Guid Nicht an' Joy Be Wi' You A'
DESCRIPTION: As the singer prepares to leave the gathering, he declares, "Guid nicht, an' joy be wi' you a', Since it is sae that I maun gang." He praises those with whom he has been drinking, has a last drink of his own, and starts on the long voyage home
AUTHOR: Words: John Imlah/Music: James B. Allan ?
EARLIEST DATE: before 1825 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 25(762)); there is a probable reference from 1804 (see NOTES)
KEYWORDS: drink home friend nonballad
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
GreigDuncan8 1530, "Good Nicht an' Joy Be Wi' You A'" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ord, pp. 373-374, "Guid Nicht an' Joy Be Wi' You A'" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: John Imlah, May Flowers (London, 1827 ("Digitized by Google")), pp. 131-132, "Guid Night! an' Joy Be Wi' You A'!"
Bodleian, Harding B 25(762), "Good Night, and Joy Be With You All" ("All the money e'er I had, I spent it in good company"), W., Armstrong (Liverpool), 1820-1824
On the Murder of Hamilton (A Scotch Ballad) ("Oh! wo betire ye, Aaron Burr!) (Lawrence, p. 179)
NOTES: An argument could easily be made that "Guid Nicht an' Joy Be Wi' You A'" and "The Parting Glass" are the same song. Two verses often show up in both songs: "All the money e'er I had, I spent it in good company, And all the harm that e'er I did, I hope excused I will be, And what I've done for want of wit, to my memory I cann't recall, So fill us up a parting glass -- good night and joy be with you all," and "If I had money for to spend, And leisure time to set a while, There is a fair maid in this town, that surely has me heart beguile: Her rosy cheeks - and her ruby lips I own she has my heart enthrall'd; Then fill to me the parting glass, Good night - and joy be with you all." The difference is in the remaining verses. "The Parting Glass" is concerned with a lover missed; "Guid Night, and Joy Be With You all" is about leaving a party, or emigrating, or dying, and leaving good friends behind. - BS
Although we have not found a clear version of this song that can be dated earlier than 1820, there is a strong hint that it dates from 1804 or earlier. The song "On the Murder of Hamilton," cited in the SAME TUNE field, is said to have used the tune "Good night, and joy be wi' ye a'!" -- presumably this. This can't be dated, either, but Aaron Burr killed Alexander Hamilton on July 11, 1804, so presumably the song was written not long after. - RBW
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