Unless with my Amanda blest (Leopold Kozeluch)
- Editor: Christopher Shaw (submitted 2022-11-05). Score information: A4, 2 pages, 160 kB Copyright: CC BY SA
- Edition notes: Please click on the link for preview/playback/PDF download. Edition transposed a minor third above the published pitch
First published: 1798
Description: Between 1793 and 1841, Edinburgh publisher George Thomson published 300 folk songs in arrangements by Viennese composers, principal amongst whom were van Beethoven, Haydn, Kozeluch and Pleyel. To complement the inappropriate harmonies and symphonies, he often assured total effacement of the originals, by providing deracinated substitute texts: an activity in which Robert Burns was often complicit. The current example is a pre-existing tune usually associated with Burns' newly-coined verses "Ye banks and braes of Bonny Doon", here married to a text by a Scot of an earlier generation, James Thomson (no relation). It is perhaps appropriate for James Thomson to be linked to this cultural "Drang nach Ostern" since his most famous work, "The Seasons", when translated to German, provided the libretto used for Haydn's eponymous secular oratorio "Die Jahreszeiten".
Original text and translations
Unless with my Amanda blest,
In vain I twine the woodbine bower;
Unless to deck her sweeter breast,
In vain I rear the breathing flower.
Awaken'd by the genial year,
In vain the birds around me sing;
In vain the freshening fields appear:
Without my love there is no Spring.