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Robin Gray (Auld)

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Words by Lady Anne Lindsay, daughter of the Earl of Balcarres, and afterwards Lady Barnard, in 1772, written to an old Scotch tune called “The bridegroom grat when the sun gaed down.” Auld Robin Gray was the herdsman of her father. When Lady Anne had written a part, she called her younger sister for advice. She said, “I am writing a ballad of virtuous distress in humble life. I have oppressed my heroine with sundry troubles: for example, I have sent her Jamie to sea, broken her father’s arm, made her mother sick, given her Auld Robin Gray for a lover, and want a fifth sorrow; can you help me to one?” “Steal the cow, sister Anne,” said the little Elizabeth; so the cow was stolen awaʹ, and the song completed.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Robert
Robert François Damiens
Robert Macaire
Robert Street (Adelphi; London)
Robert le Diable
Robert the Devil
Robert of Brunne
Robert’s Men
Robespierre’s Weavers
Robin Goodfellow
Robin Gray (Auld)
Robin Hood
Robin Hood Wind (A)
Robin Mutton (A)
Robin Redbreast
Robin and Makyne
Robin of Bagshot
Robinson Crusoe
Robinsonians
Roc
Roch (St.)