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The Early History of "Why Should We Idly Waste Our Prime"
Burns Chronicle for 2019 (2018)
Discusses varying editorial opinions on the origin and authorship of the radical song, "Why Should We Idly Waste Our Prime," first included in a Burns edition in the 1830s, and undertakes textual comparison between a number of versions of the song printed in the mid-1790s and later, in London, Belfast, and Newcastle, to suggest the ways in which such songs might be adapted and modified to fit changing political circumstances. Current version an unedited prepublication text, not in final form or with pagination.
  • Robert Burns,
  • Thomas Russell,
  • sedition trials,
  • radical songs,
  • United Irishmen,
  • song attributionttrib
Publication Date
November 30, 2018
Citation Information
"The Early History of "Why Should We Idly Waste Our Prime"" Burns Chronicle for 2019 Vol. 128 (2018) p. 38 - 49
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