Tune of the Day: The Legacy
This jig has wide currency in a number of countries, genres and forms, although it appears to be derived from the Scottish “How Can We Abstain from Whisky?”. Dublin publisher Smollet Holden printed it around the year 1805 in his Collection of Quick and Slow Marches, Troops, &c. as “The Bard's Legacy”, a title that suggests lyrics may have once been set to it. Irish poet Thomas Moore wrote a popular romantic song to the tune called “The Legacy”, printed in his second volume of Irish Melodies (1807); it was reported to have been one of Abraham Lincoln's favorites.
When in death I shall calmly recline,
O bear my heart to my mistress dear,
Tell her it lived upon smiles and wine
Of the brightest hue, while it linger'd here.
Bid her not shed one tear of sorrow
To sully a heart so brilliant and light;
But balmy drops of the red grape borrow,
To bathe the relic from morn till night.