Tune of the Day: Jessie the Flower of Dunblane
“The Flower o' Dunblane” was first published in the Scots Magazine in March 1808, and since that time no Scottish song has arguably enjoyed among all classes greater popularity. Tune collector Francis O'Neill notes:
Early in the nineteenth century, this song was composed by a modest weaver, Robert Tannahill of Paisley, and was set to an alleged ancient Scottish melody by Robert A. Smith author of the Irish Minstrel, and the Scottish Minstrel. According to Farquhar Graham, editor of Wood's Songs of Scotland, not a few of the airs in the latter work were composed by Smith himself (who composed the “Jesse” air prior to 1816). Whatever the origin of the above melody may have been it has a decidedly Gaelic tonality.