‘Difficult to imitate and impossible to equal’: Byron, Burns, Moore and the packaging of national song

McCue, K. (2017) ‘Difficult to imitate and impossible to equal’: Byron, Burns, Moore and the packaging of national song. Byron Journal, 45(2), pp. 113-126. (doi: 10.3828/bj.2017.18)

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In the early 1810s, just before embarking on his Hebrew Melodies project, Byron engaged in a correspondence with the Scottish song editor George Thomson (1757–1851). While Byron chose not to engage in Thomson’s commission to write lyrics for his collections of Irish and Welsh songs, Thomson nonetheless published a number of Byron’s extant lyrics across his collections over the succeeding decades. This article traces how this happened, looks at Thomson’s final editorial choices and presentations of Byron’s lyrics, and reflects on the role of Byron as national songster alongside Thomson’s most significant poetic contributor, Robert Burns, and Byron’s great singer/songwriter friend Thomas Moore.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Lord Byron, national songs, Robert Burns, Thomas Moore.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McCue, Professor Kirsteen
Authors: McCue, K.
Subjects:M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Scottish Literature
Journal Name:Byron Journal
Publisher:Liverpool University Press
ISSN (Online):1757-0263
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Liverpool University Press
First Published:First published in Byron Journal 45(2):113-126
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
529991Editing Robert Burns for the 21st CenturyGerard CarruthersArts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)AH/I003738/1CRIT - SCOTTISH LITERATURE