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Robert Burns

Highland Mary

Robert Burns

Mary Campbell was born at Auchamore Farm near Dunoon, if you walk up to Bishops Glen you will pass the sight of where her family home stood. Her family then moved to Campbeltown before Mary left home at the age of 14 to work as an under-nursemaid. She met Burns while working as a dairymaid for the Eglington Family at the Castle of Montgomery near Tarbolton, Ayrshire. It was in Tarbolton Church that Burns first saw Mary and they soon fell in love. However, he was involved with Jean Armour at the time and she fell pregnant. It is thought this may have prompted Mary to return to her family in Campeltown; but she did meet Burns for one last time on the banks of the Fail, a tributary of the Ayr, here they exchanged Bibles and plighted their troth. Mary later travelled with her father to visit relations in Greenock, though there is a theory that She had agreed to travel to Jamaica with Burns and was waiting to meet him there. While nursing a relation who was sick with typhoid she herself feel ill and died, her grave can be visited in Greenock cemetery. While she is immortilised standing on Castle Hill, gazing out to sea looking for Burns

Highland Mary

Ye banks, and braes, and streams around
The castle o’ Montgomery!
Green be your woods, and fair your flowers,
Your waters never drumlie:
There Simmer
first unfauld her robes,
And there the langest tarry;
For there I took the last Farewell
O’ my sweet Highland Mary.


How sweetly bloom’d the gay, green birk,
How rich the hawthorn’s blossom,
As underneath their fragrant shade,
I clasp’d her to my bosom!
The golden Hours on angel wings,
Flew o’er me and my Dearie;
For dear to me, as light and life,
Was my sweet Highland Mary.

Wi’mony a vow, and lock’d embrace,
Our parting was fu’
And, pledging aft to meet again,
We tore oursels asunder;
But oh! fell
Death’s untimely frost,
That nipt my Flower sae early!
Now green’s the sod, and cauld’s the clay
That wraps my Highland Mary!


O pale, pale now, those rosy lips,
I aft hae
kiss’d sae fondly!
And clos’d for aye, the sparkling glance
That dwalt on me sae
And mouldering now in silent dust,
That heart that lo’ed
me dearly!
But still within my bosom’s core

Shall live my Highland Mary.



Hello E.S.Stewart and thanks for the information about Prince Charles and his recent recording of two poems from the Bard for the BBC.
I checked out the BBC websites and found this new BBC web devoted to Robert Burns and they have made the two poems available to listen to-just click :
and it will take you there DCR@ADMIN

SCOTSMAN newspaper readers have voted Ae Fond Kiss their favourite Burns song in an online poll.
The paper launched the survey last week and readers were able to listen to a selection of 20 of the Bard’s finest songs before clicking on the one they liked best.
Perhaps surprisingly, Burns’s Hogmanay anthem Auld Lang Syne only came in at fifth place, with 9 per cent of voters choosing it as their top Burns song.

Scots Wha Hae scooped 10 per cent of the vote, and O My Luve’s Like a Red, Red Rose was in third place, with 17 per cent of votes cast.
Runner up was A Man’s A Man For A’ That (20 per cent) and the winning song, Ae Fond Kiss, romped home with nearly a quarter of the vote, or 24 per cent.
Dr Fred Freeman, producer of the 13-volume series, The Complete Songs of Robert Burns for Linn Records, described the winning song as “a somewhat sentimental piece” in his original notes on the 20 choices. He added, however, that the love song was redeemed by its haunting melody.
Commenting on the poll results, Dr Freeman added: “In some ways it is entirely predictable, if a little disappointing, that the general public have voted songs like Such a Parcel of Rogues in a Nation, Ye Banks and Braes o Bonnie Doon and My Heart’s In The Highlands as their favourites. That is akin to creaming off a great artist’s best selling tunes for a greatest hits CD.
“This divide in opinion is like asking Jimi Hendrix today what his favourite songs are, and his answers would be considerably different to what his fans would say. That is because, as the artist, he would know better than anyone how he played, and what the inference of each different chord was.”
Dr Freeman did add: “It is heartening to see that some of the lesser known songs ““ in my view, the better material ““ start to creep in at the bottom end of the top ten.
“Bonnie Wee Thing is an excellent Burns song that people would not have known before, which in my opinion is infinitely better than the first seven in this poll. It is one of Burns’ finest love songs, drawing a simple contrast between his delicate appreciation of the lass, Deborah Davies of Tenby, and his unrequited passions.”

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