Prose & SongCorrespondence & Poetry

Braw Lads on Yarrow Braes

Title: Braw Lads on Yarrow Braes
First line: Braw, braw lads on Yarrow braes,
Air: Galla Water
Performer: Davidona Pittock
Source: Thomson, SCOSA A 1793, 11

This piece is modelled on a traditional song that can be found in the Scots Musical Museum as no. 125. Along with another piece, Burns submitted his song to Thomson in January 1793, playing up the power invested in Thomson’s editorial role by commenting, ‘Dispose of them as seemeth good in thy sight’. Thomson was complementary, finding ‘genuine feeling’ in the piece, and subsequently included it in the very first issue of his collection, featuring a setting by Ignaz Pleyel. The song is set in the Borders region of south-east Scotland, and demonstrates Burns’s characteristic opposition of love and money.

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Recorded at The Green Door studio in Glasgow, 2016 (engineer: Sam Smith).