the song
title : A red red rose   also known as   My love is like a red red rose
written by : traditional, transcribed/arranged by Robert Burns
arranged by : Eddi Reader, orchestral parts arranged by Kevin McCrea
song copyright : none

the performance
musicians
Eddi Reader vocal
with :
Ian Carr? acoustic guitar
Christine Hanson cello
Boo Hewerdine acoustic guitar
John McCusker violin, cittern, whistles
Ewen Vernal double bass
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
conducted by Kevin McCrae :
strings, arranged by Kevin McCrae
1st violins: Edwin Paling, William Chandler, Tamas Fejes, Andrew Martin, Robert Yeomans, Barbara Paterson, Jane Reid, Gail Digney; 2nd violins: Rosalin Lazaroff, Jacqueline Speirs, Marion Wilson, Wanda Wojtasinska, Elizabeth Lloyd, Paul Medd; violas: John Harrington, Ian Budd, David Amon, Claire Dunn; cellos: Pauline Dowse, Jeremy Fletcher, Betsy Taylor, William Paterson; double basses: David Inglis, Robert Mitchell
music
key : E major
time-signature : 4/4
tempo : MM approx. 94
form : V V v Vx
lyrics

My love is like a red red rose

my love is like a red, red rose
that’s newly sprung in June
my heart is like a melody
that sweetly plays its tune
as fair art thou, my bonie lad
so deep in love am I
and I will love thee still, my dear
’til all the seas gang dry

’til all the seas gang dry, my dear
and the rocks melt wi’ the sun
and I shall love thee still, my dear
though the sands of life shall run
but fare-thee-weel my only love
and fare-thee-weel a while
and I will come again, my dear
tho’ it were ten thousand mile

– cello solo, vocalise

my love is like a red, red rose
that’s newly sprung in June
my heart is like a melody
that sweetly plays its tune
as fair art thou, my bonie lad
so deep in love am I
and I will love thee still, my dear
’til all the seas gang dry

and I will love thee still, my dear
’til all, all the seas gang dry

glossary
boniebonny, handsome
ganggo
weelwell
explanations

The text in the standard edition of Burns’s work is from the Hastie manuscript (British Library Add. MS. 22307, a collection of material for The Scots musical museum (SMM) and is given below. The song was published in the 1796 volume of SMM (editor James Johnson).

A red red rose

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose,
  That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve’s like the melodie
  That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
  So deep in luve am I;
And I will love thee still, my Dear,
  Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my Dear,
  And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:
I will love thee still, my Dear,
  While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only Luve!
  And fare thee weel, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
  Tho’ it were ten thousand mile!

source : No. 453 in Poems and songs of Robert Burns / edited by James Kinsley. – Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1968


the recording
personnel
produced by : Boo Hewerdine
recorded by : Robert Rankin at CaVa Studios, Glasgow – 2003-01
mixed by : Jon Kelly
mastered by : Tim Young at Metropolis Studios, London
technical
signal path : DDD
song timing : 3:44
released on
album : Eddi Reader sings the songs of Robert Burns track 2   timing : 3:50
album : The songs of Robert Burns (deluxe edition) track 2   timing : 3:50

commentary
Eddi said
“I dedicate this to my partner. Thank you for giving me a reason to sing this love song. Kevin McCrea’s orchestral arrangement was thrilling to sing with. I looked out from my window in the studio booth and there I was all the orchestra’s fiddle bows pointing to heaven and dancing in formation.”
booklet note in her Burns albums (both original and deluxe editions)
additional notes
After careful consideration, I have standardized the phrase ‘red, red rose’ as follows: as a title it has no comma, but in the text of the song there is a comma. The reasoning behind this is that these rules derive from the way the song is printed in the standard critical edition Poems and songs of Robert Burns, edited by James Kinsley (Clarendon Press, 1968). The title is given in the The Scots musical museum without the comma.
Adrian Dover