It was written at Elgar's home "Marl Bank" near Worcester, dedicated to the young soprano Joan Elwes, whom he had admired at Three Choirs Festivals, and performed by her in October 1930 at a concert in Dumfries, Scotland.
The poem is in the Scots language.
- IT ISNAE ME -
- It isnae me that's keerin - or no an awfu lot,
- But - it's sair, whiles, mindin things ye thocht ye had forgot.
- An when wee Tam the Fiddler played 'The Lea Rig' doon the street,
- I gied masel a shock tae find that I wis near tae greet.
- It isnae me that's keerin - or no for verra lang,
- But - there's mony happy times awa since last I heard yon sang.
- An someway -- Och, I dinnae ken! I cannae say things richt --
- I wish young Tam the Fiddler hadnae played yon sang last nicht.
- Sally Holmes.
- keerin = grieving / complaining
- sair = sad
- whiles = meanwhile
- mindin = remembering
- wee = little / young
- lea rig = meadow-ridge
- gied masel = gave myself
- greet = cry
- awa = ago
- dinnae ken = don't know
Other Scots words are the same or similar to the English.
- "The Unknown Elgar" includes "It isnae me" performed by Teresa Cahill (soprano), with Barry Collett (piano).
- Songs and Piano Music by Edward Elgar has "It isnae me" performed by Mark Wilde (tenor), with David Owen Norris (piano).