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The Burns Encyclopedia
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Fraser, Thomas (c. 1770 — 1825)

Born in Edinburgh, he was an oboist and composer. He went to Dumfries in 1793, where he instructed 'a band of Music for a Fencible Corps quartered in this country'. Burns heard him play, and was much taken with one of his airs. Burns said, writing to George Thomson in June 1793: 'Mr Fraser plays it slow and with an expression that quite charms me. I got such an enthusiast in it that I made a song for it, which I here subjoin and enclose Fraser's set of the tune.' The song was, 'Blythe hae I been on Yon Hill' to the air of a reel called, 'The Quaker's Wife'. Burns had heard a grand aunt sing it to the name of 'Liggeram cosh, my bonnie wee lass'. Lesley Baillie was the subject of Burns's song.

The Rev Archibald Lawrie recorded in his Journal, that when he visited Burns in Dumfries: 'after dinner we had some charming music from a Mr Fraser, master of a band of soldiers raised by and belonging to Lord Breadalbane; having drunk tea, we went to a wood upon the banks of the River Nith, when Mr Fraser took out his hautboy and played a few tunes delightfully which had a very pleasing effect in the wood.'

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Robert Burns Store

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Complete Burns Songs

linn recordings of burns Linn Records have completed their landmark recording of all 368 Burns songs, available as individual CDs or a 12 volume presentation box set. We have full details. Click here...


Burns Music & Recordings
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Burns Chess Sets

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