Tune of the Day: My Only Joe and Dearie
This melody was first published as a song in James Johnson's Scots Musical Museum, vol. 6 (1803). In London dancing master Thomas Wilson's Companion to the Ballroom (1816), it appears among the “figure” dances, listed as a Scotch tune.
One of the publishers of the Museum, Thomas Oliver, apparently heard the melody in a pantomime and forwarded it to Richard Gail (1776–1801), asking him to write words to it. The lyrics go:
Thy cheek is o' the rose's hue,
My only Joe and dearie O,
Thy neck is like the siller dew
Upon the bank sae brierie O;
Thy teeth are o' the ivory,
O sweets the twinkle o' thine e'e,
Nae joy nae pleasure blinks on me,
My only Joe and dearie O.