Robin Adair
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Robin Adair
"Robin Adair"
Charles Coffey
Lady Caroline Keppel

Robin Adair is a traditional Irish (sometimes identified as Scottish) song with lyrics written by Lady Caroline Keppel. It was popular in the 18th century.[1] It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 8918.[2] The song was mentioned by Jane Austen in her 1815 novel Emma; the character Jane Fairfax played it on the piano.


Robert "Robin" Adair, husband of Lady Caroline Keppel

Robert "Robin" Adair was a real man, born in Dublin around 1714 and passing away in 1790. He was a surgeon-colonel in the British army, and declined a baronetcy. Though her family disapproved of the match because of his lower status, Lady Caroline Keppel (c. 1734-1769)[3] married him. In response to her family, she wrote this song in the 1750s. The couple had a son named Robert, who was part of the British diplomatic corps. The melody of the song may have been written by Charles Coffey. "Eileen Aroon," a work by him, features the same melody.[4]


These lyrics were printed in a chapbook of 1823:[5]

What's this dull town to me?
Robin's not near:
What was't I wish'd to see?
What wish'd to hear?
Where's all the joy and mirth,
Made this town a heaven on earth?
Oh! they're all fled with thee,
Robin Adair.

What made the assembly shine?
Robin Adair.
What made the ball so fine?
Robin was there:
What when the play was o'er,
What made my heart so sore?
Oh! it was parting with
Robin Adair.

But now thou'rt cold to me
Robin Adair,
But now thou'rt cold to me
Robin Adair:
Yet him I lov'd so well,
Still in my heart shall dwell;
Oh! I can ne'er forget
Robin Adair.

External links


  1. ^ "'Robin Adair' in 'Emma': Jane's lament for Tom Lefroy?". Becoming Jane Fansite. Blogspot. August 13, 2007. Retrieved 2016.
  2. ^ Engle, David G.; Waltz, Robert B. (2016). "Robin Adair". Fresno State. California State University. Retrieved 2016.
  3. ^ Bliss, Carmen (1904). Robin Adair. Philadelphia: John D. Morris & Co.
  4. ^ "Robin Adair". Behind the Tunes. May 9, 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  5. ^ Bruce's Address. Glasgow: R. Hutchison. 1823. p. 5-6.

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