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Many of the works of the celebrated Scottish poet Robert Burns were written as lyrics to be sung to existing old tunes, in an effort to preserve them. In the aftermath of the Jacobite Rebellion, the English had forbidden the Scots to sing the old songs and the tunes were gradually being forgotten. Together with James Johnson, Burns endeavor to preserve these old melodies, by creating new lyrics-most often far superior poetically to the original. My Heart's in the Highlands is one outstanding example of such a practice. It was written to be sung to the tune Failte na Miosg ("The Musket Salute.") According to Burns' own notes, "The first half stanza[of the chorus] is old;the rest is mine."

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