Tune of the Day: The Ruffian's Rant
The composition of this melody has been credited to Scottish fiddler and music publisher Robert Bremner (c. 1713–1789), who printed the first collections of specifically Scottish dance music between 1757 and 1761. The tune had previously appeared under the title “Lady Frances Wemys' Reel” in London publisher John Walsh's 24 Country Dances for the Year 1742.
Set as an air, the melody was used by Robert Burns for his song “Theniel Menzies' Bonie Mary”. Burns must have liked the tune, for his song “In Commin' by the Brig o' Dye” in The Caledonian Museum (1770) and three songs in his Merry Muses of Caledonia (published after his death, in 1800) were directed to be sung to it.