Vienna (see BStB, catalog). Not at least there were also arrangements for the guitar, both instrumental and vocal, like the Gesänge aus der weißen Dame in two volumes by Breitkopf & Härtel and Favorit-Gesänge mit Begleitung der Guitare aus der Oper Die weisse Frau, again by Diabelli (see Whistling 1827, p. 64). It seems that this music was easily available for anyone who wanted to play it at home and especially the "Scottish air" must have familiar to many amateur musicians and their listeners.
The first German text for this tune was written by poet Wilhelm Gerhard after he had seen a performance of La Dame Blanche. It was published on November 15th, 1826 in a popular newspaper, the Abend-Zeitung from Dresden and Leipzig (No. 273, pp. 1089-90, BStB-DS) together with a short article about this song. Gerhard (1780-1858) is more or less forgotten today but his life and career were in fact very interesting and noteworthy (see as a short summary Goedeke, Grundriß, pp. 894-5; an attempt at a biography: Jahović 1972). He was born in humble circumstances - his father was a small merchant - but became a very wealthy businessman in Leipzig who made a lot of money by importing and selling the products of English manufactures. Besides that he also led some kind of second life as a poet, writer and polymath and was interested in many fields of arts and sciences including geology and botanics. He even was personally acquainted with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe who occasionally said some kind words about him and the great poet clearly served as something like a role model for him. One gets the impression that Gerhard tried to be a new Goethe. This is something that he of course never achieved but his life's work is nonetheless very impressive. In 1833 he was rich enough to close down his business and for the rest of his life devoted himself solely to the arts and his famous "garden", in fact a spacious park.
Two volumes of his poetry were already available in 1826 (Vol. 2 at Google Books). Some of this texts were set to music and became popular songs that would later appear in collections of so-called Volkslieder, for example "A, B, C, D, Wenn Ich Dich Seh'" or the "Matrosenlied". In the course of his life he learned half a dozen languages and translated poetry from most of them. His adaptations of Serbo-Croatian songs found particular interest among his contemporaries. Later he also published a book of translations - or better adaptations - of Robert Burns' songs with a well-informed introduction (Robert Burns' Gedichte, deutsch von W. Gerhard, Leipzig 1840, av. at Google Books). Another collection of Scottish songs was titled Minstrelklänge aus Schottland, rhythmisch verdeutscht (Leipzig 1853, available at Google Books).
In 1826 Gerhard was amongst those who very much liked Boieldieu's opera. One may assume that he saw one of the performances in Leipzig. He particularly enjoyed the "Air écossais" in the third act but the tune sounded somehow familiar to him: "It seemed as if I had already heard the simple, heart-warming sounds of this song somewhere". He then recalled his trip to England some years ago, in 1818. In London at Vauxhall he had seen a popular British tenor singing this piece. Gerhard even found the tune and two texts among the music booklets he had brought back home from this journey.
Interestingly he used as the template for his German version not Braham's lyrics but those published with Mazzinghi's sheet music. The English text was subtitled "A most admired Irish Ballad". This is in fact a mixture of the subtitles from both sheet music editions. On Braham's the song had been called "a much admired Ballad" and on Mazzinghi's "a simple Irish Ballad". Apparently Gerhard had acquired copies of both prints. His new German text was then presented as an "Irländisches Volkslied":
Treu und herzinniglich,
Tausendmal grüss´ ich dich,
Hab´ ich doch manche Nacht
Immer an dich gedacht,
Dort an dem Klippenhang,
Rief ich oft still und bang:
Fort von dem wilden Meer!
Falsch ist es, liebeleer,
Macht nur das Herze schwer,
Mancher wohl warb um mich,
Treu aber liebt' ich dich,
Mögen sie andre frei'n!
Will ja nur dir allein
Leben und Liebe weih'n,
This is in fact not an exact translation but a rather free adaptation. He was later criticized for that approach (see Grünhagen im Grenzboten 1906, pp. 670-2, av. at SUB Bremen) but in his article he humbly admitted that his text should only be regarded as "a weak attempt to make this ditty ["das Liedchen"] understandable to German ears and singable for German voices". Gerhard even discussed the difficulties of translating English lyrics to German and noted that he had tried to capture the spirit of the song instead of simply translating the words and otherwise "let his imagination run free". He even invited other interested poets to try their hand at this piece and a week later the Abend-Zeitung (No. 279, 22.11.1826, p. 1114, at BStB-DS, p. 1114) published a text by one Fr. Laun that was much closer to the original words.
Gerhard's new lyrics were in fact more than simply an "attempt". It is clearly the work of a skilled poet who knew what he wanted to achieve. At the time of writing they already sounded somewhat old-fashioned and today even more so. The word "herzinniglich" - it means something like "wholeheartedly" - is especially noteworthy. Even back then this expression was not that common but nowadays it sounds very out-dated. But it apparently served as a kind of textual hook that increased the song's recognition value.
In his article he also noted that the other English text was prepared for publication with music by Hofmeister in Leipzig. In fact it came out the following year. In Whistling's Handbuch der musikalische Literatur for the year 1827 this edition is listed as "Irländisches Volkslied mit engl. u. deutschem Text von Gerhard" (p. 62, at BStB-DS) and it was sold for "4 Gr.":
- Robin Adair a Simple Irish Ballad - Robin Adair, Jrländisches Volkslied von Wilhelm Gerhard für Harfe oder Pianoforte, Hofmeister, Leipzig, n. d.  (only extant copy at the Library of the Beethoven-Haus, Bonn, Geyr 42 u)
As can be seen the song was called here a "simple Irish ballad" á la Mazzinghi. Gerhard's German text was also included but set to Braham's version of the tune together with the latter's original words:
Buyers of this publication with a knowledge of the English language may have wondered what these two texts had to do with each other. Apparently Gerhard had brought home a copy of Button & Whittaker's original sheet music that he then forwarded to Hofmeister. Not only Braham's vocal line is copied note for note but also the piano arrangement looks in places suspiciously similar to what the late Mr. Reeve had written for the English edition. But on Hofmeister's sheet music there is no reference to Braham, Reeve or Button & Whittaker and this new publication comes close to a model example for international music piracy by a respected publishing house. Of course these kind of methods were not uncommon at that time.
Interestingly at about the same time Mazzinghi's variant of the tune was made available in Germany, but not as sheet music. We can find it in a review of a performance of La dame Blanche in Stuttgart that was published in the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung (Vol. 29, No. 11, March 1827, p. 183). The writer called the song "eine ächt schottische Romanze" [a true Scottish romance] but strangely Mr. Mazzinghi's variant was combined here with a very mutilated version of Braham's text. Another edition of this song was published by Schott in Mainz in 1828. They announced it as "Robin Adair, No. 80" in a series called Gesänge mit Piano- oder Harfe- oder Guitarre-Begleitung (Intelligenzblatt zur AMZ, Vol. 30, No. XXI, Dezember 1828, p. 84, at Google Books):
- No. 80, Robin Adair a simple Irish Ballad. Robin Adair Jrländisches Volkslied für Harfe oder Pianoforte oder Guitarre, Mainz bey B. Schott's Söhnen, n. d.  (online available at the library of the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp (Artesis University College of Antwerp), Historical Collection)
As he title suggests this was simply a reissue of Hofmeister's version, but without any reference to the original edition. The tune, the texts and the piano arrangement are exactly the same. Only a guitar part was added and for some reason the publisher left out Wilhelm Gerhard's name.
One more version of "Robin Adair", also with both Braham's and Gerhard's lyrics, can be found on an undated sheet music published by Cranz in Hamburg:
- Robin Adair Schottische Ballade. Benutzt in der Oper Die weisse Frau von A. Boieldieu. Für Pianoforte oder Guitarre, No. 12, Pr. 4 Gr., Hamburg bei A. Cranz, [n. d.] (only extant copy at Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Musiksammlung, MS12858-qu.4)
I assume this was one of the "individual arias" by Cranz that were mentioned in Whistling's Handbuch in 1827 (p. 56, at BStB-DS). In fact it is not Braham's version of the tune. Here the two texts were combined - as the title says - with the variant from La Dame Blanche. Therefore the song was designated not as "Irish" but as "Scottish" and only as "Ballade" but not as a "Volkslied". It is also notable that again Gerhard was not credited as the originator of the German words although it couldn't have been too difficult to find out. I assume this was a deliberate omission:
As can be seen here there were certain difficulties with using Braham's and Gerhard's texts with Boieldieu's variant of the tune. That one consists of 18 bars - the B-part is two bars longer - while the former were conceived for a melody of 16 bars. The solution to this problem applied here was is not particularly convincing. The refrain line already starts in measure 15 and that doesn't sound right. It is then even repeated three times. The very same version was also included in another publication, but there only with Gerhard's German words and an arrangement for guitar that is not that dissimilar to the one used in Cranzen's sheet music:
- Arion. Sammlung auserlesener Gesangstücke mit Begleitung der Guitarre, 1. Band, Braunschweig, bei F. Busse, n. d. [1828/9], No. 47, p. 82 (available online: Boijes Samling 899, Musik- och Teaterbiblioteket, Statens musikverk, Stockholm)
In 1828 publisher Heinrich Busse from Braunschweig started a couple of interesting series of songbooks with somewhat bombastic titles like Arion. Sammlung auserlesener Gesangstücke mit Begleitung des Pianoforte resp. Guitarre, Orpheus. Sammlung auserlesener mehrstimmiger Gesänge ohne Begleitung and Amphion. Sammlung auserlesener Tänze für das Pianoforte. These were cheap and handy volumes and they were at first sold as booklets with each including 7 or 8 songs but priced only at 4 Gr. This was in fact a very good offer. The major publishing houses like Hofmeister, Cranz or Schott used to sell a single song for the same price.
Six consecutive booklets were later bound to one book. The first volume of Arion included songs and arias for example by Weber, Pollini, Spohr und Kreutzer. These were more or less the most popular songs of that time. In the preface to the first volume of this collection Busse claims that because of a new printing technique these books were "so remarkably cheap that even the less well-off can afford it". But to be true his business model was very obviously the reprint of pieces originally published by the big music firms. The composers of the borrowed songs were of course named but Mr. Busse strictly refrained from acknowledging his sources or even the arrangers.
His rivals were not amused, in fact they were very annoyed and called for a boycott of Busse's publications (see for example Intelligenzblatt zur Allgemeinen Musikalischen Zeitung, Vol. 30, No. IX, June 1828, p. 33, at BStB-DS, also Die Freie Presse, No. 35, 27. 8. 1829, p. 144, at Google Books, for the background see Kawohl 2008 at copyrighthistory.org). Among the publishers involved in this campaign were Hofmeister, Peters, Schott, Simrock as well as Breitkopf & Härtel, but for some reason not Cranz. They bemoaned the lack of legal protection for music and announced that they had to take care of their rights themselves.
Of course their allegations were correct. But it all sounds like the pot calling the kettle black because they also indulged in this kind of musical piracy. As noted above Hofmeister had copied text, vocal line and at least a part of the piano arrangement from the original English sheet music of "Robin Adair" for their own edition without acknowledging the source. This was common practice at that time. For example I seriously doubt that any of the income generated from the numerous editions of the music of La Dame Blanche reached the composer in Paris. By all accounts this boycott wasn't particularly successful and Busse's series apparently became very popular. A music seller in Frankfurt announced these collection in June 1830 in local Intelligenzblatt (Dritte Beilage zu Nro. 49, n. p.) with some appropriate words:
"Angenehme Auswahl bei einer sorgfältigen Austattung und überaus billigen Preisen haben diesen Musiksammlungen überall willkommenen Eingang verschafft, und es ist daher zu erwarten, dass sie auch hier eine freundschaftliche Aufnahme finden werden"
About 10 volumes of Arion appeared during the following years and they were later also reprinted by another publisher in Leipzig. One can find them easily in library catalogs, even in Britain (see Copac) and I have seen some of them also in sales lists of old book shops. So it seems there were quite popular at that time.
"Robin Adair" can be found in booklet No. 6 of the first volume that appeared early in 1829, but for some reason not in the edition for pianoforte but only in the one for guitar (No. 47, p. 82). This version was clearly "borrowed" from Cranzen's sheet music who seems to have been the first publisher to combine Gerhard's text with Boieldieu's tune variant:
We can see that at the end of the 1820s already two German versions of "Robin Adair" were available. In both cases Wilhelm Gerhard's "Treu Und Herzinniglich" served as the text. For Hofmeister's sheet music these words were set to Braham's original tune and this variant was designated - thanks to Mazzinghi - as "Irländisches Volkslied". Cranz instead resorted to the tune from La Dame Blanche and called it "Schottische Ballade". Both were the starting-point for a particular line of tradition and all later published versions of the song can be traced back to one of them.
Besides these music prints Gerhard's text was also published on what looks like a chapbook from around 1830:
- Vier neue Lieder. 1. Der Aschenmann und ein Mädchen. 2. Als ich ein schönes Mädchen sah. 3. Treu und herzinniglich, Robin Adair. 4. Arie aus der Schweizer Familie [Herz mein Herz, warum das Kränken], n. p., n. d. [before 1832] (only extant copy at Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek, Weimar, Dd3:63[a]; I wish to thank the library for sending me a digital copy of this print)
This is an interesting collection of popular songs old and new. The first piece here is from Ferdinand Raimund's popular play Das Mädchen aus der Feenwelt oder Der Bauer als Millionär (1826) while the fourth was lifted from Joseph Weigl's opera Die Schweizer Familie (1809). According to Otto Holzapfel's Liedverzeichnis (2006, Vol. 2, p. 1298) Gerhard's text was also included in other undated so-called Liedflugschriften. One date listed there, "Hamburg, um 1815-20", is much too early because the song was of course only available since 1826. The other two may have been published much later. On one of them the title was mutilated to "Treu und herzinniglich, Ruminatör".
Of course "Robin Adair" was also performed in Germany by popular artists of that era. Henriette Sontag, one of the great international stars at that time (see Wikipedia), sang this piece for example in Berlin in March 1827 (see AMZ 29, No. 18, 2.5.1827, p. 309, at BStB-DS). Composer Johann Peter Pixis had written variations for her. Perhaps she wanted to outdo her great rival Angelica Catalani whose own variations for this song had been - as noted above - composed by Sir John Stevenson. Her version was also published as sheet music in England:
- Robin Adair: with Variations for the Voice, as sung by Madlle Sontag, at the Public & Private Concerts, Composed expressly for her & Arranged with an Accompaniment for the Piano Forte, by I. P. Pixis (available at BStB & Google Books; see also the rather negative review in Harmonicon, Vol. 4, No. XLVI, October 1826, pp. 197-8, at Google Books)
This publication included English, Italian and German lyrics, the latter a new translation. Pixis also wrote variations for the piano that were published in Paris but of course were also available in Germany (see Whistling 1828, p. 758, at Google Books)
III. Herder's Cuckoo's Egg - Some Notes About The Term "Volkslied"
At this point it is necessary to return to Wilhelm Gerhard and the very first publication of his adaptation in 1826. The German text is entitled: "Robin Adair. Irländisches Volkslied". The reference to Ireland was of course borrowed from Mazzinghi's sheet music but the use of the term "Volkslied" appears at first glance a little bit surprising. On the original English sheet music the song had only been called a "A simple Irish ballad" (Mazzinghi) or "The much admired ballad" (Braham). On other contemporaneous editions of "Robin Adair" we find descriptions like "popular ballad", "favourite Air" or "celebrated ballad". The German term "Volkslied" must be discussed here in greater detail because this designation was retained for many later editions of the song, not only those derived from Hofmeister's original sheet music. Later it was also applied to the versions using Boieldieu's tune variant which had at first only been labeled as "Schottische Ballade".
It is important to note that "Volkslied" should not be confused with the English term "folk song". The latter has different connotations and refers usually only to the music of the lower classes. Not at least it wasn't in use in Britain at that time but was only introduced several decades later (see Gregory, Emergence of a Concept, 2010). "Folk" is not the same as "Volk". This German word encompasses a much wider semantic field. It can also be translated as "nation" or "people". At that time the corresponding English term was "national air" (see Gelbart, p. 106) which was also not uncommon in Germany as a kind of synonym for "Volkslied". Gerhard in fact used "Nationalklänge" in reference to Scottish tunes in an opera by Rossini.
The term "Volkslied" was introduced in Germany by Johann Gottfried Herder in the 1770s (see for example Noa, pp. 76-98, Grosch 2011, pp. 60-64, Gelbart, pp. 102-4) as a translation of the expression "popular song" that he had found in Bishop Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry (1765), a collection that had been a major inspiration for him (s. Schwab, p. 88). This new term quickly won acceptance and became more or less ubiquitous. Not at least Herder's concept was the starting signal for the development of a very lucrative segment of the music market.
But one can't help thinking that Herder had in fact planted something like a big cuckoo's egg. Even a cursory reading of Pulikowski's impressive documentation about the use of "Volkslied" and related terms in Germany from the late 18th to early 20th century (Heidelberg 1933) makes it abundantly clear that in fact nobody was really sure what this was all about and most of the self-appointed experts were more or less shooting in the dark. For example it became never clear if "Volkslieder" were the songs by the people or for the people or those that were simply popular among them. Equally problematic was the term "Volk". It seems that for many of the professional friends of the "Volkslied" the real "Volk" always remained a somewhat unknown entity.
I am not interested here in the question of how "Volkslied" - or for that matter the English "folk song" - should be defined. In fact I am very critical about these concepts and prefer not to use them as descriptive terms. Nor do I care if the song discussed here can be regarded as an authentic "Volkslied" or not. What is of interest here is the practical use of the term at that particular time in Germany.
A look at music catalogs from the 19th century shows that "Volkslied" covered a very wide field. For example Arne's "Rule Britannia" was sold as "englisches Volkslied" (see Whistling 1828, p. 1102, at BStB-DS). The same was the case with "God Save The King" (see Pulikowski, pp. 36/50). It was also not uncommon that imported popular songs were designated as "Volkslieder", for example John Howard Payne's "Home Sweet Home". And as late as 1900 Stephen Foster's "My Old Kentucky Home" was offered as "Nordamerikanisches Volkslied" (see Hofmeister XIX, Juni 1851, p. 123 & Februar 1900, p. 77).
In fact a song's status as a "Volkslied" was not determined by its provenance. It was not so much the question who sang it or who had written it or if it had been taken down from the "mouth of the people", whoever that was at that given moment. The key was a song's form and its style and sound. Gerhard in his article about "Robin Adair" explicitly emphasizes its "simple and heart-warming sounds" ("die einfach-rührenden Klänge") and - this should be pointed out again - on the original English sheet music of Mazzinghi's version it had already been described as a "simple [...] ballad". The term "simple" built the bridge to the German "Volkslied"
Herder saw "simplicity" as a characteristic and essential feature of "Volkslieder". In the introduction to the second volume of his Volkslieder (1779, p. 3) the term "volksartig" was defined as "leicht, einfach" (i. e. "easy, simple"): "The criterion that determines the [...] elevation [of a poetic entity] to a Volkslied is [...] not its origin from the anonymous depth of an illiterate culture of the people ('des Volkes') but only its form" (Deiters, p. 195, see also Schwab, p. 88-9, Bendix, pp. 36-44, Noa, p. 85, Grosch 2011, pp. 63-4, Braungart 2005). This was a purely esthetical approach. The "ethnologized" definition of "Volkslied" (terms borrowed from Grosch 2011, p. 64, Grosch 201, pp. 8-14) only lingered far in the background although it was already discernible.
In fact oral tradition was not a prerequisite (see Deiters, p. 196), Goethe's "älteste Müttergens" (see Braungart 2005, pp. 8-9) - allegedly the best source for these kind of songs - were usually far out of sight. They surely didn't read the Abend-Zeitung, they didn't go to see La dame Blanche. Poet Wilhelm Gerhard had not collected "Robin Adair" in some little Irish village. His sources had been a French opera and the sheet music of a popular British hit. The real people, especially the poor peasants from the countryside and the lower classes in general - those folks the folklorists and song collectors later became obsessed with - only played a minor role. They had little or nothing to do with what was published as "Volkslied" at that time. Herder's "Volk" should not be confused with these real people (see Deiters, pp. 196, 199-200). In fact the latter had been rudely dismissed by him as the "rabble in the alleys, that never sings or creates poetry but screams and mutilates" (Volkslieder, Zweiter Theil, 1779, p. 19, see also Bendix, p. 40).
Of course a connection to the mythical - and sometimes even the real - "Volk" was an added benefit for a song. If the tune happened to be a little bit older or if the composer was not known it could be sold as "alte Volksweise". But these features could easily be faked. That seems to have been the reason that the names of composers or poets were sometimes deliberately concealed. This was what for example happened to Wilhelm Gerhard who was - as will be seen - rarely credited as the creator of the German text even though it couldn't have been too difficult to find out.
Not at least: if the "Volk" wasn't able to deliver what was expected of him any composer or poet who understood the style could easily pass off his own creations as genuine products of this unreliable entity. Herder wouldn't have minded. He himself had included his "poems and those by the young Goethe as examples for Volkspoesie in his collections" and Deiters (p. 197) argues convincingly that Herder's approach can best be seen as an "act of simulation", the "simulation of the people" ("des Volkes"), but - this should be added - not so much of the real people but of an imagined "Volk".
What we today would call "fakery" or "forgery" became an essential feature of this genre. The "Volkslied" should not be seen as a fraudulent falsification of culture of the real people, the lower classes, by middle-class intellectuals but as a completely new genre with its own rules and its own ideas of "authenticity". Important was not so much any kind of "material authenticity" but "spiritual genuineness" (terms from Bendix, pp. 61-2) and the latter derived from a song's form and style, its simplicity and - this should also be added (see Schwab 1965) - singability, no matter who had been the creator.
But there was one major problem: not every "simple" or popular song could be accepted as a true "Volkslied". And who was able to distinguish between what was genuine and what was not? Who could recreate and promote this genre? The key role in this game was occupied by a mediator, the one who stood between the "Volk" and the "Volkslied", the gatekeeper of the tradition. This was of course nobody but Herder himself who mutated into "the voice of the people" (see Deiters, p. 198 & 201). He had some role models like Bishop Percy or the Scottish song editor and poet Allan Ramsay. But one can say that he more or less created this job in its modern form and numerous kindred spirits - collectors, editors, composers, folksingers, professors - followed in his footsteps. We will meet some of them in the course of this story.
They were those in the know, those who had found the truth. In fact they were in charge of the genre and not - God forbid - the people themselves. "It was always an elite that defined what "Volk" [...] and "Volkslied" were supposed to be" (Köstlin 2007, p. 39) and the control of this concept and this term remained in the hand of these urban intellectuals. Of course they could rarely agree on what was really a true "Volkslied" and what one expert regarded as "genuine" could be dismissed by his colleague or rival as a fraud or at least as "inauthentic". The extent of editorial intervention was also highly controversial and it was not uncommon that one tinkerer accused another tinkerer of tinkering.
The practical function of these mediators was twofold. First they supplied the inhabitants of the modern world, those who felt alienated from their origins and who needed a "fix of authenticity" (Bendix, p. 54), with the treasures from the good old days - when the world was still in order and everybody sang the same songs -, or at least with something that apparently sounded that way. And then they of course tried to give these kind of genuine "Volkslieder" back to the real people, the lower classes. The educational approach was also an inherent feature of this supposedly "morally superior genre" (Bendix, p. 42; see Pulikowski, pp. 404-440). The "folk" should be taught to sing the more valuable "Volkslieder" instead of those songs that were popular among them, especially the dreaded bawdy stuff (see Pulikowski, pp. 432-3). This was an often well-intentioned but in practice rather manipulative attempt to control their music and their culture.
But there was also a political reason behind this attitude. "Volkslieder" were promoted as an important part of the common culture of the German people. At that time Germany was politically divided and culturally fragmented. The music became an element of "nation building" (see for example Noa 2013). In this respect this genre was not so much a thing of the past but a forward-looking idea (see Grosch 2011, p. 62). Here we can see a political definition of "Volk": this term simply referred to all parts of the society, not only the lower classes. "Volkslieder" were the songs of the German "nation".
At the time Herder created the term "Volkslied" another closely related genre came into use. It was called "Lieder im Volkston", songs in the style of the people. Composer J. A. P. Schulz first published a collection with that title in 1782. These kind of songs treated much the same ground as "Volkslieder". They were conceived to be simple - this was meant in a positive way and in relation to more ambitious art music - but still of high quality. The target group for this collection and many similar publications that would follow were of course not the lower classes but the amateur players of the urban middle class, those who could afford to buy a piano as well as the music books. In this context "Volk" meant the culturally-aware "Bürgertum", or what poet Gottfried August Bürger had referred to as "unser ganzes gebildetes Volk" ("all our educated people"; see Widmaier 2010, pp. 14-5, Grosch 2011, p. 64, Grosch 2013, p. 12; see also Schwab 1965, Pulikowski, p. 456).
This is in fact a third relevant definition of this term that remained somehow valid for quite a long time. This gets clear if we throw away all of the ideological ballast created by Herder and his successors and instead simply have a look at the music catalogs of that era. Who bought all these numerous editions of "Volkslieder" and "Lieder im Volkston" published during the 19th century? Surely not the poor peasants from the countryside.
"Volkslieder" in 19th century Germany should not be seen as the music of the rural - or urban - lower classes. The real "folk" was at best only passive object of the pedagogical efforts of the self-appointed promoters of this genre and sometimes a rather unreliable source for assorted relics from the past. Instead the "Volkslied" was first and foremost the cultural property of the modern urban middle-class ("Bürgertum"), a genre invented, promoted and controlled by their intellectual representatives (see also Braungart 2005, p. 12). They bought this kind of music and played it at home or sang these songs in choirs. In practice it ended up as simply a genre of popular music of supposedly "better" quality and more value than the commercial "Pop music" of that era and the real music of the urban lower classes.
In this context "Volkslieder" from other countries were as welcome as native German songs. This was of course also a part of Herder's legacy. In fact a great amount of foreign songs were published in Germany during the 19th century (see Pulikowski, p. 498). I assume today this would be called "world music". By all accounts they were particularly fascinated by British imports. I have already mentioned "God Save The King", "Home, Sweet Home" and "Rule Britannia". More can easily be found in the music catalogs from this time. "Robin Adair" also belonged to this group and. It was only much more successful than many others.
In Britain and the USA it was never called a "folk song". As already noted that term encompassed a much smaller field. Collectors like Baring-Gould, Sharp, Lomax or Randolph would never have touched this piece because didn't fit their concept of what a "folk song" should be. But I am sure they could have collected it "from the mouth of the people" if they had wanted to. The song must have been widely known among the "folk", not only because the text was published in England on broadsides and in chapbooks (see Roud Index, No. 8918) and in North America in numerous songsters.
English song collector Lucy Broadwood once - in the late 1890s - found "a bell-ringer who kept a written list of all the songs he knew and made old songs his hobby". Unfortunately at first he didn't want to sing for her the "valuable songs [...] the narrative ballads and the simple or archaic words and tunes" but instead preferred to perform, among others, "Robin Adair". But that one she didn't want to hear (Gregory 2010, p. 491). From the USA we have a very nice example for what in German would be called "Volksläufigkeit", the song's popularity among the people. "Robin Adair" was one of the popular pieces sung by a group of youngsters while waiting for the coach one night in 1857 in rural Pennsylvania (reported in George 1910, p. 10). But as far as I know the only collector who at least mentioned the song was Henry Shoemaker in his North Pennsylvania Minstrelsy (1919, p. 27). He noted that it had been one of the "old ballads" sung by women. The other "favorites" listed are "Barbara Ellen", "Wait For The Wagon", "Oh Susannah", "Vilikens And Dinah" and "Nellie Gray". In fact the people didn't care much if these were "folk songs" or "popular songs".
In Germany John Braham's "Robin Adair" was quickly incorporated into the corpus of "Volkslieder". Poet Wilhelm Gerhard had defined it as such because it matched the definition of this term that was common at that time and his designation determined the subsequent history of the song in Germany. But Gerhard himself fell victim to the genre rules. His name was quickly swept under the table and he was later rarely credited as the creator of the German text. This made the song look like an anonymous "Volkslied". Interestingly that was another striking difference to its history in Britain and the USA where the fabricated story about Lady Keppel became immensely popular. One may say that the people there were somehow obsessed with finding out the writer of the text that they even accepted such a dubious fairy-tale while in Germany the editors and publishers preferred to keep Gerhard's involvement as the translator out of the picture.
I can't avoid to mention another interesting aspect of this story. As noted "Volkslieder" also served as a kind of antidote and antithesis to the modernizing world (see Köstlin 2007, p. 38). It was like a look back in a mythical past when the world had been much simpler and much better (see Pulikowski, pp. 459-468). Of course it hadn’t been but that never mattered much. This is not much different from today: the more complicated, the more mechanized the world the more popular are "old folk songs". The irony in this story is that Gerhard in his role as a businessman and merchant who imported modern goods produced by British manufactures to Germany was a typical representative of the new age. But in his second incarnation as a poet deeply influenced by romantic ideology he also brought home from a business trip to England this "Volksliedchen" - as he called it - that then could be used as a little respite from the modern world he was helping to create. This kind of "ambivalence" was and is not uncommon (see Köstlin 2007, p. 39 for another example).
IV. Friedrich Silcher & Ludwig Erk
At the end of the 1820s tune of "Robin Adair" was apparently well known in Germany, mostly thanks to Boieldieu's La Dame Blanche and the different editions of sheet music with Wilhelm Gerhard's new text. But a great boost for the song's popularity came in 1834 when Friedrich Silcher published an arrangement for male choirs. Silcher (1789-1860) was a very popular and influential composer, arranger, music educator and choirmaster. He came from a small village in Württemberg where his father worked as a school-teacher and was also at first trained in this profession. But as a very gifted musician he decided to specialize in that field. After jobs in Ludwigsburg and Stuttgart Silcher became the musical director of the university of Tübingen in 1817, a position he kept until his death in 1860 (summarized from Schmid 1989, Dahmen 1989, Bopp 1916).
It was the era of the so-called "Männergesangvereine" - male choirs -, a phenomena that became deeply embedded in German culture. These were not simply some men singing in a choir but an expression of the political and cultural emancipation of the ascending middle-class (for the historical background see Klenke 1998, esp. pp. 21-50, Nickel 2013, esp. pp. 67-86, also Lämmle, pp. 120-2, Taigel in Schmid 1989, pp. 147-155). In 1808 the very first Liedertafel was founded in Berlin, 1824 the Liederkranz in Stuttgart. The Swiss Gesangvereine were also an important influence and in 1829 Silcher himself started the Akademische Liedertafel in Tübingen (see Dahmen, pp. 79-84).
A considerable part of his works consisted of four-part arrangements of all kinds of songs. He was especially interested in "simple, singable, 'natural', popular songs instead of difficult, 'learned','artificial'" pieces (Schmoll-Barthel in Schmid 1989, p. 128). "Volkslieder" occurred to him as particularly suitable in this respect. In a letter to Swiss composer, publisher and educator Hans-Georg Nägeli he once emphasized the "peculiar simplicity" of these kind of songs and their "simple, comfortable natural sounds" ("die einfachen, gemütlichen Naturlaute"; Dahmen, p. 129).
In 1826 Silcher published a little booklet with the title XII Volkslieder, gesammelt und für 4 Männerstimmen gesetzt (see the review in Literatur-Blatt, Nr. 38, 12.5.1826, p. 152). This was the start of a series of altogether 12 volumes with all in all 144 songs. The last one came out in 1860. In a promotional letter to a publishing house in 1825 Silcher claimed that he was busy collecting "the best old 'Volkslieder' with their tunes, partly from [...] collections and partly from the mouth of the people, but not without difficulties," to meet the current demand for these kind of songs by giving them to the people a "refined" form. He also stressed the enthusiasm of his singers, both the more educated and those from the lower classes (Dahmen, p. 219). This publisher declined the offer and that was a great mistake.
In a letter to another firm, Laupp in Tübingen, Silcher stressed again the great interest in "genuine, old 'Volkslieder' in Germany". But he also saw - like publisher Busse from Braunschweig with his series like Arion - the need for less expensive music collections: "never before have 12 songs been published for that price" (Lämmle, p. 113). Laupp accepted the proposal and was well rewarded. These popular publications remained in their program for a very long time.
Silcher was also clear-sighted enough to respond to the growing market for domestic music-making ("Hausmusik", see Dahmen, p. 122) and started another series with partly the same songs: XII deutsche Volkslieder mit Melodien, gesammelt und für eine oder zwei Singstimmen mit Begleitung des Pianoforte oder der Gitarre. This one was published between 1835 and 1860 in 8 volumes. Not at least he was also fascinated by foreign songs and therefore offered them in one more series with the title Ausländische Volksmelodien mit deutschem, zum Teil aus dem Englischen usw. übertragenen Text. Gesammelt und für eine oder zwei Singstimmen mit Begleitung des Pianoforte gesetzt (4 Vols., 1835-1840).
Friedrich Silcher became one of the most successful promoters of "Volkslieder" in Germany. But in fact he was not much of a collector and surely not a scholarly folklorist. By all accounts he had found most of the songs in the library. The greatest part of them came from printed sources and were then often heavily edited and cleaned up (see Brügel 1914, Bopp 1916). He also got some help and support from his students. In one case two of his pupils even wrote - just for fun - one complete song themselves but told him that they had collected it somewhere in the countryside. Silcher faithfully published this piece and only later was told of its real creators. But apparently it sounded genuine and it was reprinted in other collections and later even arranged and newly published by Johannes Brahms, also someone who disliked academic nitpicking as long as a "Volkslied" sounded right (see Bopp, pp. 71-2, for Brahms see Pulikowski, p. 219).
Not at least Silcher wrote a considerable number of the tunes himself and first passed them off as authentic "Volksweisen". This he only admitted much later. In fact nearly a third of those published in the Volkslieder für Männerstimmen were his own productions (see Bopp, p. 167). But it would be wrong to call them fakes. He simply wanted to create anew what was not available from the real "folk" (see Dahmen, p. 121-2). And in practice it didn't matter much. He needed simple, singable songs. What was important was the style, the sound, the "spiritual genuineness", not some kind of ethnological authenticity to which he only paid lip service. Silcher understood the style, his tunes sounded genuine, so genuine that they found their way into other collections of "Volkslieder". One may say that he wrote better "folk songs" than the "folk" itself.
This would also have been fine with Herder who had noted that it "is always better to include new songs than improved, i. e. mutilated old ones. With a new song we are completely the master of the content, as long as we are inspired by the spirit of the old times" (Volkslieder, Zweiter Theil, p. 36). In fact Silcher's work as a composer of new tunes was very much appreciated by his contemporaries. An anonymous writer in the AMZ (1844, Vol. 56, No. 4, Jan 1844, p. 49) wrote approvingly that he had "turned the treasures of the "Volkslied" into a common good not only by setting familiar 'Volksmelodien' for four voices but also by composing - 'mit vielem Glück' - new ones". In fact what Silcher published and promoted as "Volkslieder" were not songs by the people but for them. He was one of the professional gatekeepers of the genre and his target audience were at first the musical amateurs of the educated middle-class who loved to sing his songs at home and in choirs.
But here the lower classes also appeared on the scene. He wanted to give this songs "back" to them. Silcher - like others - regarded "Volkslieder" as an useful and very effective medium for the education of the people. He wanted to promote them especially among the soldiers and the journeymen to replace all the bawdy songs: "Diese Lieder sollen unter dem Volk die schlechten Zotenlieder verdrängen" (Dahmen, p. 119, 130). The people were not so much regarded as active bearers of tradition but as passive objects of cultural indoctrination. Silcher "idealized the 'Volk' but at the same time tried to educate them with 'refined' songs" (Schmoll-Barthel in Schmid 1989, p. 120). This is a contradiction inherent in all folk song ideology because ethnological reality and the aesthetic standards often collided heavily.
One can surely say that he was a very effective and successful multiplicator. His songbooks were regularly reprinted and in his 43 years as the university's musical director he had countless pupils who later, as teachers, professors and clergymen, spread his songs far and wide. Today his name is apparently only known to specialists but a considerable number of the pieces published by him are still performed. Many of them have become real "folk songs", songs that everybody knows. Here I will only mention the gorgeous tune he had written for Heinrich Heine's poem "Die Loreley". I seriously doubt that there is anybody in Germany who has never heard this melody and who isn't at least to some extent familiar with it. Silcher's influence was even felt outside of Germany. For example some of his songs were published in England and the USA and even Queen Victoria sang them (see Dahmen, pp. 133-4 & 151, Schmoll-Barthel in Schmid 1989, p. 113-4)
His "Robin Adair" was apparently not exported to Britain. I assume they had already enough of them there. But in Germany his arrangement became a standard for male choirs. It was first published in 1834 in the fourth volume of the "Volkslieder" for male choirs (No. 10, pp. 10-11):
- XII Volkslieder, gesammelt und für vier Männerstimmen gesetzt von Friedrich Silcher, Heft 4, Op. 18, Tübingen, n. d.  (see Hofmeister XIX, September, Oktober 1834, p. 82; see also the ad in Literarischer Anzeiger Nr. XXII, Beilage zu den Blättern für literarische Unterhaltung, 1834, [p. 1531] & Intelligenzblatt zur allgemeinen musikalischen zeitung, No. IX, September 1834, p. 36 , at Google Books)
This is an interesting compilation that includes songs from different parts of Germany - Swabia, Bavaria, Württemberg - as well as Austria and Switzerland. "Robin Adair" was the only foreign song and it is described as "Irländisches Volkslied". That designation points to the line of tradition that had started with Wilhelm Gerhard's article and Hofmeister's sheet music. One may assume that Silcher was familiar with at least the latter. The text used here is of course Gerhard's but he is not named as the author, perhaps to insinuate that this was an anonymous old song:
Interestingly Silcher simplified the melody line. The "Scotch snap" is missing as are all the ornamentations like the triplet in measure 11. He even corrected the octave jump downwards in measure 10 and restored the sixth that had been common in earlier tune variants. In fact he took two steps backwards and recreated the melody as it was known before Boieldieu and Braham. Apparently he was not only familiar with these two popular variants but also with Mazzinghi's version that had been reprinted - as already noted - in the AMZ in 1827. That one could have been the starting-point for his arrangement. But there is good reason to assume that he also knew the version of the melody used by Thomas Moore for "Erin! The Tear And The Smile In Thine Eyes" in the Irish Melodies, that looks nearly identical.
A second variant of the tune can also be found in this collection: "dieselbe Melodie, wie sie durch Boieldieu's Dame Blanche sich nun gestaltet hat":
Here Silcher was also confronted with the problem that Gerhard's text had been conceived for a tune of 16 bars while Boieldieu's variant had 18. But he solved it in a more professional way than the anonymous arranger of Cranzen's sheet music. Measures 13-16 - the repetition of the 4-bar-phrase - were deleted. Instead he inserted measures 11 and 12 from Braham's version - easily recognizable by the triplet - after measure 10. This is in fact a strange hybrid of both tune variants but works much better. Why he also presented this version is not exactly clear. But perhaps he wanted to demonstrate the "folk-like" simplicity of his own arrangement in comparison to the more "sophisticated" form of the melody line as it was used on the opera stage.
Silcher was not the only choirmaster who became interested in this song. 11 years later Ludwig Erk published another 4-part-arrangement for male choirs. Erk (1807-1883) may have been the most important and influential promoter and scholar of "Volkslieder" in Germany during the 19th century. He was trained as a music teacher, became an associate of liberal school reformer Adolf Diesterweg and at first taught at teacher seminaries, for example in Moers. In 1835 he moved to Berlin where he worked at the Lehrerseminar für Stadtschulen. Later he was appointed to the position of a Royal Music Director.
Erk was very critical of most previous collections of German "Volkslieder". One could say that in this respect he knew neither friends nor relatives. He had even very harsh words for the efforts of both his brother Friedrich and his brother-in-law Wilhelm Greef who were in the same business. But he really started to collect songs from oral tradition with the help of a network of informants, mostly teachers. During his life he amassed about 20000 records. The only problem was that what he found did not always comply with his ideas of how a "Volkslied" should be. Here the esthetical standards and the ethnological realities collided heavily (summarized from Schade 1969, esp. Chapters II & III).
His major scholarly works were Die Deutschen Volkslieder mit ihren Singweisen (1838-41), the Neue Sammlung Deutscher Volkslieder mit ihren eigenthümlichen Melodien (1841-45) and especially Deutscher Liederhort (1856). A vastly expanded edition of the latter in three volumes was published posthumously by Franz Magnus Böhme in 1893/4 and it became - in spite of many shortcomings - for a long time a standard work, the so-called "Erk-Böhme". Erk's great collection also served as the ground stock for the Volksliedarchiv in Freiburg. One may say that his influence is still felt although today his methods are of course judged much more critically (see f. ex. Grosch 2013, pp. 14-18).
He also played an important role as a music educator who trained countless teachers, compiled numerous songbooks for schools and even created - for the Prussian government - mandatory canons of "Volkslieder", the songs the pupils had to learn and had to sing (see Gundlach 1969). Besides that he conducted his own choir. The Erk'sche Männergesangverein in Berlin had an excellent reputation and he created a great number of arrangements for male and mixed choirs. During his lifetime Erk also compiled and published numerous collections of songs, mostly "Volkslieder". In fact Erk can be counted among the most successful popularizers of this genre.
Of course what was published in these kind of books was always carefully selected and cleaned up. He explicitly distinguished between the songs of the "Volk" and songs for the "Volk". In a letter he once noted that he would only use at best one third of the pieces he had collected for a Volksgesangbuch (see Schade, p. 37). This is of course a somehow absurd attitude, but not untypical for that time: the collector regarded songs sung by the "folk" as unsuitable for them. This paternalistic and even condescending attitude led directly to a certain infantilization of this genre, something that is still felt today. Most of the products of these self-appointed professional Volkserzieher had not much to do with what the people really sang and enjoyed. It was what they thought the "folk" should sing.
At least Erk saw no moral dangers in "Robin Adair". He first published an arrangement for four male voices in 1845:
- Ludwig Erk (Hg.), Volkslieder, alte und neue, für Männerstimmen gesetzt. Erstes Heft, 68 Lieder enthaltend, Essen 1845, No. 21, p. 19 (now available online at SLUB Dresden)
In the introduction he noted that the arrangements in this book had grown out of the practical work with his choirs and emphasized the "natural beauty" of these songs. Erk regarded "Volkslieder" as a good medium for the development of musical skills, for the understanding of what he calls the "organic form" of a song. In fact he kept his arrangements simple and in this respect he clearly followed Friedrich Silcher.
Erk surely was familiar with Silcher's version. Not only did he also call this song an "Irländisches Volkslied". His melody line is more or less identical. He only introduced a minor variation. In measure 11 the first quarter note is not an f'' as should be expected but ab'. In Silcher's arrangement this particular note was sung by the second tenor. Erk transferred it to the part of the first tenor. This would become a characteristic feature of all the versions of the song he published later. I can't say if this was an unintended error or if he had changed it on purpose. On the other hand he reintroduced the "Scotch Snap" that had gone amiss in Silcher's simplified variant. I have no idea if he also knew other versions of "Robin Adair" or if he only borrowed this feature from the latter's arrangement of Boildieu's tune. Interestingly he also followed Silcher by failing to give Wilhelm Gerhard the appropriate credit as the author of the German text. This couldn't have been too difficult to find out. Absurdly the preceding song in this collection is Gerhard's "Matrosenlied" and here he was named (No. 20, p. 18).
At this point "Robin Adair" became established as a "Volkslied" in Germany, mostly thanks to Silcher and Erk, two of the most influential promoters of this genre. During the following decades the song was then included in numerous relevant publications, sometimes as "Irish", sometimes as "Scottish". That always depended on the source used. This will be discussed in the next chapter.
But already in 1842 the text was reprinted in book called 250 der beliebtesten deutschen Volks-Lieder (3. Auflage, Warendorf & Münster 1842, No. 35, pp. 52-3, available at ULB Münster, Digitale Sammlungen). Some years later it also appeared in weighty tome with the title Allgemeines Deutsches Lieder-Lexikon (Bd. 3, Leipzig 1847, No. 1821, p. 183). This was supposed to be a "complete collection of all known German songs and 'Volksgesänge'". In 1851 the text was even included in a Swiss publication (Allgemeines Schweizer Liederbuch, No. 375, pp. 279-80, available at Google Books), here with a reference to Silcher while Gerhard's name was again swept under the table.
Shortly afterwards the song was also listed in Hoffmann von Fallersleben's Unsere Volksthümlichen Lieder, an important work first published in 1857 (in: Weimarisches Jahrbuch Für Deutsche Sprache, Literatur und Kunst, Vol. 6, pp. 85-215). This was a very impressive publication, in fact the start of systematic research into this genre. Hoffmann used here the term "volkstümlich", this meant songs that were popular among the people. In the introduction he attempted a short but concise history of genre since Herder including an helpful discussion of the great and influential collections published so far. Of course he was very critical about much that was available. But the main part is a list of 737 relevant songs with remarks about their origin, author and earliest print.
Unfortunately what he had found out about "Treu und Herzinniglich, Robin Adair" (No. 593, p. 186) was very meager, not to say misleading. He noted that the song was based on an Irish "Volkslied", that it had became known around 1827 and that text and tune were available in Erk's Volkslieder. Interestingly Hoffmann seems to have been familiar with Edward Bunting's Ancient Music of Ireland, a book first published in 1840. But he only pointed out that the tune can be found there. This is not much and there is no reference to Silcher, the sheet music by Hofmeister and others, to Gerhard, Boieldieu, Braham or anybody else who had been associated with this song.
A second revised edition came out two years later as a book and in the meantime he had apparently discovered some more relevant information (No. 873, p. 128). Here Silcher and Boieldieu's La Dame Blanche were mentioned and he even added Bunting's claim that Lyons had written variations in 1702. But other important parts of the story were still missing. Nonetheless this scarce text served as a source for other publishers and editors who later used some of the information made available here. At least this incomplete knowledge made the song's pedigree look quite good. It was apparently old and a product of some anonymous "folk" and that fit well to the common "Volkslied"-ideology. Any further details, especially about its former life as an English popular hit, wouldn't have looked that good in this respect.
V. "Copy & Paste" - "Robin Adair" In Song Collections Until 1900
The "Volkslied" was one of the most popular musical genres in Germany during the second half of the 19th century. The amount of relevant publications is impressive, not to say staggering. A look at Hofmeisters Monatsberichten offers some helpful statistical data (here calculated with Hofmeister XIX). Between 1829 and 1900 the terms "Volkslied/er", "Volksweise/n" as well as composites with "Volks-" appeared around 6700 times. But this number is surely far from complete. There were also "Volkslieder" in collections of more general nature, for example songbooks for schools, students and choirs. Besides that there were nearly 1000 entries for songs "im Volkston". On the other hand the general term "Lied/er" occurred here about 35000 times. Of course these are only approximate values but nonetheless I would guess that "Volkslieder" and related genres accounted for at least 20 % of all song publications during this era.
But the data obtained from Hofmeister XIX also shows that this popular genre had a slow start. In 1829 the relevant terms appeared only six times. But then the number of publications grew consistently over the next two decades. In 1848, the year of the revolution, there was a first peak with more than 80 references. Afterwards the market calmed somewhat down and only in the 1860s similar figures were reached. Since the 1870s - after the war and the establishment of the Kaiserreich - this genre became even more popular and during last two decades of the century between 100 and 150 publications - and sometimes even more - were listed in the Monatsberichte for every single year.
"Volkslieder" were clearly a very lucrative segment of the music market. This genre turned out to be a godsend for music publishers, compilers and editors of songbooks, arrangers and composers. A "Volkslied" belonged to the people and that meant it belonged to "everybody" respectively nobody. Wilhelm von Zuccalmaglio, one of the more controversial collectors and compilers of this era, once stated bluntly: "jeder Mann aus dem Volke [sic! what about the women?] ist hier Eigenthümer" and one gets the impression that he particularly thought of himself:
"[Everyone]has a right to this treasure, everybody is entitled to disseminate and pass on this treasure as he likes [...] the 'Volkslied' must remain common land ('Almende'!), and if ever the Zauberflöte is sung by the people even Mozart himself would have lost his rights to it" (1849, pp. 238-9, at Google Books).
In fact this referred not only to songs from oral tradition - there weren't much of them available at that time - but even more so to every song designated as "Volkslied" and it was the best possible excuse for musical piracy. Every relevant publication was seen a legitimate source and nearly every editor seems to have been busy plundering his rivals' and predecessors' works by reprinting songs without acknowledging the the source. "Copy and paste" was clearly the most popular publishing principle among the promoters of this genre (see also Pulikowski, pp. 498-507).
The great fashion for "Volkslieder" of course also benefitted "Robin Adair". This song was regularly published in music books and as sheet music. The following overview - though of course not complete - should give an impression of its popularity during this era. First we first have to distinguish between instrumental and vocal versions. Arrangements for the piano appeared surprisingly often. The earliest examples can be found in two publications by popular pianist, composer and piano teacher Carl Czerny:
- Récréations pour la Jeunesse. Douze Rondeaux instructifs et agréables sur des Thèmes modernes et favoris, op. 385, Simrock, Bonn, 1836 (see Hofmeister XIX, April & Mai 1836, p. 40)
- 24 petites Pièces en Rondeaux et Variations avec le Doigté à l’Usage de la Jeunesse, op. 455, Simrock, Bonn, 1838 (see Hofmeister XIX, Januar 1838, p. 6)
Ferdinand Beyer, also a piano teacher, composer and arranger, used the tune - in this case Braham's version, he may have been familiar with Schott's or Hofmeister's sheet music - in his Etudes mélodiques sur des Airs populaires (Op. 98, Livre 2, Schott, Mainz, 1849, see Hofmeister XIX, Mai/Juni 1849, p. 52). Shortly later this piece was reprinted in an American piano instruction book (1852, pp. 146-9, available at Hathi Trust Digital Library). One G. Scheller arranged the tune for a series called Chansons patriotiques. Fantaisies pour Pianoforte et Violon (op. 34, see Hofmeister XIX, August 1856, p. 1025). Other pieces in this collection were the "Marseillaise", "Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser" and "Kong Christian". Apparently he misunderstood the term "national air" and thought it was the Scottish national anthem. Diederich Krug, another productive arranger and pianist, also made use of "Robin Adair" in some of his collections, for example:
- Des Volkes Stimme. Ein Cyclus von Liederphantasien über beliebte Volksweisen im eleganten Style für das Pianoforte zum Unterricht wie auch zum Vorspielen im Salon, Op. 217, No. 7, Robin Adair (Treu und herzinniglich), Weinholtz, Braunschweig, (see Hofmeister XIX, September 1867, p. 146)
- Rosen-Knospen. Leichte Tonstücke über beliebige Themas, Op. 196, No. 22, Robin Adair (see Hofmeister XIX (see Hofmeister XIX, März 1868, p. 37)
- Frühlingsblüthen. Leichte Tonstücke über beliebige Themas, Op. 240, No. 3, Robin Adair, Forsberg, Leipzig (see Hofmeister XIX, März 1868, p. 34)
Louis Köhler, also a popular arranger, composer and piano teacher, included the tune - in this case Erk's version - in a collection called Melodien-Album. Beliebte Melodien für Pianoforte zu 4 Händen (Leipzig, ca. 1873, pp. 28/9, available at Internet Archive):
There were numerous other similar publications, for example by Václav Plachý, Theodor Oesten, Hermann Berens, Immanuel Liebich. Most of these names are barely known today. These composers did not write for the concert hall but mostly for the growing numbers of amateur players, especially for those who were busy learning to play the piano. A considerable number of these pieces were educational arrangements and the use of popular "Volkslieder" - easy songs everybody was supposed to know - for this purposes was very common. Numerous youngsters must have learned this particular tune and one should not underestimate the role of this kind of music literature for the dissemination and popularization of the song.
Arrangements for other instruments were also published: for flute, violin, zither, cornet (found via Hofmeister XIX) and not at least for the guitar, for example:
- A. Caroli [i. e. Johann Bayer], Esmeralda. Sammlung der beliebtesten, leicht ausführbaren Melodien für Guitarre allein, Berlin, n. d.  (dto., No. 72, p. 26, online: Boije Samling 939, Musik- och Teaterbiblioteket, Statensverken)
Besides all these instrumental versions an even greater amount of vocal arrangements of "Robin Adair" were available, both as sheet music and in songbooks of all kinds. The song - Gerhard's text with the different variants of the tune - was regularly republished and it remained popular among editors, arrangers and publishers until the end of the century. Interestingly Boieldieu's version of the tune - that's the line of tradition that had started with Cranzen's sheet music and Busse's Arion - seems to have been the one most often recycled in the relevant collections even though it was a little more difficult to sing than the others. But perhaps the fondness for this variant had legal reasons. Paris was far away and the tune could easily be cribbed from many different publications without much danger getting sued. It must have been very difficult to keep track of who had stolen from whom. On the other hand both Erk and Silcher had reacted very annoyed after some of their works had been illegally borrowed by other editors and their versions of "Robin Adair" were much more easier to identify.
A version with the title "Romanze aus der weissen Dame" was published in Hebe - ein Pfennig-Magazin für Freunde und Freundinnen des Gesangs und der Guitarre (Vol. 4, Cöln 1839, 1. Vierteljahr, No. 21, p. 29, pdf available at Det Kongelige Biblioteket, Kopenhagen). This was an interesting publication, as the title says a cheap and handy periodical that offered guitar-arrangements of many popular songs of all kinds. The editor, Friedrich Wilhelm Arnold, a musician, musicologist and music seller with a particular interest in "Volkslieder",had of course borrowed the song from an earlier collection, namely Arion (1828/9, see chapter 2): tune and arrangement are identical.
The same variant, only with a minor, but important variation, appeared a decade later in:
- Th. Täglichsbeck & J. Müleisen (ed.), Göpel's deutsches Lieder und Commers-Buch. Sammlung von gegen fünfhundert der beliebtesten Lieder mit ihren Singweisen in mehrstimmiger Bearbeitung, Stuttgart, n. d. [1848; see Hofmeister XIX, Januar 1848, p. 11], No. 378, p. 541 (see same page in edition published in Göttingen, n. d., available at Hathi Trust Digital Library)
Commercium books were very popular during the 19th century. Apparently the students used to sing much more than today. This was an ambitious collection with - as the subtitle says - nearly 500 songs in vocal arrangements for two to four voices. The publisher had hired as the musical editor Thomas Täglichsbeck, composer, violinist and at that time Hofkapellmeister in Hechingen (see Wikipedia), who had already worked for him as the compiler and arranger of other song collections like Deutsche Liederhalle. Sammlung der beliebtesten älteren und neueren Lieder und Gesänge or Orpheon. Album für Gesang. In the introduction Göpel also noted that they had to consider a new fondness for the "Volkslied" and therefore included more from this genre. It seems that this book was quite successful. A second, extended edition with 700 songs came out 10 years later (available at Google Books, here No. 567, p. 743).
Interestingly the song was here simply called "Schottisches Lied". As usual Wilhelm Gerhard received no credit. But the arranger managed to solve the problem with the two additional measures in an elegant way: he repeated one line of the text. Originally the B-part started with:
Hab' ich doch manche Nacht
Immer an dich gedacht
Now it was changed to:
Hab' ich doch manche Nacht
Hab' ich doch manche Nacht,
Immer an dich gedacht
Otherwise the source for this version was surely Cranzen's sheet music or any of its offsprings like Busse's Arion. It is still in the key of 'A' and in measure 18 we can see the leap from a' to e''. But at least the refrain line was only repeated once and not three timse as in Cranzen's version. Täglichsbeck used this version of the song again in the first volume of a collection - published by Göpel in Stuttgart in 1849 (see Hofmeister XIX, Januar 1849, p. 13) - with the title Das Buch der Lieder. Eine Sammlung volksthümlicher Lieder und Gesänge (No. 40, p. 47). Here he included an arrangement for one voice with accompaniment by guitar and piano:
I am not completely sure if it really was Täglichsbeck who had created this "new" tune variant. Of course it is possible that he had simply cribbed it from an earlier collection that hasn't yet come to my attention. But at the moment it looks as if these variations appeared first in these two songbooks. What is clear is that this particular version - and not the one from the original sheet music - was then regularly recycled - sometimes with a new piano arrangement - in a considerable number of later publications, for example:
- F. L. Schubert, Concordia. Anthologie Classischer Volkslieder für Pianoforte und Gesang, Dritte Auflage, vol. 1 of 4, n. d. [c. 1863 ], No. 292, p. 301 ("Schottisches Volkslied. Benutzt von Boeildieu in der Oper: Die weiße Dame"; available at Sibley Music Library)
- Carl Stein, Album volksthümlicher deutscher und ausländischer Lieder für mittlere Stimmlage ein- oder zweistimmig mit Clavier-Begleitung eingerichtet zur Erheiterung im Familienkreise, so wie zur Benutzung bei dem Gesang-Unterrichte, 2. Auflage, Potsdam 1868, No. 22, p. 41, ("Schottisches Volkslied"; available at Google Books)
- August Härtel (ed.), Deutsches Liederlexikon. Eine Sammlung der besten und beliebtesten Lieder und Gesänge des deutschen Volkes. Mit Begleitung des Pianoforte, Zweite Auflage, Leipzig 1867, No. 762, p. 597 ("Schottisch"; available at the Internet Archive)
- Liederschatz. 200 der beliebtesten Volks-, Vaterlands-, Soldaten- Jäger- Studenten und Liebeslieder für eine Singstimme mit Pianoforte-Begleitung, Leipzig, n. d. , No. 94, p. 100 ("Schottisch"; available at Biblioteca Digital Hispanica)
- Carl Hase, Felix Dahn & Carl Reinecke (ed.), Liederbuch des Deutschen Volkes. Neue Auflage, Leipzig 1883, No. 454, pp. 291-2 ("Irländisches Volkslied"; available at the Internet Archive)
- Felix Dahn & Carl Reincke (ed.), Allgemeines Reichs-Commersbuch für Deutsche Studenten, 9. Auflage, Leipzig 1895, No. 82, p. 107 ("Irländisches Volkslied"; available at the Internet Archive)
- Victorie Gervinus, Volksliederbuch. 80 Volkslieder (deutsche, dänische, englische, französische, hebräosche, indische, irische, italienische, maurische, persische, portugiesische, schottische, schwedische, spanische, ungarische, wälisische) mit deutschem Text und Klavierbegleitung, Breitkopf & Härtel, Leipzig, Brüssel & New York, n. d. , No. 42, p. 41 (available at the Internet Archive)
- Volkslieder-Album. 100 der schönsten Volks-Lieder für eine mittlere Singstimme mit leichter Klavierbegleitung. Tongers Taschenalbum Band 1, Köln, n. d. , No. 83, p. 153 (available at Sibley Music Library) ( "Irisches Volkslied")
- Hugo Zuschneid (ed.), Freiburger Taschen-Liederbuch. Über 300 der beliebtesten Vaterlands-, Volks-, und Studentenlieder, nebst einigen Sologesängen zumeist mit Melodie, Freiburg 1898 (8. Aufl. Freiburg 1911), p. 215
Here we can see how publishers recycled a more or less similar corpus of songs for different purposes. These were mostly collections of "Volkslieder", sometimes hefty volumes like Schubert's Concordia or the Liederbuch des Deutschen Volkes and sometimes handy pocket books like Tonger's Volkslieder-Album and Zuschneid's Taschen-Liederbuch. The pieces included here were of course never taken from oral tradition but simply collected in the library by plundering other publications. In case of "Robin Adair" the editors didn't even change the key. All these versions were also in 'A'. Interestingly in the first couple of books listed here the song was still identified as "Scottish", in Stein's Album even as "Schottisches Volkslied". Schubert in his Concordia also retained the reference to La Dame Blanche. Only towards the end of the century the editors began to call it "Irisches Volkslied" as was common with the other line of tradition that had started with Hofmeister's sheet music.
Dahn's Reichs-Commersbuch was apparently an attempt to cash in on the long-running fad for commercium books, collections of songs for students. But that particular segment of the music market was at that time already well served. The most popular and most successful relevant publication happened to be the Allgemeine Deutsche Commersbuch that first came out in 1858 Publisher Schauenburg had hired Friedrich Silcher and Friedrich Erk - the latter a brother of Ludwig Erk - as musical editors. The first edition became a big success and from then on it remained on the market. Numerous edition were published over the years, for example the 150th in 1929. As late as 2008 a completely revised 165th edition was made available (summarized from Wikipedia), although these days this legendary collection has more an nostalgic than practical value. To be true, I have never heard students singing these kind of songs.
For some reason "Robin Adair" was not included in the very first edition. But early on the publisher added an appendix with songs requested by the users, at first only texts (see the 4th ed., 1859, Nr. 101, p. 452, at BStB, Digitale Sammlungen). Some time during the 1860s the tune was also printed, we can find it for example in the 11th edition (1867, No. 152, pp. 506-7, at Universität Düsseldorf, DFG-Viewer). Interestingly the editor - Erk only, Friedrich Silcher had died in 1860 - used the latter's version of Boiledieu's tune variant, the melody line from the four-part arrangement published first in 1834 in the fourth booklet of the XII Volkslieder. At least in this edition the song was even credited to him. Only for the 25th, the Jubiläumsausgabe, the appendix was dissolved and from then on "Robin Adair" belonged to the main part (No. 376, pp. 400-1, at the Internet Archive). But here for some reason the editor used not Silcher's version but the one introduced by Täglichsbeck that was - as noted above - quite common in these kind of songbooks:
"Robin Adair" remained in this collection for the next several decades although at some point it was dropped because it can't be found in the current edition.
Besides Boieldieu's variant Braham's original version of the tune also remained on the market. Schott's sheet music - first published in 1828 - was reissued in the 1860s (see Hofmeister XIX, April 1867, p. 67). But it was also recycled by other publishers. Bote & Bock in Berlin included the song with both Gerhard's text and the English original words as well as a new piano arrangement in a series called Britannia. Choice of the most favorite English Romances and Songs (see Hofmeister XIX, Januar 1862, p. 22, only extant copy in Fürstliche Bibliothek Corvey, Höxter, 197/7). This was an interesting collection that also offered other popular British pieces like "Rule Britannia", "Kathleen Mavoureen", "God Save The Queen" and "Home Sweet Home".
The song was also part of another series of sheet music that consisted mostly of "Volkslieder" from Germany like Silcher's "Loreley" as well as some from other countries like Russia and Italy:
- Erato. Auswahl beliebter Gesänge mit leichter Begleitung der Guitarre eingerichtet, No. 24: Irish Ballad; Robin Adair: "Treu und herzinniglich, Robin Adair", Aibl, München, n. d. (see Hofmeister XIX, August 1862, p. 158; online available at Boijes Samling No. 912, Musik- och teaterbiblioteket, Statens musikverk, Stockholm & BStB-DS)
But by all accounts this version of the tune was not recycled as often as the other one. I haven't yet found it in a songbook. As far as I know it was only published as sheet music. More popular were new arrangements for choirs. In this respect both Silcher and Erk served as a model example and we will see that most of relevant works were derived - sometimes more, sometimes less - from their versions. Wilhelm Greef - Erk's brother-in-law, a seminary teacher, music educator and Cantor in Moers - included an arrangement in his immensely popular collection Männerlieder, alte und neue, für Freunde des mehrstimmigen Männergesanges (Vol. 9, Nr. 21, p. 25). This booklet was first published in 1854 and 15 years later it had already reached the sixth edition. It is not that difficult to see that Greef's work is very similar to Erk's:
Another four-part arrangement can be found in Johannes Zahn's Liederbuch für den Männerchor (Nördlingen 1859, No. 27 p. 32, available at Google Books). That one is identical to Ludwig Erk's version:
Zahn (see Wikisource), a theologian, music educator, teacher at the seminary in Altdorf near Nürnberg and expert for Protestant church music, claimed in the introduction that most of the songs in this collection were "mehr oder minder Gemeingut" ("more or less common property"). How he came to use the work of a colleague without any acknowledgment is way beyond my understanding. This shows clearly that even highly respected editors and arrangers - those who should know better - occasionally indulged in musical piracy.
Other editors and choirmasters also preferred to recycle the works of the well-known arrangers:
- W. Wiehe, Sammlung vierstimmiger Männergesänge ernsten und heitern Inhalts für den Westphälischen Lehrer-Gesang-Verein, Minden, n. d. [c. 1870], Zweiter Theil, No. 16, pp. 108-9 (at ULB Münster, Digitale Sammlungen, urn:nbn:de:hbz:6:1-94662).
In this small self-published collection we can find a straight copy of Silcher's arrangement of Boiledieu's tune variant, buit without any reference to the source. Minden is a town in Westfalen in the west of Germany and I assume that Wiehe was a local choirmaster and music teacher.
The song also became popular in Switzerland and some new arrangements were produced there. One that is quite similar to Silcher's can be found in the first volume of Ignaz Heim's Neue Volksgesänge für den Männerchor (No. 18, pp. 41-2, at BStB-DS). This collection was apparently first published in 1865 (see BStB, catalog):
For some reason the name "Robin Adair" was replaced here by the phrase "o, süßes Lieb'" ("oh, sweet love"). That sounds a little bit strange. Heim (1818-1880), a composer, arranger and song collector, was born in the town of Renchen in Baden, worked then for some years in Freiburg but in 1850, after the revolution, he moved for political reasons to Zürich . There he was busy as a choirmaster and also compiled and edited numerous popular songbooks for both mixed and male choirs (see Wikipedia). Interestingly he not only used Gerhard's "Treu und herzinniglich" but also a second text with the title "Heimat, Ade!". It is not clear who wrote these words but they were quite common in Switzerland since the late 1850s and I will discuss them more thoroughly in the next chapter.
In Austria one Franz Eyrich tried his hand at this song. He wrote an arrangement for five voices - Schottisches Volkslied für 5-stimmigen Männerchor - that was apparently first published in 1869 but was still available at the turn of the century (see Hofmeister XIX, März 1869, p. 56; November 1900, p. 618). In Germany a version by Adolf Zander was published in a collection with the title Festlieder für Männerchor zum 32. Märkischen Volks-Gesangsfest in Eberswalde in der Mark am 5. und 6. Juli 1885 (see Hofmeister XIX, Juli 1885, p. 178). I haven't seen this one but quote the title here only to show the fascinating trip the tune has made: from Ireland respectively Scotland via Paris and London to a Männergesangverein in the Prussian backwoods
Not at least both Silcher's and Erk's versions of the song remained on the market. The former's XII Volkslieder für Männerstimmen were reprinted several times. Individual arrangements could be bought as sheet music, for example in a series called Deutsche Eiche. Lieblingsgesänge der Deutschen Männergesangvereine (see ÖNB, catalog; see also Hofmeister XIX, Mai 1900, p. 227). Also a complete edition of his Volkslieder for male choirs was published in 1890 (see Hofmeister XIX, November 1890, p. 502). This songbook seems to have been very successful. Apparently 6.000 copies were printed until 1902:
- Friedrich Silcher, Volkslieder, gesammelt und für vier Männerstimmen gesetzt. Nebst einem Anhang mit Trauerliedern. Neue Ausgabe. 5. und 6. Tausend, Tübingen 1902 (No. 59, pp. 105-6: "Robin Adair").
Ludwig Erk seems to have been particularly fond of "Robin Adair". We can find the song in different incarnations in a couple of his publications. An version for mixed choirs was included in a collection called Sangesblüthen (1854, see Prahl in Hoffmann 1900, No. 1069, p. 231). At the jubilee concert in celebration of its 25th anniversary in 1870 the Erk'sche Männergesangverein performed "Robin Adair". An arrangement in 'C' with some minor changes was printed in the program for this show (No. 11, p. 9, available at Google Books).
A version for one voice with piano accompaniment found a place in at least three of his song collections for the general public:
- Ludwig Erk (ed.), Germania. Deutsches Volksgesangbuch, Berlin 1868, p. 204
- Ludwig Erk (ed.), Deutscher Liederschatz, Eine Auswahl der beliebtesten Volks-, Vaterlands-, Soldaten-, Jäger-, und Studentenlieder für eine Singstimme mit Pianoforte. Die Melodien revidiert und auf deren Quellen zurückgeführt, Band 1, Leipzig, n. d. [ca. 1870s], No. 98, p. 102 (available at Sibley Music Library)
- Ludwig Erk (ed.), Volkslieder-Album. 80 Volkslieder für eine Singstimme mit Pianofortebegleitung, Leipzig, n. d. , No. 66, p. 66 (at the Internet Archive; date from Hofmeister XIX, Januar 1872, p. 23;
The subtitle of the Liederschatz says that the melodies were "revised" and "auf deren Quellen zurückgeführt" - i. e. taken from the original sources - but amusingly in case of "Robin Adair" he used his own tune variant, the melody line from the four-part arrangement first published in 1845. But at least Erk added a little bit additional information. He described it as "Irische Volksweise: Ellen-a-Roon (1702 gedruckt)". Apparently he was also familiar with Bunting's book but wrongly claimed that the tune had been printed in 1702. Besides that Erk makes no mention of Wilhelm Gerhard and also gets the year wrong.
Only at the end of the century some more research about this song was conducted. In Franz Magnus Böhme's Volksthümliche Lieder der Deutschen im 18. und 19. Jahrhundert (1895, pp. 553-4) the interested reader can find some solid and helpful though partly still misleading information. This was in fact a very important and impressive book and Böhme (1827-1898, see Wikipedia) included the texts and the tune as well as basic knowledge about numerous popular songs (i. e. "volkstümliche Lieder") of the past two centuries.
Here he used Erk's variant of the tune but was also able to find out that Wilhelm Gerhard had been the author of the German text and even knew about the latter's article in the Abend-Zeitung in 1826. Böhme only wrongly claimed that Gerhard had translated a French text from Boieldieu's La Dame Blanche. Like Erk he was also familiar with Bunting's Ancient Music of Ireland and therefore identified the tune as "Irische Volksweise: Ellen-a-roon, 1702". Still missing were any references to Braham's original English version as well as to the early German sheet music publications as the source for the initial dissemination of Gerhard's "Robin Adair". Instead he only mentioned Silchers XII Volkslieder.
Böhme also included Bunting's variant of the tune (taken from Hullah 1866, p. 256) but apparently didn't like it very much: "Surely nobody is willing to trade our modern, cozy and graceful melody against such a mess of notes" (p. 554). As far as I know there was no further research about the song in Germany since then. The short notes in Holzapfel's Liedverzeichnis (2006, Vol. 2, p. 1298) show that not much progress has been made in the meantime. But nonetheless it is clear to see that "Robin Adair" was widely known in Germany at the end of the 19th century:
"Who doesn't know the song with the name Robin Adair as refrain and its so-delightful original tune [...] when asking around among my acquaintances I heard everywhere the characteristic beginning of the tune [...]" (Grünhagen 1906, pp. 670-1)
VI. New Words & New Tunes - Other Attempts at "Robin Adair"
At this point Wilhelm Gerhard's "Treu und herzinniglich" - combined with either the tune variant from La Dame Blanche or one derived from Braham's "Robin Adair" - was more or less the German standard version of this song. But of course other variants were also available. Boieldieu's opera remained popular throughout the century and therefore the tune was regularly published and performed in that musical context and the people heard or played it with the original French or German text.
Other publications offered versions derived from earlier incarnations of "Robin Adair". Most important in this respect was a relic from the past that came to light in the 1860s. In 1814 British publisher George Thomson had commissioned an arrangement from Ludwig van Beethoven but for reasons unknown to me he never used it. Only 37 years later it was published posthumously in Germany:
- Volkslieder für eine u. mehrere Singstimmen, Violine, Violoncello u. Pianoforte componirt von Ludwig van Beethoven. Nachgelassenes Werk. Nach der im Besitz der Königlichen Bibliothek zu Berlin befindlichen Handschrift des Komponisten, herausgegeben von Franz Espagne, Leipzig & Berlin, n. d. , No. 7, Heft 2, p. 2-3 (see Hofmeister XIX, Mai 1861, p. 88; online available at Beethoven-Haus, Bonn, Digital Library)
Of course this piece was also included shortly later in the complete edition of Beethoven's works by Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig:
- Ludwig van Beethoven's Werke. Vollständige kritisch durchgesehene überall berechtigte Ausgabe. Mit Genehmigung aller Originalverleger. Serie 24. Lieder mit Pianoforte, Violine und Violoncell. No. 259. Volkslieder, Leipzig, n. d. [1864, see Hofmeister XIX, Juni 1864, p. 120], No. 7, pp. 18-9 (online available at BStB-DS)
It is a pleasant arrangement for three voices and I really can not see why Thomson refrained from publishing this piece:
Since all thy vows, false maid,
Are blown to air,
And my poor heart betray'd
To sad despair,
Into some wilderness,
My grief I will express
And thy hardheartedness,
O cruel Fair!
Some gloomy place I'll find,
Some doleful shade,
Where neither sun nor wind
E'er entrance had:
Into that hollow cave,
There will I sigh and rave,
Because thou dost behave
Wild fruit shall be by meat,
I'll drink the spring,
Cold earth shall be my seat;
I'll have the starry sky,
My heard to canopy,
Until my soul on high
Shall spread its wing.
I'll have no funeral fire,
Nor tears for me,
No grave do I desire,
The courteous redbreast, he,
With leaves will cover me
And sing my elegy
With doleful voice.
And when a ghost I am,
I'll visit thee:
O thou deceitful dame,
Has kill'd the kindest heart
That e'er felt Cupid's dart,
And never can desert
From loving thee.
Interestingly the editor used the words of "Cromlet's Lilt" as the main text while Burns' "Had I A Cave" was relegated to the second place. I assume that Thomson's octavo edition was his source. There these lyrics had been published as an alternate text (1825, pp. 45-6, at the Internet Archive). German translations of both pieces by H. Hüffer respectively G. Pertz were also added but these were no free adaptations but instead stayed close to the original words. For me they sound rather stiff.
But new works based on older versions of "Robin Adair" were also produced. Robert Burns was immensely popular in 19th century Germany and I must admit I am somehow surprised to see how many translations of his poems were published. I have already mentioned Wilhelm Gerhard's book (1840) but there were more: Philipp Kaufmann (1839), Adolf von Winterfeld (1860), Karl Bartsch (1865), Adolf Laun (1869), L. G. Silbergleit (c. 1870; from the incomplete list at Wikisource, see also Kupper 1979). Numerous composers then set many of these texts to music. So it is no wonder that adaptations of Burns' contributions to this song family were also supplied with new tunes. But surprisingly it was not "Had I A Cave" but instead "Phillis The Fair" - a text originally discarded by Burns himself - that became something like a standard in the German speaking countries. The composers apparently preferred Gerhard's works and it was his translation of the latter that came to be used most often. He had called it "Liebliche Maid" but it was also sometimes known as - according to the first line - "Früh Mit Der Lerche Sang" (No. 162, p. 266, see the note, p. 359):
This text was then set to music at least nine times between 1840 and 1860. Hofmeister XIX lists publications by Carl Krebs (1840), H. F. Kufferath (1841), M. H. Schmidt (1842), M. Hauptmann (1842), Caroline Wiseneder (1843), Robert Franz (1845), J. P. Goldberg (1853), Heinrich Esser (1860) and J. Muck (1860). These are not exactly household names. Best known among this group of composers was surely Robert Franz (1815-1892, see Wikipedia) who wrote throughout his life more than 350 Lieder. His version of "Liebliche Maid!" was first published in 1845 in Zwölf Gesänge von Robert Burns, Fr. Rückert und W. Osterwald für eine Singstimme mit Begleitung des Pianoforte componiert (Op. 4, No. 3, pp. 8-9, here a later edition available at BStB-DS):
It is a nice tune that has otherwise nothing to do with the original air. But here we can see how easy it was to write a new melody to this song model. Interestingly this piece was later even published in the USA in a collection called Album Of Songs, Old And New By Robert Franz, New Selected Edition (Boston 1880, pp. 50-2, available at IMSLP). Burns' original text was also included in that edition.
Another translation of this song by Adolf von Winterfeld (Berlin 1860, "Phillis Mein Kind", p. 70, at Google Books) was later also furnished with new melodies by at least five composers. Hofmeister XIX lists works by Josef Fleischer (1887), Ferdinand Debois (1890), Ignaz Brüll (1891), E. Göttl (1896) and Fritz Baselt (1898). But that doesn't mean that "Had I A Cave" was completely ignored. Two composers - C. P. G. Grädener (1857) and F. H. Truhn (1863) - used Kaufmann's translation (1839, p. 112, "Hätt' Eine Höhl' Ich Am Strand"). Grädener's version can be found in his song collection Herbstklänge. 7 Lieder für eine tiefe Stimme mit Begleitung des Pianoforte (No. 2, pp. 4-5). His tune - to be performed "Fast recitativisch" - sounds a little strange and is very different from the original "Robin Adair":
All in all at least 18 tunes were written and published for adaptations of these particular two songs in Germany between 1840 and 1900. Of course they are all several steps away from the original piece: first there was Burns' new text, then the translations and at last a new tune. The relationship to Sime's "Robin Adair" is barely recognizable. The only connection left is the form that has remained the same. But in fact they are all still part of the family (see also on this site: Robert Burns in 19th-Century Germany: "Phillis The Fair" & "Had I A Cave" (a preliminary list))
One may regard the original version of "Robin Adair" as it was published by Mr. Sime in 1793 as the starting-point for an extended song family. Beethoven's arrangement represents one line of tradition: from Sime via Thomson. With all the German versions of Burns' "Phillis The Fair" and "Had I A Cave" another line was established. And they all existed side by side with Gerhard's "Treu und herzinniglich" that was clearly the most popular exponent of this song family.
In fact the sheer number of descendants of "Robin Adair" is indeed astonishing even though some variants were apparently not that important in Germany. Thomas Moore's songs used to be quite popular here but as far as I know there were only three German versions of "Erin! The Tear and the Smile In Thine Eyes". One can be found in Johann Friedrich Kayser's Orpheus. Neue Sammlung National-Lieder aller Völker (Heft 1, Hamburg 1854, No. 12, p. 24, at the Internet Archive) and a second one in Vol. 2 of Hermann Kestner's and Eduard Wille's Irische Volkslieder (Hannover 1867, No. 6: "Irland's Schmerz"), which was part of a series with the title Ausländische Volkslieder für Sopran, Alt, Tenor und Bass mit deutscher Übersetzung versehen (see Hofmeister, März 1867, p. 47). Wilhelm Meyer included the latter a couple of years later in his Volkslieder-Buch (Hannover 1873, No. 46, p. 47, at the Internet Archive). And of course Alfons Kissner translated this song for Lieder von der grünen Insel, the most comprehensive German edition of the Irish Melodies so far (Heft 2, 1874, No. 12, pp. 34-5):
During the 1850s two new German texts for the tune of "Robin Adair" appeared in songbooks for schools.One of them - of rather dubious quality - was called "Die Jugend":
Fröhlicher Jugendsinn füllt uns die Brust,
Leicht durch das Leben hin folgt mir die Lust!
Wenn uns die Veilchen blühn,
Wenn über frisches Grün,
Wir durch den Frühling ziehn,
Fühlen wir Lust, fühlen wir Lust.
Nur Blumen stehn
Auf den Pfaden, die wir gehen.
Wie so mild in Frühlingspracht
Uns der blaue Himmel lacht.
Aber voll Emsigkeit, Gutes zu thun,
Laßt in der Frühlingszeit träg uns nicht ruhn.
Wenn einst der Winter naht,
Laßt, nach der Frühlingssaat,
Freud über gute That
Sanfter uns ruhn, sanfter uns ruhn.
Darunm pflückt im Frühlingsglanz
Blumen euch zum Freudenkranze;
Wenn die Zeit der Luft entflieht,
Wenn die Blumen ausgeblüht.
I found it in J. G. F. Pflüger's Liederbuch für Schule und Leben (III. Heft: Volksthümliche Lieder, Karlsruhe 1858 , No. 41, p. 64-5, available at the Internet Archive):
Interestingly the arranger did not only use the original tune but also included - as the second part of the verse - some additional bars of music, the parts where in Boildieu's version the choir sang "Chantez, chantez, joyeaux ménestrel" (see p. 169 in the German piano score, Bonn 1826). It is not clear who had been the first to publish this variant. According to the database of DeutschesLied.com it can also be found in the third edition of Selmar Müller's Liederbuch für Mädchenschulen (Heft 3, 1860, p. 47). That collection appeared first in 1853 (see Hofmeister, Juni 1853, p. 344) but couldn't check the earliest edition if it was already included there. Of course it is also possible that Pflüger and Müller have borrowed this song from an another collection that hasn't yet come to my attention. Interestingly both of them give as the author of this text someone by the name of "Jung". But unfortunately it wasn't possible to identify this person.
This particular version remained confined to schoolbooks and apparently it wasn't exactly a big success. According to RISM "Fröhlicher Jugendsinn" can also be found in a handwritten manuscript of songs of one Friedrich Sperhake, "Tertianer in | Eisenberg. 1862". Judging from the title - "Der Jugend Lust und Pflicht - it may have been simply copied from Müller's collection. But only in the 1890s this piece appeared again in two songbooks for schools, in Theodor Odenwald's Jugend, Volks und Vaterlandslieder für Gymnasien, Real- und gehobene Bürgerschulen (Gera 1891, p. 101, see DeutschesLied.com) and in Hesse's and Schönlein's Schulliederbuch (Heft II, here 3rd. ed., Dessau 1894, No. 73, p. 67, at the Internet Archive). One may assume that these editors either remembered the song from their own school days or that they have simply plundered older, long forgotten song collections to enhance their own volumes. For some reason Hesse and Schönlein left out the reference to Boieldieu and instead called it simply "Schottisches Volkslied". Somehow bewildering is their claim that the text was written by J. H. Jung-Stilling (1740-1817). That is highly improbable and perhaps only was guesswork based on the name "Jung" in Pflüger's and Müller's books.
Much more popular than this attempt was another text with the title "Heimat, Ade!". These lyrics also have no connection whatsoever to any of the British versions of "Robin Adair".
Heut muß geschieden sein,
Tausendmal denk ich dein,
Deiner in Lust und Schmerz,
Deiner in Ernst und Scherz,
Denkt stets mein treues Herz,
Dein auch im fernen Land,
Bleib ich mit Herz und Hand,
Höher als Gut und Geld,
Preis' ich in aller Welt,
Heimatlich Haus und Feld,
Die mir so vieles gab,
Reicht mir den Wanderstab,
Trennt uns auch Land und Meer!
Ist mir das Herz auch schwer!
Denk ich der Wiederkehr
This is a rather sentimental farewell song. The protagonist is about to leave and promises to always think of his home country. These kind of "Heimatlieder" were immensely popular during the 19th century in the German speaking countries and nearly every songbook had its share of relevant pieces. One can't say that this particular text is a masterpiece of songwriting but - as will be seen - the people apparently liked it and it was regularly reprinted in songbooks of all kinds until the 1930s. In fact "Heimat, Ade!" became the second German standard text for the tune of "Robin Adair". The writer of these lyrics is not known. The song was always passed off as an anonymous "Volkslied". As far as I could find out it was first published in a song collection for schools in southern Germany:
- J. Chr. Weeber & Friedrich Krauß, Liedersammlung für die Schule. Vier Abtheilungen in stufenmäßig geordneter Folge bearbeitet. III. Heft zum Gebrauch der Oberschule, 50 zwei- und dreistimmige Lieder enthaltend, Stuttgart 1852 ( No. 3, p. 2, here in the 3rd ed., Stuttgart 1854; see also my blog for more about this collection and the editors)
At least this was to my knowledge the earliest songbook including this piece. Johann Christian Weeber (1808-1877) lived as a teacher for music, composer, organist and Musikdirektor in the town of Nürtingen in Swabia (see Schwaebische-orgelromantik.de). His co-editor Friedrich Krauß (1816-1872) was pastor, at that time - according to the title page - in Ötlingen near Kirchheim unter Teck. Weeber had already published a collection for schools a couple of years earlier of which there are apparently no extant copies: Liederbuch für die deutsche Schul-Jugend, Stuttgart 1847 (see Hofmeister XIX, Januar 1847, p. 16).
Weeber and Krauß preferred not to give any information about the song's provenance. But this kind of musical piracy was very common at that time even among highly respected music teachers and clergyman. The tune variant used here - and only described as "Irische Volksweise" - is easily identifiable. They have borrowed Friedrich Silcher's version of Boieldieu's "Air écossais" that had been published as an alternate take in the XII Volkslieder in 1834 (No. 10, p. 10, see Chapter III, image 35) and simplified it a little bit. But who was responsible for the new text? It is not unlikely that one of the editors had written the lyrics himself. Perhaps - that's my best guess at the moment - they wanted to include this popular melody but felt that Gerhard's original text was not suitable for school children and therefore added a new set of words. That's the way how a "Volkslied" used to be produced at that time.
By all accounts this interesting Liedersammlung became very popular and was reprinted regularly. For example a 4th edition came out already in 1857 (see catalog UB Frankfurt: Mus 1932/577 Nr. 3). But interestingly the song "Heimath, Ade!" was at first very quickly adapted by Swiss songbook editors. As far as I know (information from Christoph Jaeggin, Schriften, Repertorium Mea-Mez, p. 1292) it was first published there in:
- Johannes Meier (ed.), Der Volks-Sänger. Eine Sammlung vorzüglicher Volks-Lieder und Weisen für vierstimmigen Männergesang. Erstes Heft, Schaffhausen 1858, No. 10, p. 23-4 (at the Internet Archive)
There is good reason to assume that Meier, a school teacher and editor of another songbook published some years earlier, borrowed the text - of course without any acknowledgement - from Weeber's and Kraussen's Liedersammlung. The melody is here also identified as "Irische Volksweise: Robin Adair" and the editor added a footnote: "Von Boieldieu bekanntlich in der 'weißen Dame' benutzt". But he did not use the same version of the tune. Nonetheless it looks very familiar:
The arrangement was lifted wholesale and note for note - also without acknowledgment - from Ludwig Erk's Volklieder (1845, p. 19, see chapter IV). Meier even left it in the same key. I wonder if Erk knew about this edition. In fact this editor took the music from one publication, the text from another one and recombined them. It should be added that three other songs of this collection were "borrowed" from Friedrich Silcher who was at least credited as the author. But I have some doubts if his pieces were used by permission. I don't think so. At that time this kind of plundering of other composers' and editors' works used to be a not uncommon method to create a new book of "Volkslieder".
Shortly later this new variant of "Robin Adair" found a place in two more Swiss songbooks for choirs. They are listed in Jäggin's Repertorium (Mea-Mez, p. 1292) but I haven't seen them yet:
- Johann Heinrich Tschudi, Alpina. Liederwahl für den gemischten Chor zur Förderung einfachen Volksgesanges. Zweites Bändchen, Chur 1860
- Johann Heinrich Tschudi, Volksliederbuch für den vierstimmigen Männerchor zur Förderung einfachen Volksgesanges, Chur 1861
Much more important for the subsequent history of this new "Volkslied" was its inclusion in two very popular and frequently reprinted collections compiled and edited by Ignaz Heim whom I have already mentioned in the preceding chapter. He may have been the most successful and most industrious producer of songbooks for all kinds of choirs in Switzerland during that era and some of his works remained available for nearly a century. A version for male choirs can be found in:
- Neue Volksgesänge für den Männerchor. Liederbuch für Schulen und Vereine. Herausgegeben unter Mitwirkung deutscher und schweizerischer Tonsetzer von Ignaz Heim. Erstes Bändchen. Zürich, 1865, No. 18, pp. 41-2 (at BStB-DS; see also my blog for more about this collection and the editor)
One may assume that he had found the song in Meier's little collection. The key has remained the same, it is still 'Db'. But Heim changed the tune a little bit - he surely knew the other available variants - and his version is closer to Friedrich Silcher's. But at least he retained the "Scotch snap" in the last refrain line.
This was marked as an original arrangement and it is explicitly stated that reprints were only allowed with the permission of the editor. But nonetheless shortly later this work was recycled in another Swiss collection, Das Rütli. Liederbuch für den Männergesang (No. 97, pp. 230-1)
This is a version of the book produced for the American market but it is identical to the 3rd extended Swiss edition published in St. Gallen 1870. "Heimat, Ade!" had not been included in the 2nd edition from three years earlier (see the list of contents at RISM). It was reprinted for the first time in the 3rd, but, alas, without any reference to the source and, one may assume, without permission. Das Rütli became a very popular songbook. The 32nd edition was printed in 1898.
Ignaz Heim also created an arrangement for mixed choirs:
This piece can be found in a quasi-official songbook for schools as well as Gesangsvereine and other societies and clubs published under the auspices of the committee for music of the school council in the town of Zürich:
- Sammlung von Volksgesängen für den Gemischten Chor. Liederbuch für Schulen und Vereine. Herausgegeben von der Musik-Kommission der zürcherischen Schulsynode unter Redaktion von I. Heim, (here: 30. Auflage, Zürich 1883, No. 155, pp. 295-6, available at the Internet Archive):
It first came out in the early 1860s. A third edition was made available in 1863 (see Hofmeister XIX, September 1863, p. 169). This particular collection must have been immensely popular and remained in print for nearly a century. The 70th edition was published in 1900 and the 137th in 1950. According to Jäggin and DeutschesLied.com "Heimat, Ade" was already included in the 8th and 9th edition from 1868 respectively 1869, perhaps even earlier.
The song was easily available for the next several decades in these songbooks but of course other editors didn't hesitate to include it in their publications. Already in 1869 this piece appeared in a songbook for schools, Weber's Gesangbuch für Volksschulen (listed in Jäggin, p. 1293) and in 1899 an even more simplified version found a place in another educational - though not officially approved - collection:
- Edmund Meyer (ed.), Liederstrauß. Vaterländisches Volksliederbuch für Schule und Haus. Methodisch geordnet und mit Rücksicht auf das Auswendiglernen bearbeitet, Frauenfeld, 1893, No. 56, p. 47 (here from the 6th edition, 1906)
Meyer clearly belonged to the big alarmist faction among the editors of songbooks. In the introduction he not only criticizes the quality of the available songbooks for schools but also bemoans the "deplorable decline of the 'Volksgesang'". This makes me wonder what had happened to the numerous editions of for example Heim's above mentioned works. Countless people must have sung the songs from these collections. By all accounts this genre was popular as never before at that time. But these kind of complaints were always a necessary part of the "Volkslied"-business. Nonetheless Meyer's Liederstrauss is a nice collection and just like his predecessors he preferred to recycle many of the time-tested standards from "Oh, Tannenbaum" to Silcher's "Loreley".
These were all Swiss publications but the new text of course also became popular in Germany though apparently only since the 1870s. Interestingly it was not only published with the original tune but also with a completely different one. Here even the song's structure was changed:
This version of the text was apparently first published with this particular tune in:
- Jakob Blied (ed.), Vater Rhein. Liederbuch für deutsche Männerchöre. Opus 45, Düsseldorf 1883, No. 23, pp. 64-6
Blied (1844-1884) was a music teacher at the seminary in the town of Brühl (near Köln) but also a composer and arranger. He wrote mostly pieces for organ and piano as well as choirs. This songbook offered 150 songs by composers like Silcher, Abt, Weber, Kreutzer as well as some of his own works in arrangements for male choirs. Some "Volksweisen" were also included. His version of "Heimat, Ade!" is also identified as such and I can find no reference to the source. Either he had heard or found this tune - which I am not familiar with - somewhere else and then for some reason kept quiet about its origin or - that seems to me more likely - he simply had written it himself and wanted to pass it off as an anonymous "Volkslied". Interestingly his arrangement is - just like Meier's and Heim's versions - still in the key of 'Db'. One may assume that Blied knew the "Heimat, Ade" from any of these two collections and then - for whichever reason - decided to set it to new music. This new song still counts as a descendant of "Robin Adair" but here in fact all ties have been cut: there is a different text, a different tune and even the structure has changed. Nothing has been left of the original piece. At the moment I tend to think that this a typical example for a self-produced "Volkslied".
Blied's new "Heimat, Ade!" was then recycled in a couple of other songbooks. Heinrich Oberhoffer (1824-1885) - a well-known composer, organist, music teacher and writer - included it with his own arrangement in the 7th edition of his Sammlung ausgezeichneter älterer Compositionen für den vierstimmigen Männerchor nebst vielen Original-Compositionen (Paderborn 1887, No. 4, pp 10-12, at ULB Münster, Digitale Sammlungen, see also 9th ed., 1897, No. 13, pp. 28-31). This popular collection of pieces for male choirs intended especially for the use in schools and teacher seminaries was first published in 1863 but this song can't be found in the early editions (see for example the 6th, Paderborn 1881, at ULB Münster). There is good reason to believe that Oberhoffer was familiar with Blied's Vater Rhein and then borrowed the song for the next edition of his own publication. At least he wrote a new arrangement but nonetheless it strikes me as very odd that even a respected composer like Heinrich Oberhoffer did not see it as necessary to name a source of this mysterious "Volkslied".
The song remained available for some time. In Hofmeisters Monatsberichten we can find for example the titles of these two publications:
- Bernhard Jahn, Orpheus. Volkslieder-Sammlung für gemischten Chor zusammengestellt, Heft :. [...] No. 4. Heimat ade: "Heut muss geschieden sein" [...], Leipzig, Braun & Heynau (Hofmeister XIX, Oktober 1886, p. 366)
- Gustav Schaper, Abschied: "Heut' muss geschieden sein" u. Heimweh: "Herz, mein Herz, warum so traurig" für gemischten Chor mit Pianoforte (Orgel) oder mit Streichquartett (in einfacher oder mehrfacher Besetzung) nebst Horn und 2 Clarinetten, unter Benutzung zweier Volksweisen bearbeitet, Op. 28, Leipzig, Hug (Hofmeister XIX, Mai 1892, p. 193)
But unfortunately there seem to be no extant copies of Jahn's and Schaper's works available and from the titles alone it is not possible to determine whether the new tune or the original one was used for these pieces. In 1897 a second edition of Blied's Vater Rhein came out posthumously. Moreover this "Heimat, Ade" can be found in at least two more books, both published at the end of the century. One was a popular songbook for "people who love to sing" ["sangeslustige Kreise"] as well as juvenile choral societies and the other a collection of vocal pieces for schools. Again in both cases no source is given. The arrangements in these books look quite similar to each other.
- Neuester Liederschatz. Eine Sammlung der beliebtesten Lieder in ein- und mehrstimmigen Satz für sangeslustige Kreise, jugendliche Chorvereine und Turnvereine. Stereotyp-Ausgabe, Reutlingen, n. d. [1899, see Hofmeister XIX, November 1899, p. 537], No. 34, pp. 52-3, at the Internet Archive
- Fritz Neuert, Neues Deutsches Schulliederbuch. Sammlung deutscher Volkslieder und volkstümlicher Gesänge, III. Teil. A (vierstimmig), Pforzheim (Baden), n. d. , No. 32, pp. 40-1, at the Internet Archive
The editor of the Schulliederbuch was apparently even more of an alarmist than the above-mentioned Edmund Meyer from Switzerland. In his introductory remarks (p. iii) Neuert also bemoans "the disgraceful displacing of our magnificent German 'Volkslied' from school, family and social clubs and the ever-increasing proliferation ["Hervorwuchern"] of trivial streets songs [...]". Of course this bizarre claim was as absurd as Meyer's nearly identical worded assertion. Never before had so many "Volkslieder" been published in Germany than during the 1890s. Of course the "light-weight and lascivious 'Tingeltangellied'" was then - another popular topos - called out as the greatest threat not only to the good old songs but apparently also to the morals of the people. Not at least he laments the decline of just about everything from family life to patriotism and concludes that:
"[...] the school has the sacred duty to be aware of its task as an educator of the people ["des Volkes"], to avoid anything that hurts them, and to offer everything that keeps the soul of the people ["die Volkseele"] healthy. And here it is especially the song by which it may act most successfully "
This sounds all quite bombastic but cultural-political saber-rattling of this kind was not uncommon among the so-called "Volksfreunde" ["friends of the people"] and the promoters of the "Volkslied"-genre. It had been part of the trade since Herder's and Goethe's time. The poor songs were loaded with heavy ideological ballast and that was not good for them. To be true I have also some serious doubts if this song collection really helped to save German culture. Perhaps not. At least I hope the pupils enjoyed singing these pieces.
This new version of "Heimat, Ade!" was apparently quite popular for some time but as far as I know it more or less disappeared from the scene after the turn of the century. Since the 1870s "Heimat, Ade" together with the the tune of "Robin Adair" also began to appear in German songbooks, for example in two collections of arrangements for male choirs. Interestingly in both cases the editors simply reprinted - without proper acknowledgment - Ignaz Heim's arrangement :
- Gustav Zanger, Deutscher Liederkranz. Eine reichhaltige Sammlung älterer und neuerer vierstimmiger Männerchöre, op. 8, Neuwied & Leipzig, n. d. [1878; see Hofmeister XIX, November 1878, p. 358], here: 2. Auflage , No. 93, pp. 221-2
- Loreley. Sammlung auserlesener Männerchöre. Herausgegeben, redigiert und dem Kölner Männer-Gesang-Verein gewidmet von August Reiser, Köln n. d. [1878; see Hofmeister XIX, December 1878, p. 391], No. 53, p. 184 ( together with "Treu und herzinniglich"); here in the 7th ed., c. 1880,; [not included in this collection since the 9th ed., 1882]
But otherwise the song can be found in some more collection for schools, for example in Andreas Barner's Liedersammlung für Töchterschulen (Heft 2) and Philipp Beck's Liederbuch nebst kurzer Gesanglehre für höhere Mädchenschulen und Lehrerinnen-Bildungsanstalten. Zweiter Teil. 5. - 7. Schuljahr. Barner (1835-1910, see Schwäbische Orgelromantik) was a music teacher and composer but also for more than 40 years organist at the court in Karlsruhe. I have seen the song in the 5th edition (1902, No. 85, pp. 110-1, at the Internet Archive) which was - according to the preface - identical to the 3rd from c. 1890. But most likely the song had already been included in 1879 in the original edition of this book. Interestingly he simply reprinted the version from Weeber's and Kraussen's Liedersammlung, but of course without acknowledging the source:
Philipp Beck (1843-1915) was - for 35 years, between 1876 and 1911 - the headmaster of a school for girls in Köln (see Zeitungsauschnittsammlung, USB Köln, II.47, p. 36, II.106, p. 78, II.139, p. 106, 109). This work first came out in 1883 (see UB Basel, catalog). A second extended edition - now printed by Bredt in Leipzig instead of Roemke from Köln - was published in the late 1880s and a third in 1890 (see Hofmeister XIX, April 1888, p. 159, Oktober 1890, p. 434). I have found the song in the the 17th edition from 1904 (No. 103, p. 71, at the Internet Archive) but in the introduction Beck notes that it is identical to earlier print runs. So one may assume that it had already been included in the first or - at the very latest - in the second edition.
Beck did not use Weeber's version. His melody is quite similar to Boieldieu's tune variant. That one was of course easily available - together with the words of Gerhard's "Treu und Herzinniglich" - in many popular songbooks like Göpel's deutsches Lieder und Commers-Buch (1848, No. 378, p. 541, at Hathi Trust Digital Library) or Härtel's Liederlexikon (1867, No. 762, p. 597). Of course he had to delete two bars - here 11 and 12 - because the words of "Heimat, Ade!" only needed a melody with 16 measures instead of 18. Beck also deleted the "Scotch snap" in the refrain lines. The song was intended for girls aged 10 to 13 years and for singing education and therefore he had to keep it simple:
An interesting version of the tune can be found in a songbook for catholic schools:
- Wilhelm Kothe, Gesangbuch für katholische Schulen. Eine Sammlung von 140 ein- und mehrstimmigen Schul- und Volksliedern. Mit hoher Genehmigung des Hochwürdigen Herrn Fürstbischofs von Breslau und des Hochwürdigen Herrn Bischofs von Ermland. Neunzehnte, verbesserte Auflage, Leipzig 1894, No. 34, pp. 18-9 (at the Internet Archive ; see also my blog for more about this collection and the editor)
Kothe (1831-1899) worked as a music teacher in Lower Silesia and his collection first came out in 1865. I can't say exactly when the song was introduced into this collection. It can't be found in the third edition published in 1869 (online available at BStB-DS, Mus.pr. 332) so I assume it must have been added some time during the intervening years. For some reason he felt it necessary to change parts the tune. Measures 11-14 sound a little bit different from the original versions of the melody.
Besides these the song was also included in other popular and widely used songbooks for schools from this era, like Liederbuch. Eine Sammlung ein- und mehrstimmiger Lieder für mehrklassige Schulen by Fricke & Maas (18. Aufl., 1896, pp. 92-3), Hermann Wettig's Deutscher Liederschatz [...] für Volksschulen (6. Aufl., c. 1900, No. 181, pp. 128-9), Lanzendörfer's Liederbuch für Töchterschulen (3. Aufl. 1902, No. 46, p. 27) and Bernhard Brähmig's Liederstrauß [...] für Töchterschulen (Heft 4, 10. Aufl., 1904, No. 58, p. 73):
In 1901 it appeared in Liederschatz, Sammlung vierstimmiger Chorlieder für Knaben und Mädchen by Adolf Zander and Dr. L. H. Fischer. Zander, a respected composer and choirmaster, at that time Königlicher Musikdirektor in Berlin, had already published arrangements of "Robin Adair" some years earlier (see Hofmeister XIX, Juli 1885, p. 178; Januar 1894, p. 36). Dr. Fischer happened to be schools inspector, also in Berlin, and together they used to organize concerts with thousands of young pupils singing as one big choir .
This is from a later version (23. Auflage, c. 1914, No. 41, p. 59, at the Internet Archive) of this collection but it was published the same way in the very first edition. Here Zander used Ludwig Erk's tune variant and the words of "Treu und herzinniglich" for his four-part arrangement. "Heimat, Ade!" was added as an alternate text for the same melody. As will be seen in the next chapter this piece became a standard in songbooks for schools in the first decades of the 20th century. It fitted well with all the other songs about Heimat that can be found in these quasi-official collections. The "Volkslied"-authorities surely wanted the pupils to sing them to strengthen their patriotism. In fact numerous generations of children in the German language countries must have learned and sung this tune in the school. And I assume that later as grown-ups they met it again, this time as "Robin Adair". I tend to think that at this time this old Irish or Scottish melody was much better known and performed more often in Germany than on the British Isles. That may be the most surprising part of its history.
But the history of "Heimat, Ade!" also demonstrates in detail how a "Volkslied" was invented and then quickly disseminated. The new text seems to have come from nowhere and suddenly appeared in a songbook in the 1850s. By all accounts it was first introduced in the Liedersammlung by Weeber und Krauß . Either one of the editors had written the words himself and then passed it off as a product of the anonymous "folk" or he had received it from someone else but failed to give credit to the originator. Both methods were not uncommon but of course somehow questionable. From then on this piece wandered from book to book, sometimes with new arrangements or different tune variants and sometimes simply lifted note for note, but none of these editors and compilers ever explained where they had got it from. It was simply taken as granted that it was a "Volkslied" and for that reason could be recycled again and again.
The new tune apparently first published by Blied in 1883 poses the same problem. It also appeared "out of nowhere" with no hint whatsoever of its origin or provenance and was sold only as a "Volksweise", a tune by the people. Of course this should insinuate that it was collected somewhere in the wilderness. But there is no evidence that it had been taken from the so-called "mouth of the people". Nonetheless the song was reprinted a couple of times as a "Volkslied" of unknown origin and nobody seemed to have been interested in doubting this designation and tracking its history.
But we can also see here that what was sold as a "Volkslied" was often in no way a product of this often invoked anonymous "folk". Instead it had been created and then passed on and promoted by professional arrangers, composers, editors and publishers among the people via books and lessons in school. "Volkslieder" were not the songs of the "folk" but for the "folk". The school as well as the highly popular choral societies were the most important mediating institutions and teachers and choirmasters took great pains to prescribe their singers the "right" songs. The rapid development of "Heimat, Ade!" to a popular and regularly reprinted standard is only one example of this process. And once again it can been seen very clearly that this genre was not defined by the people themselves but by the professionals - teachers, choirmasters etc. - who of course claimed to know much better what the "Volk" should sing.
In Zander's collection mentioned above both "Heimat, Ade" and "Treu und herzinniglich" were included. In fact it is now time to return to the latter. Gerhard's text had become a standard but apparently not everybody was satisfied with his work and thus some more translations and adaptations of "Robin Adair" appeared during the 19th century. Interestingly at least four of these new attempts were then set again to music. Here we must once more leave the "Volkslieder" and have one more look at German Lieder, an immensely popular genre not only in Germany at that time. These were songs not by an allegedly anonymous "Volk" but by real poets and composers.
It is also interesting to note that there was not a single translation of Braham's original words ("What's this dull town to me [...]") even though they were easily available on a couple of sheet music editions. All new adaptations were based on Mazzinghi's text ("Welcome on shore again [..]"), the one Gerhard had published in 1926 in the Abend-Zeitung together with his German translation. Since the 1850s this piece was much more easily available because poet and translator Ferdinand Freiligrath (1810-1876, see Wikipedia) included it in The Rose, Thistle And Shamrock. A Selection of English Poetry, Chiefly Modern, the standard collection of English poetry in Germany for quite a while. This book was first published in 1853 (here on p. 403, at BStB-DS). A second edition followed in 1856 (p. 352, at Hathi Trust Digital Library), a third in 1859 (p. 352, at Google Books) and a fourth in 1868 (pp. 322-3, at the Internet Archive):
The earliest attempt at a new text as well as a new tune can be found in a song collection published in the late 1850s:
- Ferdinand Hiller, Neue Gesänge für eine Alt-Stimme mit Begleitung des Pianoforte, op. 76, Heft 1, Leipzig n. d. , p. 9-10 (see Hofmeister XIX, September und Oktober 1858, p. 157)
Gruss dir am Heimathstrand,
Heil dir im Heimathland,
Glücklich dem Meer entschwebt,
O wie die Hand dir bebt,
Thränen im Auge, im Auge dir webt,
Robin Adair, Robin Adair, Robin Adair.
All' die Zeit, wo du fern,
Fleht ich für dich zum Herrn,
Seit mir dein Bild entwich,
Mancher wohl freit' um mich,
Doch ich dacht' nur, ich dacht' nur an dich, an dich,
Robin Adair, Robin Adair, Robin Adair.
Hiller (1811-1885; see for example Wikipedia) was a popular composer, teacher and musician. At that time he worked in Köln. The author of this text is not known. There is no credit on the sheet music and I haven't found it anywhere else. But this adaptation is clearly based on "Welcome on shore again [...]". Perhaps the composer wrote it himself. The new tune sounds a little bit unusual and I am not sure if it really fits well to the text.
The second one to publish a new translation happened to be a poet who called himself Dranmor. This was the pseudonym of Ludwig Ferdinand Schmid (1823-1888), a wealthy Swiss-german businessman who - not unlike Wilhelm Gerhard - also had made himself a name as a writer (see ADB 54, 1908, pp. 77-83, at BStB-DS; Wikipedia). His "Robin Adair" first appeared in 1860 in Poetische Fragmente (here p. 33 in the 2nd edition, Leipzig 1865) and then also in Dranmor's Gesammelte Dichtungen (here p. 33, 2nd edition, Berlin 1875):
Sei mir aufs neue gegrüßt,
In Lieb' und Treue gegrüßt,
Weinend betrittst du den Strand;
Reich' mir die zitternde Hand;
Hier ist dein Vaterland,
Gott erhörte mein Flehn,
O dieses Wiedersehn,
Bist noch der Alte, sprich!
Mancher freite um mich;
Aber ich dachte an dich,
Segle nicht wieder fort,
Bleibe im sichern Port!
Glücklich werden wir sein!
Ja, dieses Herz ist dein;
Laß es nicht mehr allein,
This text doesn't look like a masterpiece of poetry but at least two composers set it to music:
- Friedrich von Wickede, Op. 54, Robin Adair ("Sei mir aufs Neue gegrüsst") für 1 Singstimme mit Pianoforte, Cassel  (information from Hofmeister XIX, October 1874, p. 219; see IMSLP for more about him)
- Julius Kniese, Fünf Lieder für eine Singstimme mit Begleitung des Pianoforte, Op. 1, No. 4: Robin Adair (nach dem Englischen v. Dranmor), Dresden 1875 (see Hofmeister XIX, November 1875, p. 268)
Unfortunately there seems to no extant copy of Wickede's piece but at least one exemplar of Kniese's has survived (LBMV Schwerin: Mus 24704). Julius Kniese (1848-1905; see Wikipedia) was a pianist, composer, conductor and choirmaster. At that time he worked at the Singakademie in the town of Glogau but later, after some intermediate employments for example in Frankfurt and Leipzig, he moved to Wagner's Bayreuth. This song was one of his earliest works as a composer. It is a simple and pleasant Lied im Volkston although I do not see any advantage over the original "Robin Adair":
This sheet music was also published in London by Stanley Lucas, Weber & Co. and therefore an English text had to be added. Strangely they didn't use - for whichever reason - Mazzinghi's original words. Perhaps they thought it was still under copyright protection. Instead one Edward St. Pierson translated Dranmor's poem back into English:
Once again welcome to thee,
Loving and faithful from me,
Tearful thou streadest the strand,
Give me thy quivering hand ,
here is thy fatherland,
This translation of a translation is several steps away from the real "Robin Adair". In fact it sounds somehow bizarre and I wonder what those in England who were familiar with the original song thought about this strange version.
Another new translation can be found in a book by one J. Nöroth with the title Blüthen der neuern englischen und amerikanischen Poesie ins Deutsche übertragen. This collection was printed and apparently first published in Trier 1873 (see this entry in the catalog of the Staatsbibliothek Berlin) and then also in Boston (p. 24, at Hathi Trust Digital Library). One may assume that it was aimed at German immigrants in the USA who wanted to understand English language poetry. Nöroth credits Freiligrath's Rose, Thistle and Shamrock as his source but additionally describes the song as "Irisches Volkslied". This text is very close to the original:
Willkommen am Ufer hier,
Willkommen noch einmal mir,
O, wie bebt deine Hand!
Thränen bethau'n den Sand,
Grüßend dein Vaterland, -
Lang bliebst du, liebster mein,
Betend ich dachte dein,
Kamen auch Freier her,
Als du im fernen Meer,
Dacht' ich doch dein noch mehr,
Komm wieder her zu mir,
Nimmermehr scheiden wir,
Bliebest getreu zu mir,
Wie ich beständig dir,
Dann zum Altar mich führ',
Nöroth's text wasn't set to music. But another attempt by one more part-time poet found the favor of at least two composers:
Willkomm' am Strand dir denn,
Nochmals die Hand dir denn,
Thränen im Aug' dir steh'n,
Bitterst, der Heimat Höh'n
Wieder vor dir zu seh'n,
Sehnt' mich so lang nach dir,
Flehte so lang nach dir,
Als fern Dein Schifflein strich,
Warb mancher Bursch' um mich,
Deiner nur dachte ich,
Komm' und umfaß mich nun,
Nimmer verlaß mich nun,
Liebst Du mich noch, oh bleib',-
Ewig dein treues Weib,
Weih' ich dir Seel' und Leib,
This text can be found in publication with the title Kleines Lieder- und Bilderbuch by one Ernst Veit (Dresden 1876, pp. 131-2, available at Hathi Trust). His real name was Ernst Viktor Schellenberg (1827-1896, see Wikipedia) and he worked as teacher and the director of a school in Weimar and in 1889 was appointed to the position of a Geheimer Hofrat. Additionally he wrote poems that were published in altogether three little books. How he came to produce a translation of "Robin Adair" is not known to me. But this text was made use of in three musical works:
- Bruno Ramann, Zwölf Lieder im Volkston zweistimmig zu singen, Op. 57, H. 2 (No. 11. Robin Adair: "Willkomm am Strand dir denn"), Leipzig 1880 (see Hofmeister XIX, Oktober 1880, p. 3002/3; see Copac)
- Ramann, Bruno, Dreistimmige Lieder und Gesänge für Frauenchor, mit deutschem und englischen Texte, Op. 58 (No. 3: Robin Adair: "Willkomm am Strand dir denn"), Braunschweig 1882 (see Hofmeister XIX, September 1882, p. 279; see Copac)
- Vinzenz Lachner, Zwei Gesänge für 3 Frauenstimmen, Op. 82 (No. 1. Robin Adair: "Willkommen am Strand"), Leipzig 1894 (see Hofmeister XIX, März 1894, p. 121; BStB: 4 Mus.pr. 32508)
These publications have apparently only survived in one copy each and I haven't yet been able to see this tunes. I assume that Ramann used the same one for both arrangements.
One more adaptation of "Robin Adair" was written by poet John Henry Mackay (1864-1933, see Wikipedia). He was a very interesting character but I can't discuss his later career here. It is not unimportant to note that he was born in Scotland but after the death of his Scottish father in 1865 his German mother moved with him back home. His attempt at "Robin Adair" was published first in 1888 in Fortgang. Der "Dichtungen erste Folge (here from: Gesammelte Dichtungen. Mit der Photogravüre des Dichters, Zürich & Leipzig [n. d.], p. 377, at the Internet Archive):
Leise und wehmuthsvoll,
Aber so liebeleer,
Oft dein Gesang erscholl:
Leise und wehmuthsschwer
Von deinen Lippen her
Klang es hin über's Meer:
Aber dein Blick mich mied,
Schauend aufs Meer,
Wenn du es sangst, dein Lied:
Sahst du denn nicht, wie bang
Vor dir die Seele rang,
Wenn deine Lippe sang:
Nun bin ich ferne dir . . .
Rings ists leer. . .
Nimmer mehr singst du mir:
Heimweh umspinnt mich schwer.
Da -- über's dunkle Meer
Tönt es -- doch liebeleer:
"Robin Adair" .
This looks to me like the most successful adaptation. It is not about returning home to the lover who had been patiently waiting. Mackay's "Robin Adair" is an atmospheric and deeply sad song about longing. He has also changed the structure. Instead of the standard form 'AAB' he simply repeats the B-part two times in every verse. His poem was set to music by Eugen d'Albert in 1899. Interestingly d'Albert (1864-1932, see Wikipedia) was also born in Scotland but - like Mackay - later became completely "germanized". He had a great career as piano virtuoso but also composed a lot, especially operas and nearly 60 Lieder:
- Eugen d'Albert, Robin Adair, Gedicht von John Henry Mackay für eine Singstimme mit Begleitung des Pianoforte (aus Op. 19 [Sechs Lieder für 1 Singstimme mit Pianoforte, deutsch und englisch, No, 2: Robin Adair: "Leise und wehmuthsvoll"), N. Simrock, Berlin 1899 (see Hofmeister XIX, April 1899, p. 170; September 1899, p. 426; at the Internet Archive)
His musical setting is quite interesting and I think the tune works very well with this particular poem:
In this case the publisher also added an English text by one Constance Bache that again - just like the one published with Kniese's song - sounds somehow strange. :
Softly yet wearily,
Seeming for nought to care,
Sounded thy song to me,
Softly yet wearily,
Sung by thy lips so so fair,
Echoing o'er the sea,
On the other hand Mackay's "Robin Adair" was in effect a new poem and a reprint of the original words á la Mazzinghi wouldn't have made much sense. But the distance to the original "Robin Adair" is quite great, the only thing that had been left was the name. Otherwise it had become a completely different song. But nonetheless it was still part of the family.
VII. After The Turn Of The Century
After turn of century the tune of "Robin Adair" in its different variations remained popular and was regularly reprinted. Of course Boieldieu's La Dame Blanche was still performed and its music - including the "Air écossais" - easily available for those who wanted to play it. A very nice example is a "Potpourri" of the tunes from this opera arranged by popular piano player Richard Tourbié. Publisher Wernthal was specialized in what is called "Salonmusik" [i. e. "parlor music"]:
- A. Boieldieu, Die Weisse Dame, Potpourri für Pianoforte von Rich[ard] Tourbié, Otto Wernthal, Berlin n. d. [c. 1900]
But on the other hand the interest in Robert Burns waned somehow since the start of the new century. He was very rarely mentioned in Hofmeisters Monatsberichten after 1899 and as far as I know there were no more attempts at writing new tunes for German translations of "Phillis The Fair" and "Had I A Cave". Also the fad for new translations and new tunes for "Robin Adair" - i. e. "Welcome on shore again [...] - seems to have run out. Eugen d'Albert's setting of J. H. Mackay's "Leise und wehmuthsvoll" in 1899 was apparently the last relevant attempt in this respect. But interestingly the original English version of "Robin Adair" appeared again in German publications:
- Schmidt, Ferdinand: Lehrbuch der englischen Sprache auf Grundlage der Anschauung, 4. Auflage, Bielefeld & Leipzig 1899, p. 318-20 (available at ULB Münster, Digitale Sammlungen, urn:nbn:de:hbz:6:1-80447)
This was a schoolbook for English, first published in 1894 and then in use at least until 1921 (see DNB 573880719). "Robin Adair" is here part of a small collection of British songs including for example standards like "The Last Rose Of Summer", "Home, Sweet Home", "John Anderson My Jo". Interestingly the editor not only used the English text ("What's This Dull Town To Me [...] but also the original "English form of the Melody" á la Braham. For some reason Robert Burns is given here as the author but this assignation was not uncommon in Germany.
The English words - once again credited to Burns - were also included occasionally in other publications, for example in a Liederbuch für Lyzeen und höhere Mädchenschulen mit einer Gesanglehre compiled by Karl Gast and Hugo Löbmann and first published in 1913 (Ausgabe A, III. Teil, here 7. ed., Berlin [1920s], pp. 164-5), in this case as part of an extra chapter "Englische Lieder" together with - among others - "Nearer, My God, To Thee", "My Heart's In The Highlands", "Home, Sweet Home" and "The Last Rose Of Summer". They didn't use the original form of the melody like Schmidt and instead resorted to Ludwig Erk's tune variant.
But Wilhelm Gerhard's "Treu und herzinniglich" remained the most popular text for this tune. Some of the standard collections from the 19th century including the song like Silcher's Volkslieder and the Allgemeine Deutsche Kommersbuch were regularly reprinted. A new edition of Erk's Liederschatz was published after the turn of the century with some additions and corrections as well as some more information about the songs by renowned scholar Max Friedländer who, by the way, was also able to find out that Gerhard had written the text (Notes, No. 98, p. 4, online available at IMSLP and Sibley Music Library). But there were also new arrangements for different kinds of choirs. Works by Karl Becker, Carl Lafite, Hugo Jungst, Heinrich Imelmann, Ludwig André were announced in Hofmeisters Monatsberichten between 1903 and 1911 (see Hofmeister 1903, p. 671; 1906, p. 139; 1909, p. 297, 1911, p. 93 & p. 266). But apparently only Lafite's has survived (see ÖNB MS27983-4°/6). I am not aware of extant copies of the other four publications.
Otherwise the standard repertoire of "Volkslieder" and "volkstümliche Lieder" was mercilessly recycled by editors and publishers during the first three decades of the 20th century. The interest in these genres was greater than ever and the sheer number of relevant songbooks published at that time is astonishing. "Treu und herzinniglich" can be found in at least 50 books of all kinds from this era and I assume it was included in many more. Most amusing is an instrumental version in a collection of music for gymnastic exercises:
- A[ugust] Göller, Turn- und Tanzlust. 86 volkstümliche, leicht spielbare Lieder mit Tanzweisen und anderen Tonstücken in geeigneter Verbindung zur Begleitung von Turnübungen der Mädchen und der Knaben, 2. verb. u. verm. Auflage, Karlsruhe 1909, p. 37 (first published 1897)
At that time Germans were not only obsessed with "Volkslieder" but also with gymnastics - i. e. "Turnen" - and Göller, a teacher for sports in the town of Mannheim, but also editor of songbooks "für Schule und Leben" (see Preface, p. V) was smart enough to combine these two important fields. His collection - which includes piano arrangements for many classics of this genre - must have been very successful. It remained available at least until the early 1920s (see DNB 580879291).
Otherwise there were numerous song collections of all kinds. I can't list them all but will limit myself here to about 20 publications. In fact the German "Robin Adair" fit well into all these songbooks:
- L. Benda (ed.), Buch der Lieder. 262 beliebte Volksweisen aus alter und neuer Zeit für eine mittlere Singstimme mit Pianofortebegleitung, Braunschweig n. d. [1900-1910?], No. 153, p. 172 (first published 1892 with 253 songs, see Hofmeister XIX, November 1892, p. 486)
- K. Bösche, R. Linnarz & A Reinbrecht, Polyhymnia. Auswahl von Männerchören für Seminare und höhere Lehranstalten. Vollständig in drei Bänden. Zweiter Band: Volk- und volkstümliche Lieder, 10. Auflage, Leipzig 1904, No. 54, pp. 75-6, also in extended 13.-15. ed., Leipzig 1912, No. 54, pp. 75-6
- Deutsches Kommersbuch. Mit einem Titelbild. Neunte Auflage. Historisch-kritische Bearbeitung besorgt von Dr. Karl Reisert, Freiburg 1904, p. 305 (also in 13th & 14th ed., Freiburg 1924, p. 322)
- Adolf Zander & Dr. L. H. Fischer (ed.), Liederschatz. Sammlung vierstimmiger Chorlieder für Knaben und Mädchen, Heft 1, 7. Auflage, Berlin n. d. , No. 41, p. 59 [1914, see DNB 99434662X, identical to the 7th)
- Robert Linnarz, Auswahl von Chorgesängen für Oberklassen höherer Mädchenschulen, sowie für Pensionate und Lehrerinnen-Seminare. Band 2: Weltliche Lieder, 2. Auflage, Essen 1908, No. 58, p. 94-5:
- W[alther] Werckmeister, Wandervogel Liederborn für die deutsche Jugend, Halle , No. 124, pp. 81-2 (at the Internet Archive)
- Eduard Kremser (ed.), Das Lied im Volke (Liederschatz). Sammlung von Lieblingsliedern des Deutschen Volkes, Wien & Leipzig n. d. [c. 1910], No. 163, p. 181
- Deutsche Lieder. Aus alter und neuer Zeit. Mit einem Anhang Modelieder u. Couplets, Berlin, n. d. [ca. 1900-1910], p. 195 (see ill. No. 5)
- O. H. Lange (ed.), Ausländischer Liederschatz. Sammlung ausländischer Volkslieder, Leipzig n. d. [c. 1910], p. 57
- Reinhold Wörz (ed.), Enßlins Taschenliederbuch. 512 Lieder für sangeskundige frohe Kreise. Unter besonderer Berücksichtigung von Volks- und Kommersliedern. Mit Angabe der passenden Tonart und des Anfangs der Melodie in Tonbuchstaben, Reutlingen n. d. [c. 1911?], No. 407, p. 269 [text only, but with tune indication, key and first few notes]
- Hans Heinrichs & Ernst Pfusch (ed.), Frisch gesungen! III. Teil. Chorbuch für höhere Knabenschulen, Sechste unveränderte Auflage. 16tes bis 19tes Tausend, Hannover & Berlin 1912, No. 188, p. 263 (first published 1909)
- Hermann Böse (ed.), Volkslieder für Heim und Wanderung, Berlin 1914, No. 74, p. 61
- Ernst Ludwig Schellenberg, Das deutsche Volkslied. Ein Hausschatz von über 1000 der besten deutschen Volkslieder für Gesang und Klavierbegleitung, 1. Band, Berlin 1916, No. 68, p. 67 (available at Sibley Music Library)
- 100 Lieder zur Laute oder Gitarre, gesetzt von Carl Blume (Tongers Taschen-Album Band 60), Köln n. d. [before 1917/8], No. 86, pp. 184-5
- (Prof. Dr.) Walther Werckmeister (ed.), Deutsches Lautenlied, 2. Auflage, Berlin-Pankow 1917, No. 38, p. 43 (at the Internet Archive; first publ. 1914)
- Gaudeamus. 200 ausgewählte Commers- Rhein- und Volkslieder für Klavier m. beigefügtem Text, Leipzig n. d. [c. 1920?], No. 163, pp. 88-9 (available at Sibley Music Library)
- Heinrich Scherrer, Deutsche Studentenlieder mit einer volkstümlichen Gitarrebegleitung aus dem Stegreif zu spielen, Leipzig 1923, p. 248 (first publ. Leipzig 1912)
- Robert Klaas, Das gold'ne Buch der Lautenlieder. Eine reiche Auslese Volks- und volkstümlicher Lieder mit doppelter Lautenbegleitung nebst einem Anhang von Märschen u. Konzertstücken für 2 Mandolinen und Guitarre. Lautensatz von W. Ott, Berlin 1924, p. 80
- Köhler's Taschenliederbuch für das deutsche Volk. Enthaltend 500 der beliebtesten Volk- Studenten-, Trink-, Turner-, Soldaten-, Wander- etc. Lieder. Jubiläums-Ausgabe, Minden n. d. , No. 395, pp. 214-5 (text only)
- Ernst Dahlke & Walter Schmidt (ed.), Das deutsche Lied. Liederbuch für Lyzeen, Oberlyzeen, Studienanstalten, höhere Mädchenschulen, Mädchen-Mittelschulen. Teil 1: Stufenmäßig geordnete Sammlung von Liedern auf Grund der amtlichen Lehrpläne für die unteren Klassen 6-4, Essen 1926, p. 94
- Felix Pfirstinger, 64 Volkslieder für dreistimmigen Frauenchor, Leipzig & Zürich n. d. [c. 1927], here 3. Auflage, n. d. , No. 46, p. 61
As can be seen here the song was published in many different formats and contexts. First there were coffee-table books, all collections of more general nature, that look like they were conceived to compete with Ludwig Erk's immensely popular Liederschatz: Benda's Buch der Lieder, Kremser's Lied im Volke, Deutsche Lieder aus alter und neuer Zeit and Schellenberg's Das deutsche Volkslied. For the publishers these kind of books were not that expensive because they could reprint all the classics from the last century without paying royalties. But "Volkslieder" were of course also published in handy pocket volumes like Werckmeister's two collections and Böse's Volkslieder für Heim und Wanderung. Even more handy were textbooks, like Enßlin's and Köhler's Taschenliederbücher. The latter was particularly popular and sold in the millions.
Sometimes only text and tunes were published, some books include piano arrangements, others were intended for guitar players. In fact the guitar had become popular again, especially among the younger people. The publishers acted accordingly and soon a number of books with arrangements for that instrument were available, like Blume's 100 Lieder, Werckmeister's Lautenlied, Scherrer's Studentenlieder and Klaassen's Gold'ne Buch der Lautenlieder. The guitar and lute were particularly useful for the new - somehow anti-modernist and romantic - Wandervogel-movement (see Wikipedia). "Wandern" had become a new favorite pastime of the German youth, of course heavily loaded with ideological ballast. Werckmeister's two collections grew out of his involvement with the Wandervogel.
Songbooks for students also remained popular and helped to recycle the old repertoire. Reisert's Deutsches Kommersbuch and the Gaudeamus collection were typical examples for this genre. Amusingly Werckmeister in the introduction to Wandervogel Liederborn mocked the old-fashioned student-life:
"The Wandervogel is an avowed enemy of the rightly notorious running in herds ["Herdenlaufen"], the hotel and pub life [...] his singing should stay clear of the flat 'Biertopf- und Kommersliedseligkeit'. Let's leave this stupidity to all those who like to ruin their their vitality and their enthusiasm for all that is beautiful, noble and true in wine and beer palaces and pubs" (p. III).
But of course the content of student songbooks and Wandervogel collections was quite similar to each other. Both sang more or less the same songs, only in different surroundings. Das "Volkslied alter und neuer Art" remained the core of the song repertoire. "Volkslieder" were popular and beloved among all parts of the society. And even a songbook compiled by a social-democratic expert like Hermann Böse - he called it "Volkslieder für Heim und Wanderung" - didn't look much different from the products of his more conservative colleagues.
Surprisingly "Robin Adair" also began to appear in songbooks for schools. Until the turn of the century only the words of "Heimat, Ade" were used with this tune in the relevant collections like Weeber's, Barner's, Beck's, Kothe's and Schiffels'. Adolf Zander was the first to include "Treu und herzinniglich" in a collection intended for school children. He had been familiar with this song as a choirmaster of a Männergesangverein. This was apparently also the case with Robert Linnarz, a music teacher, arranger, composer and choirmaster from the town of Alfeld in Lower Saxony (see the interesting article at Alt-alfeld.de). He reanimated Friedrich Silcher's version of the tune-variant from La Dame Blanche, the one that had first been published as an alternate version in his XII Volkslieder in 1834 and then later found a place for some years in the Allgemeine Deutsche Commersbuch (see the 11th ed., 1867, No. 152, pp. 506-7, at Universität Düsseldorf, DFG-Viewer). In fact Linnarz' collectiosn includes a great number of "Volkslied"-standards from the 19th century, much more than was common in earlier schoolbooks, and one gets the impression that he simply revamped the old songs he was familiar with from his youth for this songbook for girls' schools.
Most interesting in this respect was Heinrichs' and Pfusch's Frisch Gesungen, a very successful and widely used collection of choral arrangements for "höhere Knabenschulen" (see Kruse 1992 for the history of this important series of songbooks). Here we can find a new arrangement for four voices of Erk's tune variant complete with all three available sets of lyrics: "Treu und herzinniglich", the English "Robin Adair" ("What's This Dull Town To Me [...]") as well as "Heimat, Ade!". The original text was also wrongly credited to Robert Burns. The editors were heavily influenced by the Wandervogel-movement and Werckmeister's Liederborn - who also had used Erk's version of the tune - was apparently a major source for them (Kruse, pp. 124-8 ). But interestingly the song - together with other standards like "Mein Herz ist im Hochland" - would be dropped from this collection in the early 1920s. It can't be found in later editions.
At least until the late 20s there was no shortage of "Robin Adairs" on the German songbook market. By all accounts it was hard to avoid and I get the feeling that nearly everybody must have known text and tune. Many of the above mentioned publications remained available for a considerable time and some of them sold in great number, especially the songbooks for schools. But all these collections rarely brought anything new. The old tune variants from the last century were still in use. The most popular seems to have been Erk's but the one from La Dame Blanche in the versions edited by Täglichsbeck and Silcher also remained popular. And even though some research had been done since the 1890s the editors still did not agree about the tune's provenance: sometimes it was called "Irish" and sometimes "Scottish", depending on their source. Not at least Wilhelm Gerhard was still rarely credited as the author of the German text. Only very few of the editors of the above listed works felt it necessary to mention his name although the information was easily available at that time. Interestingly in 1927 even Joseph Haydn's arrangement of "Robin Adair" - written for George Thomson in 1802 and after 125 years finally published in Germany - was combined with "Treu und herzinniglich":
- Joseph Haydn, Schottische und walisische Volkslieder mit Begleitung von Violine, Violoncello und Klavier. Revidiert und mit neuen, passenden Texten zum ersten Male deutsch herausgegeben von Bernhard Engelke, Heft 2, Leipzig 1927
Besides "Treu und herzinniglich" the other popular text for the tune, "Heimat, Ade!", also remained in use, but nearly exclusively in songbooks for schools. The relevant collections from the last century were still reprinted, even after the death of the original editors. A 6th edition of Barner's Liedersammlung was published in 1909, the Liedersammlung by Weeber and Krauss as well as Kothe's Gesangbuch were still available in 1915 and Beck's Liederbuch für höhere Töchterschulen reached its 51st edition in 1920 and I even saw a 56th edition from 1925 (see DNB 365171921, 368642658, 574435468, 365196177). The text was of course also available in the popular and widely used songbooks by Zander and Heinrichs & Pfusch that I have already mentioned. But besides these publications the song appeared at least in nearly 20 new collections published since the late 1910s - mostly in Germany, but also in Austria and Switzerland -, for example in these six:
- Karl Reisert, Freiburger Gaudeamus. Taschenliederbuch für die deutsche Jugend enthaltend 212 unserer schönsten Lieder zumeist mit Melodie, Freiburg 1907 (here 2nd ed., Freiburg 1913), No. 87, pp. 88-9
- Simon Breu, Deutsches Jugendliederbuch für Gymnasien, Oberrealschulen, Realschulen und andere höhere Lehranstalten, 2. Auflage, Essen & Würzburg 1909, No. 60, pp. 52-3 (also in 11th ed., 1923, No. 68. p. 64)
- Philipp Hampp, Liederbuch für Schulen. Mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Einführung in das Treffsingen auf Grundlage der Kadenzdreiklänge, II. Teil. Große Ausgabe. 4. unveränderte Auflage, München n. d. [reprint of 3rd. rev. ed. 1912], No. 68, pp. 103-4
- Heinrich Lang & Martin Mezger, Liederlust. Eine stufenmäßig geordnete Sammlung von Liedern für Knaben- und Mädchenschulen. Heft 2: Lieder für das vierte bis siebente Schuljahr (Klasse I-III der höheren Schule in Württemberg), Stuttgart n. d. , No. 219, p. 186
- Karl Gast & Hugo Löbmann, Liederbuch für Lyzeen und höhere Mädchenschulen mit einer Gesanglehre. Ausgabe A, III. Teil (Klasse IV und III), 7. Auflage, Berlin n. d. [1920s], No. 49, pp. 47-8
- Aloys Meister, Vierstimmiges Chorbuch. Sammlung gemischter Chöre für Gymnasien, Realgymnasien, Oberrealschulen und verwandte höhere Lehranstalten, 2. Auflage, Leipzig & Frankfurt/M. 1922, No.l 120, pp. 232-234 (first publ. 1912)
Reisert's Freiburger Gaudeamus was not an official songbook for schools but a more general collection for the "more mature pupils". He had already included "Treu und herzinniglich" with Erk's tune variant in his Kommersbuch for university students and here he used instead Silcher's version of the melody - although with the "Scotch snap" - for "Heimat, Ade!". Reisert had done some research and he correctly called it "Neueres Volkslied, 1850/60" although he didn't give a source for the text.
Breu, Meister as well as Gast and Löbmann all used Ludwig Erk's version of the tune and the latter two also wrote new arrangements. Karl Gast and Hugo Löbmann were very busy as editors of songbooks for schools. The Liederbuch für Lyzeen und höhere Mädchenschulen was first published in 1913 and they included "Heimat, Ade!" also in some of their other collections: a Liederbuch für Mittel- und höhere Bürgerschulen and Deutscher Jugendklang. Deutscher Jugendklang. Liederbuch für die katholische weibliche Jugend in Fortbildungsschulen sowie Jungfrauen- u. Jugendvereinen (see DNB 991084098, 365898651 & 361527306).
Hampp and Lang & Mezger instead resorted to the melodic variant originally published in Weeber's and Barner's song collections and even "borrowed" the same arrangement for two voices. The former a least reintroduced the "Scotch Snap" in the first two refrain lines and otherwise only noted "Dichter unbekannt". But in the Liederlust the editors- believe it or not - even acknowledged their source:
"Aus der Liedersammlung von Joh. Christ. Weeber (1808-1877) und Friedr. Krauß (1816-1872). Verlag von J. B. Metzler, Stuttgart"
Only very rarely "Heimat, Ade" was included in songbooks for the general public, for example in a very tiny textbook that sold in great numbers. Of course the whole content of this collection was simply borrowed - without any acknowledgement - from numerous other printed sources:
- Liederschatz. 302 der beliebtesten Lieder für alle Kreise und Gelegenheiten, 171. - 220. Tausend, Essen n. d. [1914-1920?], No. 118, p. 80
But the song's main medium of dissemination were schoolbooks and one may assume that at that time every pupil in Germany must have sung this piece.
We can see here that the tune of "Robin Adair" remained popular in the German speaking countries at least until the late 1920s. It was easily available in numerous songbooks, either with Wilhelm Gerhard's "Treu und herzinniglich" or with "Heimat, Ade" as the text. Sometimes even the original English words were reprinted. But this changed in the 30s when the song suddenly fell out of favor and disappeared from the book market. Of course it could still be found in reprints or new editions of some of the older collections like Robert Klaassen's Goldene Buch der Lautenlieder (1937, p. 278, see catalog, DVA: V 3/6068). But this was an exception. As far as I know neither "Treu und herzinniglich" nor "Heimat, Ade" were published in any new German songbook in the 1930s or the first half of the 40s. It is possible that I may have missed some but if that's the case it can't have been many.
After the war the tune did not regain its former popularity. "Heimat, Ade!" was not - as far as I know - included again in any songbook for school. And in only two of them - both published in 1949 - "Robin Adair" happened to find a place:
- Hans Burkhardt & Walther Lipphardt, Der Singer. Ein Liederbuch für Schule und Leben. Teil III. Mittelstufe 5. bis 8. Schuljahr. Das Menschenleben, Kassel und Basel 1949, pp. 178-9
- Bayerisches Liederbuch. Herausgegeben vom Verband der Lehrer für Musik an den Höheren Lehranstalten in Bayern, Augsburg & München 1949, p. 162
Burkhardt and Lipphardt used Haydn's arrangement as it had been printed in the edition compiled by B. Engelke (Leipzig 1927): with both the original English text of "Robin Adair" ("What's this dull town to me [...]") and - in smaller typeface - Gerhard's "Treu und herzinniglich". The other book only included the English version, though with Erk's tune variant. It was part of an extra chapter "Aus fremden Landen" with a couple of other foreign songs from the USA - "Yankee Doodle", "Old Folks At Home" -, the British Isles - for example Burns' "Auld lang Syne" - as well as France and some other countries.
For a later edition of the latter songbook "Robin Adair" was completely dropped. There was still a chapter of songs "from all around the world" with for example "My Heart's In The Highlands", also only with the original English text. The very popular German translation by Ferdinand Freiligrath ("Mein Herz ist im Hochland") was not included. In the introduction (p. 3) one Professor Walter noted that "the preservation of the genuine 'Volkslied' is the foundation and center of the music education of the youth". He of course meant the German "Volkslied". The foreign songs were ghettoized in extra chapters.This was a general tendency at that time and the formerly so popular "Treu und herzinniglich" also did not find its way back into collections of "Volkslieder" for the general public. I have checked a considerable number of German songbooks from the last 60 years but was not able to find this song in any of them.
There was only one exception. The German "Robin Adair" remained popular and in use in choral societies as can be seen for example from the video available at YouTube that I have mentioned in the Introduction. Friedrich Silcher's old arrangement of this piece is still sold and at least half a dozen new arrangements for all kinds of choirs were published from the 1950s to the 2000s (see DNB 1005029970, 998102342, 350367566, 350968705, 351030514, 357826736). But choral singing, especially of the old "Volkslieder", has lost much of its former mass appeal and also its ideological ballast. The choirs may have kept the "Robin Adair" alive in their circles but nonetheless it was not anymore part of the common musical repertoire, the songs known to - nearly - everybody, unlike for example a considerable number of the German classic "Volkslieder" - or "volkstümliche Lieder" - like Silcher's "Loreley" or Geibel's "Der Mai ist gekommen". These pieces have survived all political and cultural changes. Even today it is a not that easy to find someone who isn't at least a little bit familiar with these kind of old songs.
But "Robin Adair" with German text, a song so widely popular and regularly reprinted and republished until 1920s, is barely known today. I can't remember hearing it in my youth and I must admit first became familiar with this tune in the late 1980s: Bob Dylan used to sing "Eileen Aroon" - with Gerald Griffin's text - in some of his concerts at that time. I wasn't aware of the tune's former popularity in Germany nor did I know that it had been a standard in songbooks for schools - as "Heimat, Ade!" - and that my grand-parents may have sung it.
Why did this song fall out of favor in Germany? This an interesting question that is not easy to answer. One may assume that the people simply didn't like it anymore. That is not an unreasonable assumption. In fact both Wilhelm Gerhard's text and the words of "Heimat, Ade!" sound a little bit old-fashioned today. The same happened to many old songs.. This is a completely natural process. But I don't think this a sufficient explanation because the same fate also befell the other imported foreign songs that were so popular during the 19th and early 20th century. Who today knows the German versions of for example "My Heart's in the Highlands", "The Last Rose of Summer" or "Home, Sweet Home"? Like "Robin Adair" they all disappeared from the songbooks since the the 1930s and never returned. In fact it seems that all these songs fell victim to an interesting process that I can only sketch here in its broad outline (with the help of Kruse 1992, Braun 1957, Hammel 1990, Jung 1989).
During the 19th century Germans were clearly fascinated, not to say obsessed, with foreign popular and "folk" songs. They were published in great numbers, usually with a German text. Some of them quickly mutated into "Volkslieder" and became an integral part of the repertoire. Friedrich Silcher for example compiled a whole series with the title Ausländische Volksmelodien mit deutschem, zum Teil aus dem Englischen usw. übertragenen Text (1835-1841). Ludwig Erk - otherwise as a collector very strict and opinionated - promoted these kind of songs without prejudice in his songbooks for the general public. It seems he could appreciate a good tune even if it wasn't of German origin. In his Volkslieder-Album (1872) we can find for example the popular standards of British origin, besides "Robin Adair" also "Lang, lang ist's her", "Sommers letzte Rose", "Mein Herz ist im Hochland" and the tune of "God Save The Queen", the latter used for a song about Kaiser Wilhelm ("Heil dir im Siegerkranz").
In fact even the most reactionary or nationalist editor wouldn't have thought of deleting these beloved classics. Someone like Walther Werckmeister, editor of Das Deutsche Lautenlied (Berlin 1914/16), was surely obsessed with what he called "unsere hohe, alte, deutsche Kultur" but also freely shared the foreign tunes, even at the height of World War I. Amusingly both "Robin Adair" and "Mein Herz ist im Hochland" can be found in a chapter called "Heimat und Vaterland" ("Home and Fatherland"). Patriotic song collections published for during the war also included "Robin Adair" & co., for example a book called Vaterländisches Liederbuch. 200 der besten Volks- und Soldatenlieder (Hamburg 1914, see DNB 361515855) and Deutsche Soldatenlieder (Reutlingen 1915, see DNB 576445959).
This attitude only began to change after the lost war and was first notable in songbooks for schools published in the 1920s:
"After 1918 the 'Volkslied' was increasingly exploited for patriotic means [...] the cohesion of the German people ('der deutschen Nation') should be promoted by the 'Volkslied' that was regarded as an expression of the unmaimed national community ('Volksgemeinschaft')" (Kruse 1992, p. 161).
This genre had always been used and misused for patriotic purposes but here a most unpleasant nationalistic approach began to creep in, at first of course with only the "best" intentions. The reanimation of the national spirit ("Nationalgefühl") was the purpose and "das echte deutsche Volkslied" should become the foundation and centerpiece of the music education. There was a new emphasis on "authenticity" and on genuine German songs that were promoted as a means to combat foreign Pop music. Many from the left to the right were afraid of "kulturelle Überfremdung", especially the infiltration of American popular music which was seen a dangerous for the youth and for German culture in general (see Kruse, p. 162). Instead the kids were supposed to sing real German "Volkslieder".
This development was reflected by the editorial policy of some popular and widely used songbooks for schools. One of the most successful was Frisch Gesungen, compiled by Hans Heinrichs and Ernst Pfusch. The very first editions from before the war - it was first published in 1908 - still included a generous amount of British and other imported songs, not at least our "Robin Adair" with both German texts. But beginning in the early 1920s they were slowly but surely deleted and then replaced by so-called "echte deutsche Volkslieder". This was a deliberate decision, the editors "wanted to ensure that the German songs, which had a community-building function for them, was sung by the people and not displaced by foreign music" (Kruse, p. 162, see also the statistics, f. ex. pp. 402, 403, 466).
As far as I can see this attitude remained at first confined to - some, not all! - collections published for educational purposes and had at first not much influence on songbooks intended for the general public. The old hits were of course regularly republished and I assume the people still loved to sing them. But during the NS-era the hostility against foreign music intensified. The National Socialists' policy to feed the "Volksgenossen" on a narrow diet of Germanic-folkish music was supported - and executed - by a considerable number of music educators who shamelessly submitted to this ideology that they at least partly shared (see f. ex. Kruse 1992 about Heinrichs and colleagues).
Of course this extreme Germano-centrism came to an end in 1945 but it had done irreparable harm to what was called "Volkslied". The formerly very wide and tolerant definition of this term was replaced by a much more narrow and nationalist approach. During the 19th century the "Volkslied" used to be a very dynamic genre that could easily absorb and assimilate the latest foreign hits. After the war it had become frozen in time, even more infantilized than during Erk's era and had also lost much of its appeal for the younger generation for whom this kind of music more and more looked like the most reactionary thing imaginable. This development left a wide flank open for modern foreign Pop music and for a new kind of "Volkslied" inspired by the American "folksong" and protest movement. Bob Dylan became more interesting than Friedrich Silcher.
"Das echte deutsche Volkslied" and the basic stock of popular songs from the 19th century ("volkstümliche Lieder") survived in kindergarten and elementary school, among the older generation, in choral societies and was promoted in radio and TV. In fact many of the standards are still familiar to nearly everyone. But "Robin Adair" and other formerly immensely popular imported foreign songs had fallen victim to the process outlined above and their share in the history of the genre is virtually forgotten. But nonetheless they had an interesting not to say impressive history and I must admit that I was surprised to learn how popular and how widespread this particular tune had been in the German-speaking countries for more than a century. At times I got the impression that it was sung here even more than in the Anglo-saxon countries.
The real problem I think is that today our idea of "Volkslied" as a genre is much too narrow. The "ethnological" or "ethnologized" definition" has come to the fore. The "Volkslied" had been a genre of popular music - not songs "by" the people but "for" the people - that could cover a very wide field. It was at first not limited by the strive for folkloristic "authenticity" nor by musical nationalism. These approaches crept in slowly since the latter part of the 19th century but, as I tried to show, only after the 1st World War the popular repertoire began to show signs of the ideological shift. The disappearance of "Robin Adair" - both as "Treu und herzinniglich" and "Heimat, Ade!" - as well as of songs like "Mein Herz ist im Hochland" and "Letzte Rose" was a kind of collateral damage of this development.
I wish to thank the following libraries for providing me with digital copies of rare prints from their collections:
- Beethoven-Haus, Bonn (sheet music: "Robin Adair", Hofmeister, Leipzig, n. d. , Geyr 42 u)
- Fürstliche Bibliothek Corvey, Höxter (sheet music: "Robin Adair", Bote & Bock, Hamburg [n. d.], 197/7)
- Silcher Museum des Schwäbischen Chorverbandes, Weinstadt-Schnait ("Robin Adair" from first edition of Silcher, XII Volkslieder, 4. Heft, 1834, No. 10)
- Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek, Weimar ("Vier Neue Lieder [...]", [c. 1832], Dd3:63[a])
- Library of the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp (Artesis University College of Antwerp), Historical Collection (sheet music: "Robin Adair", Schott, Mainz, n. d. , MM-ZL-ANONI-robinad-1, now available online)
I also would like to thank the excellent digitization services of both the SLUB Dresden and the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Wien.
Illustrations & Musical Examples
- "Eileen Aroon", standard version performed today, one verse (by Gerald Griffin) & tune, here from Helen K. Johnson, Our Familiar Songs, New York 1889, p. 241 (online available at the Internet Archive)
- Title page of sheet music: Robin Adair. The much admired Ballad as Sung by Mr. Braham at the Lyceum, and Mr. Sinclair at the Theatre Royal Liverpool, With an Accompaniment for the Piano Forte or Harp, Liverpool, Printed by Hime & Son Castle Street & Church Street, n. d. [after 1811], image from original sheet music from my collection (pdf).
- "Robin Adair", in: Dolores M. Bacon (ed.), Songs Every Child Should Know. A Selection Of The Best Songs Of All Nations For Young People, New York 1907, p. 70, source: The Internet Archive
- "Robin Adair", in: August Härtel (ed.), Deutsches Liederlexikon. Eine Sammlung der besten und beliebtesten Lieder und Gesänge des deutschen Volkes. Mit Begleitung des Pianoforte, Zweite Auflage, Leipzig 1867, Nr. 762, p. 597; image from pdf-file downloaded from the Internet Archive
- "Robin Adair", in: Deutsche Lieder. Aus alter und neuer Zeit Mit Einem Anhang Modelieder u. Couplets, Schreitersche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Berlin, n. d. [ca. 1900-1910], p. 195; image from original book from my collection.
- "Robin Adair", in Wilhelm Greef (ed.), Männerlieder, alte und neue, für Freunde des mehrstimmigen Männergesanges, Neuntes Heft, 6. Auflage, Essen 1869, Nr. 21, p. 25 (first published Essen 1854), image from original book from my collection.
- "Heut' muß geschieden sein", in: Simon Breu (ed.), Deutsches Jugendliederbuch für höhere Lehranstalten, 11. unveränderte Auflage, Essen & Würzburg 1923, image from book from my collection.
- "Ellen A Roon", tune from: Charles Coffey, The Beggar's Wedding. A New Opera. As it is acted at the Theatre in Dublin, with great applause. And at the Theatre in the Hay-Market. To which are added the new prologue and epilogue, and the musick to all the songs, The Third Edition, London 1729 (ESTC N033008, ECCO), Appendix, p. 12, No. 18.
- Tune & text (first verse only) from: The celebrated Irish Ballad Elin a Roon, sung by Mrs. Clive in Irish, as she perform'd it at the Theatre Royal in Dublin, n. d. [1742?], facsimile in Maunder 1993, p. 449
- "Ellen A Roon", melody line, first 20 bars, from the piano arrangement in: Edward Bunting, The Ancient Music of Ireland, Dublin 1840, No. 123, p. 94 (pdf-file downloaded from IMSLP)
- "Robin Adair", melody line only, from: Eliz. Young, Her Book, 1739, NLS MS 5.2.23, in: Early Music, Part 2: Music Manuscripts, 1500-1793, from the National Library of Scotland, Reel 3; tune also in SITM, No. 849, p. 156
- "Welcome to Paxton, Robin Adair", text from: The Lark: Being A Select Collection Of The Most Celebrated And Newest Songs, Scots and English. Vol. I, Edinburgh 1765, p. 268, image from pdf-file downloaded from the Internet Archive
- "Robin Adair", tune and first verse from David Sime (ed.), Edinburgh Musical Miscellany, A Collection Of The Most Approved Scotch, English, And Irish Songs, Set To Music Vol. 2, Edinburgh 1793, p. 304/5 (av. at the Internet Archive)
- "Had I A Cave", from The Complete Works of Robert Burns (Self-Interpreting), Vol. 5, New York 1909, p. 204, source: The Internet Archive
- "Erin, The Tear And The Smile In Thine Eyes", text & tune from: A Selection of Irish Melodies, with Symphonies and Accompaniments by Sir John Stevenson, Mus. Doc, and Characteristic words by Thomas Moore, Esq, Dublin, n. d. , p. 12, available at IMSLP
- Text & tune in: Robin Adair : The Much Admired Ballad Sung with enthusiastic applause By Mr. Braham at the Lyceum Theatre, The Symphony & Accompaniments Composed & Arranged For The Harp Or Piano Forte by W. Reeve, Button & Whitaker, London, n. d. 
- From Old Favourites, Reprinted From The Family Herald And Weekly Star, Montreal 1898, p. 59, source: The Internet Archive
- Review of sheet music: Robin Adair. A Simple Irish Ballad, by J. Mazzinghi, Goulding & Co. , in: Monthly Magazine And British Register, Vol. 33, 1812, No. 224, March 1, p. 166; image made from pdf-file downloaded from Google Books
- Text and tune from: Robin Adair, A Simple Irish Ballad. Sung with unbounded applause by Mr. Braham, At the Lyceum Theatre, Arranged with an Accompaniment for the Harp or Piano-forte, Also may be had with Variations for Piano Forte, Harp & Flute, By J. Mazzinghi, Printed by Goulding & Co., London n. d.  (online available at Frances G. Spencer Collection of American Popular Sheet Music, Baylor University Libraries, Digital Collections)
- "Air Ecossais", tune from: La Dame blanche. Opéra Comique En Trois Actes. Poéme de Eugéne Scribe, Musique de Boieldieu. Nouvelle Édition [...] réduite pour le piano par Paul Puget, Paris, n. d. [piano-vocal score], pp. 322-6 (available at the Internet Archive)
- Advertisement in: Intelligenzblatt zur allgemeinen musikalischen Zeitung, No. VIII, April 1826, p. 36, image from pdf-file downloaded from Google Books
- From: Review of "La Dame Blanche", in: Berliner Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung, Vol. 3, Nro. 32, 9. 8. 1826, pp. 255-7, here p. 257, image from pdf-file downloaded at Google Books
- From: Handbuch der musikalischen Literatur, oder allgemeines systematisches Verzeichnis gedruckter Musikalien, auch musikalischer Schriften [...], Zehnter Nachtrag, C. F. Whistling, Leipzig 1827, p. 56; image from pdf-file downloaded at Google Books
- From: Paul Möbius, Katechismus der Deutschen Literaturgeschichte, Leipzig 1866, p. 151, image made from pdf-file downloaded at Google Books
- From: Handbuch der musikalischen Literatur, oder allgemeines systematisches Verzeichnis gedruckter Musikalien, auch musikalischer Schriften [...], Zehnter Nachtrag, C. F. Whistling, Leipzig 1827, p. 62; image from pdf-file downloaded at Google Books
- Tune and text (first verse only) from: Robin Adair, a Simple Irish Ballad - Robin Adair, Jrländisches Volkslied von Wilhelm Gerhard für Harfe oder Pianoforte, Hofmeister, Leipzig, n. d. , only extant copy available at Library of the Beethoven-Haus, Bonn, Geyr 42 u, who kindly sent me a pdf-copy of this print)
- From: Review of "Die Weisse Dame", performance in Stuttgart, in: Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung, Vol. 29, No. 11, 14.3.1827, p. 183, image from pdf-file downloaded at Google Books
- From: Intelligenzblatt zur AMZ, Vol. 30, No. XXI, Dezember 1828, p. 84, image made from pdf-file downloaded from Google Books
- Text (first verse only) and tune from sheet music: Robin Adair, Schottische Ballade. Benutzt in der Oper Die weisse Frau von A. Boieldieu. Für Pianoforte oder Guitarre, No. 12, Pr. 4 Gr., Hamburg bei A. Cranz, [n. d.] (only extant copy at Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Musiksammlung, MS12858-qu.4 with thanks to the digitization service of the ÖNB for a digital copy of this publication)
- Robin Adair. Schottische Ballade, in: Arion. Sammlung auserlesener Gesangstücke mit Begleitung der Guitarre, 1. Band, Braunschweig, bei F. Busse, n. d. [1828/9], No. 47, p. 82, pdf-file downloaded from Musik- och Teaterbiblioteket, Statens musikverk, Stockholm, Boijes Samling 899
- From: Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung 29, No. 18. 2.5.1827, p. 309, image from pdf-file downloaded at Google Books [Pixis]
- From: Henderson George, A Country Boy Begins Life In Pittsburgh, in: Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, Vol. 3, No. 1, January, 1920 pp. 9-20, here p. 10; image made from pdf-file downloaded at the Internet Archive
- Advertisement for Friedrich Silcher, XII Volkslieder, gesammelt und für vier Männerstimmen gesetzt, Heft 4, from: Intelligenzblatt zur allgemeinen musikalischen zeitung, No. IX, September 1834, p. 36; image from pdf-file downloaded at Google Books
- "Robin Adair", text (first verse only) & tune from: XII Volkslieder, gesammelt und für vier Männerstimmen gesetzt von Friedrich Silcher, Heft 4, Op. 18, Tübingen, n. d. , Nr. 10, p. 9-10 (from digital copies of the first edition, received from Silcher-Museum, Weinstadt-Schnait & of the second edition, ca. 1865, from ÖNB; reprinted in: Friedrich Silcher, Volkslieder gesammelt und für vier Männerstimmen gesetzt. Nebst einem Anhang von Trauerliedern, Neue Ausgabe, Tübingen 1902, Nr. 59, pp. 105-6)
- "Robin Adair", version 2 ("Dieselbe Melodie, wie sie durch Boieldieu's La Dame Blanche sich nun gestaltet hat"), text (first verse only) & tune, from dto., Nr. 10, p. 10
- "Robin Adair", text (first verse only) & tune from: Ludwig Erk (Hg.), Volkslieder, alte und neue, für Männerstimmen gesetzt. Erstes Heft, 68 Lieder enthaltend, Essen 1845, Nr. 21, p. 19 (digital copy soon available at SLUB Dresden)
- From: Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben, Unsere Volksthümlichen Lieder, in: Weimarisches Jahrbuch Für Deutsche Sprache, Literatur und Kunst, Vol. 6, 1857, p. 186, image from pdf-file downloaded at the Internet Archive
- From: Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben, Unsere Volksthümlichen Lieder, 2. Auflage, Leipzig 1859, No. 873, p. 128, image from pdf-file downloaded at Google Books
- From: Adolf Hofmeister (ed.), Handbuch der musikalischen Literatur oder allgemeines systematisch geordnetes Verzeichnis der in Deutschland und in den angrenzenden Ländern erschienenen Musikalien [...], 5. Band, Leipzig 1860, p. 62; image from pdf-file downloaded at Google Books
- From: Musikalisch-literarischer Monatsbericht neuer Musikalien, musikalischer Schriften und Abbildungen, 1867, No. 9, p. 146 (image from pdf-file downloaded at Google Books)
- "Robin Adair", from: Louis Köhler, Melodien-Album. Beliebte Melodien für Pianoforte zu 4 Händen, Leipzig, ca. 1873, No. 45, pp. 28/9; image made from pdf-file downloaded at the Internet Archive
- "Robin Adair", from: A. Caroli [i. e. Johann Bayer], Esmeralda. Sammlung der beliebtesten, leicht ausführbaren Melodien für Guitarre allein, Berlin, n. d. , No. 72, p. 26, image from pdf-file downloaded from: Musik- och Teaterbiblioteket, Statensverken, Stockholm, Boijes Samling 939
- "Robin Adair", from: Th. Täglichsbeck & J. Müleisen (ed.), Göpel's deutsches Lieder und Commers-Buch. Sammlung von gegen fünfhundert der beliebtesten Lieder mit ihren Singweisen in mehrstimmiger Bearbeitung, Stuttgart, n. d. , No. 378, p. 541; image made from original book from my collection.
- "Robin Adair", from Th. Täglichsbeck (ed.), Das Buch der Lieder. Eine Sammlung volksthümlicher Lieder und Gesänge für eine Singstimme, zum Theil auch mehrstimmig, und mit Begleitung sowohl des Pianoforte als auch der Guitarre. Erster Band, Stuttgart n. d. , No. 40, p. 47; image made from original book from my collection
- "Robin Adair", from: Hugo Zuschneid (ed.), Freiburger Taschen-Liederbuch. Über 300 der beliebtesten Vaterlands-, Volks-, und Studentenlieder, nebst einigen Sologesängen zumeist mit Melodie, 8. Auflage, Freiburg 1911 (first published Freiburg 1898), p. 215; image made from original book from my collection
- "Robin Adair", text (first verse only) and tune from: Wilhelm Greef (ed.), Männerlieder, alte und neue, für Freunde des mehrstimmigen Männergesanges, Neuntes Heft, 6. Auflage, Essen 1869, Nr. 21, p. 25 (first published Essen 1854), transcribed from original book from my collection.
- "Heimat, Ade!", in: Neue Volksgesänge für den Männerchor. Liederbuch für Schulen und Vereine. Herausgegeben unter Mitwirkung deutscher und schweizerischer Tonsetzer von Ignaz Heim. Erstes Bändchen. Neunte Stereotypauflage, Zürich, n. d. [1880s?; first published c. 1865], No. 18, pp. 41-2; image made from original book from my collection (
- "Robin Adair", from: Friedrich Silcher, Volkslieder, gesammelt und für vier Männerstimmen gesetzt. Nebst einem Anhang mit Trauerliedern. Neue Ausgabe. 5. und 6. Tausend, Tübingen 1902, No. 59, p. 105-6; image made from original book from my collection
- "Robin Adair", from: Ludwig Erk (ed.), Volkslieder-Album. 80 Volkslieder für eine Singstimme mit Pianofortebegleitung, Leipzig, n. d. , No. 66, p. 66, image made from original book from my collection
- "Irische Volksweise (Robin Adair)", text & tune from: Ludwig van Beethoven's Werke. Vollständige kritisch durchgesehene überall berechtigte Ausgabe. Mit Genehmigung aller Originalverleger. Serie 24. Lieder mit Pianoforte, Violine und Violoncell. No. 259. Volkslieder, Leipzig, n. d. , No. 7, pp. 18-9 (online available at BStB-DS)
- From: Robert Burns' Gedichte, deutsch von W. Gerhard, Leipzig 1840, notes, No. 162, p. 359, image made from pdf-file downloaded at Google Books
- "Liebliche Maid", tune & text (first verse only) from: Robert Franz, 12 Gesänge von Robert Burns, Fr. Rückert und W. Osterwald für eine Singstimme mit Begleitung des Pianoforte, Opus 4, Heft 1, Neue veränderte Ausgabe, Leipzig, n. d. , No. 3, p. 8 (online available at BStB-DS)
- "Hätt' Eine Höhl' Ich Am Strand" , text (first verse only) & tune in: C. P. G. Grädener, Herbstklänge. 7 Lieder für eine tiefe Stimme mit Begleitung des Pianoforte, Op. 18, Winterthur , No. 2, p. 4; from digital copy of the exemplar at UB Basel, kk XVII 4188
- "Heimath, Ade!", in: J. Chr. Weeber & Friedrich Krauß, Liedersammlung für die Schule. Vier Abtheilungen in stufenmäßig geordneter Folge bearbeitet. III. Heft zum Gebrauch der Oberschule, 50 zwei- und dreistimmige Lieder enthaltend, 8. Stereotyp-Auflage, Stuttgart 1854, No. 3, p. 2 (identical to 1st. ed. 1852); image made from book from my collection
- "Heimath, Ade!", text (first verse only) & tune from: Johannes Meier (ed.), Der Volks-Sänger. Eine Sammlung vorzüglicher Volks-Lieder und Weisen für vierstimmigen Männergesang. Erstes Heft, Schaffhausen 1858, No. 10, p. 23-4 (digital copy of exemplar at UB Basel, kk VII 219)
- "Heimat, Ade!", text (first verse only) & tune from: Neue Volksgesänge für den Männerchor. Liederbuch für Schulen und Vereine. Herausgegeben unter Mitwirkung deutscher und schweizerischer Tonsetzer von Ignaz Heim. Erstes Bändchen. Neunte Stereotypauflage, Zürich, n. d. [1880s?; first published c. 1865], No. 18, pp. 41-2
- "Heimat, Ade!", text (first verse only) & tune from: Sammlung von Volksgesängen für den Gemischten Chor. Liederbuch für Schulen und Vereine. Herausgegeben von der Musik-Kommission der zürcherischen Schulsynode unter Redaktion von I. Heim, 30. Auflage, Zürich 1883, No. 155, pp. 295-6 (available at the Internet Archive)
- "Heimat, Ade!", in: Edmund Meyer, Liederstrauß. Vaterländisches Volksliederbuch für Schule und Haus. Methodisch geordnet und mit Rücksicht auf das Auswendiglernen bearbeitet, Frauenfeld, 1893, No. 56, p. 47, image made from original book from my collection
- "Heimat, Ade!", text (first verse only) and melody line from: Jakob Blied (ed.), Vater Rhein. Liederbuch für deutsche Männerchöre. Opus 45, 2. Auflage bearb. von August Wiltberger, Düsseldorf n. d. [1897; first publ. 1883], No. 23, pp. 64-6
- Cover of: Neuester Liederschatz. Eine Sammlung der beliebtesten Lieder in ein- und mehrstimmigen Satz für sangeslustige Kreise, jugendliche Chorvereine und Turnvereine. Stereotyp-Ausgabe, Reutlingen, n. d. , image made from original book from my collection
- "Heimat, Ade", in: Neuester Liederschatz. Eine Sammlung der beliebtesten Lieder in ein- und mehrstimmigen Satz für sangeslustige Kreise, jugendliche Chorvereine und Turnvereine. Stereotyp-Ausgabe, Reutlingen, n. d. , No. 34, pp. 52-3, image made from original book from my collection
- Cover of: Fritz Neuert, Neues Deutsches Schulliederbuch. Sammlung deutscher Volkslieder und volkstümlicher Gesänge, III. Teil. A (vierstimmig), Pforzheim (Baden), n. d. , image made from original book from my collection; pdf of complete book, my own scan
- "Heimat, Ade!", in: Loreley. Sammlung auserlesener Männerchöre. Herausgegeben, redigiert und dem Kölner Männer-Gesang-Verein gewidmet von August Reiser, Köln n. d. [1878; see Hofmeister XIX, December 1878, p. 391], No. 53, p. 184, here from the unchanged 7th edition, c. 1880; image made from book from my collection
- "Heimat, Ade!", in: Andreas Barner (ed.), Liedersammlung für Töchterschulen, Heft 2, 5. Auflage, Karlsruhe n. d. , No. 85, pp. 110-1; image made from book in my collection
- "Heimat, Ade!", in: Philipp Beck, Liederbuch nebst kurzer Gesanglehre für höhere Mädchenschulen und Lehrerinnen-Bildungsanstalten. Zweiter Teil. 5. - 7. Schuljahr, here No. 103, p. 71 in the 17th ed., Leipzig 1904, image made from original book from my collection
- "Heimat, Ade", in: Wilhelm Kothe, Gesangbuch für katholische Schulen. Eine Sammlung von 140 ein- und mehrstimmigen Schul- und Volksliedern. Mit hoher Genehmigung des Hochwürdigen Herrn Fürstbischofs von Breslau und des Hochwürdigen Herrn Bischofs von Ermland. Neunzehnte, verbesserte Auflage, Leipzig 1894, No. 34, pp. 18-9, image made from book from my collection
- "Robin Adair" & "Heimat Ade!", in: Adolf Zander & Dr. L. H. Fischer (ed.), Liederschatz. Sammlung vierstimmiger Chorlieder für Knaben und Mädchen, Berlin, n. d., No. 41, p. 59 (here from the 23th edition, identical to the 7th edition, , song also in 1st edition ), image made from original book from my collection; now available at the Internet Archive
- "Robin Adair", text (first verse only) & tune in: Ferdinand Hiller, Neue Gesänge für eine Alt-Stimme mit Begleitung des Pianoforte, op. 76, Heft 1, Leipzig n. d. , p. 9, UB Düsseldorf: KW12987(4):20, from copy received via ILL
- Text (first verse only) and tune from: Julius Kniese, Fünf Lieder für eine Singstimme mit Begleitung des Pianoforte, Op. 1, No. 4: Robin Adair (nach dem Englischen v. Dranmor), Dresden 1875, source: copy of exemplar at LBMV Schwerin: Mus 24704 received via ILL
- From: Ernst Veit, Kleines Lieder- und Bilderbuch, Dresden 1876, my own scan from book in my collection
- Text & tune from: Eugen d'Albert, Robin Adair, Gedicht von John Henry Mackay für eine Singstimme mit Begleitung des Pianoforte (aus Op. 19 [Sechs Lieder für 1 Singstimme mit Pianoforte, deutsch und englisch, No, 2: Robin Adair: "Leise und wehmuthsvoll"), N. Simrock, Berlin 1899, source: original sheet music from my collection, now available at the Internet Archive
- Title page of: Eugen d'Albert, Robin Adair, Gedicht von John Henry Mackay für eine Singstimme mit Begleitung des Pianoforte, N. Simrock, Berlin 1899, my own scan
- "Schottisches Lied. Laut tön' das Siegeslied", in: A. Boieldieu, Die Weisse Dame, Potpourri für Pianoforte von Rich[ard] Tourbié, Otto Wernthal, Berlin n. d. [c. 1900], p. 14, source: original sheet music
- "Robin Adair", in: Karl Gast & Hugo Löbmann, Liederbuch für Lyzeen und höhere Mädchenschulen mit einer Gesanglehre. Ausgabe A, III. Teil (Klasse IV und III), 7. Auflage, Berlin n. d. [1920s], pp. 164-5; image made from original book from my collection
- From: Erks Deutscher Liederschatz. Eine Auswahl der beliebtesten Volks-, Vaterlands-, Soldaten-, Jäger-, und Studentenlieder für eine Singstimme mit Pianoforte. Die Melodien revidiert und auf deren Quellen zurückgeführt von Ludwig Erk. Band 1 neu durchgesehen, vermehrt und mit Anmerkungen versehen von Max Friedländer, Leipzig n. d. [between 1900 & 1914?], Anmerkungen, p. 4, zu No. 98; image from original book from my collection.
- From: Hofmeisters Musikalisch-Literarischer Monatsbericht über neue Musikalien, musikalische Schriften und Abbildungen, Leipzig 1911, p. 266; image from pdf-file downloaded at the Internet Archive
- "Mel.: Treu und herzinniglich", in: A[ugust] Göller, Turn- und Tanzlust. 86 volkstümliche, leicht spielbare Lieder mit Tanzweisen und anderen Tonstücken in geeigneter Verbindung zur Begleitung von Turnübungen der Mädchen und der Knaben, 2. verb. u. verm. Auflage, Karlsruhe 1909, No. 15, p. 37, image made from book from my collection
- "Robin Adair", in: L. Benda (ed.), Buch der Lieder. 262 beliebte Volksweisen aus alter und neuer Zeit für eine mittlere Singstimme mit Pianofortebegleitung, Braunschweig n. d. [1900-1910?], No. 153, p. 172, image made from book from my collection
- "Robin Adair", in: Robert Linnarz, Auswahl von Chorgesängen für Oberklassen höherer Mädchenschulen, sowie für Pensionate und Lehrerinnen-Seminare. Band 2: Weltliche Lieder, 2. Auflage, Essen 1908, No. 58, p. 94-5, image made from book from my collection, now available at the Internet Archive
- Cover of: Reinhold Wörz (ed.), Enßlins Taschenliederbuch. 512 Lieder für sangeskundige frohe Kreise. Unter besonderer Berücksichtigung von Volks- und Kommersliedern. Mit Angabe der passenden Tonart und des Anfangs der Melodie in Tonbuchstaben, Reutlingen n. d. [c. 1911?], image made from book from my collection
- "Robin Adair", in: Hans Heinrichs & Ernst Pfusch (ed.), Frisch gesungen! III. Teil. Chorbuch für höhere Knabenschulen, Sechste unveränderte Auflage. 16tes bis 19tes Tausend, Hannover & Berlin 1912, No. 188, p. 263, image made from book from my collection
- ["Treu und herzinniglich"], in: Hermann Böse (ed.), Volkslieder für Heim und Wanderung, Berlin 1914, No. 74, p. 61, image made from book from my collection
- "Robin Adair", in: 100 Lieder zur Laute oder Gitarre, gesetzt von Carl Blume (Tongers Taschen-Album Band 60), Köln n. d. [before 1917/8], No. 86, pp. 184-5, image made from book from my collection
- ["Treu und herzinniglich"], in: (Prof. Dr.) Walther Werckmeister (ed.), Deutsches Lautenlied, 2. Auflage, Berlin-Pankow 1917, No. 38, p. 43 (first publ. 1914), image made from book from my collection, now also available at the Internet Archive
- "Treu und herzinniglich (Robin Adair"), in: Heinrich Scherrer, Deutsche Studentenlieder mit einer volkstümlichen Gitarrebegleitung aus dem Stegreif zu spielen, Leipzig 1923, p. 248, image made from book from my collection
- "Robin Adair", in: Robert Klaas, Das gold'ne Buch der Lautenlieder. Eine reiche Auslese Volks- und volkstümlicher Lieder mit doppelter Lautenbegleitung nebst einem Anhang von Märschen u. Konzertstücken für 2 Mandolinen und Guitarre. Lautensatz von W. Ott, Berlin 1924, p. 80, image made from book from my collection
- Cover of: Köhler's Taschenliederbuch für das deutsche Volk. Enthaltend 500 der beliebtesten Volk- Studenten-, Trink-, Turner-, Soldaten-, Wander- etc. Lieder. Jubiläums-Ausgabe, Minden n. d. [c. 1925], image made from book from my collection
- Cover of Heinrich Scherrer, Deutsche Studentenlieder mit einer volkstümlichen Gitarrebegleitung aus dem Stegreif zu spielen, Leipzig 1923, image made from book from my collection
- "Heimat, Ade!", in: Karl Reisert, Freiburger Gaudeamus. Taschenliederbuch für die deutsche Jugend enthaltend 212 unserer schönsten Lieder zumeist mit Melodie, Freiburg 1907 (here 2nd ed., Freiburg 1913), No. 87, pp. 88-9, image made from book from my collection
- "Heut' muß geschieden sein", in: Simon Breu, Deutsches Jugendliederbuch für Gymnasien, Oberrealschulen, Realschulen und andere höhere Lehranstalten, 2. Auflage, Essen & Würzburg 1909, No. 60, p. 52-3, image made from book from my collection, now available at the Internet Archive
- "Heimat, Ade!", in: Heinrich Lang & Martin Mezger, Liederlust. Eine stufenmäßig geordnete Sammlung von Liedern für Knaben- und Mädchenschulen. Heft 2: Lieder für das vierte bis siebente Schuljahr (Klasse I-III der höheren Schule in Württemberg), Stuttgart n. d. , No. 219, p. 186, image made from book from my collection
- Cover of: Karl Reisert, Freiburger Gaudeamus. Taschenliederbuch für die deutsche Jugend enthaltend 212 unserer schönsten Lieder zumeist mit Melodie, Freiburg 1907 (here 2nd ed., Freiburg 1913), image made from book from my collection
- Cover of: Karl Gast & Hugo Löbmann, Liederbuch für Lyzeen und höhere Mädchenschulen mit einer Gesanglehre. Ausgabe A, III. Teil (Klasse IV und III), 7. Auflage, Berlin n. d. [1920s], image made from book from my collection
- Cover of: Liederschatz. 302 der beliebtesten Lieder für alle Kreise und Gelegenheiten, 171. - 220. Tausend, Essen n. d. [1914-1920?], image made from book from my collection
Go to the Bibliography