Prose & SongCorrespondence & Poetry

Green Grow the Rashes, O

Performed by Bill Adair

Bill Adair

Bill Adair

Robert Burns entered the song ‘Green grow the rashes, O’ in his First Commonplace Book in August 1784, with the following introduction: ‘The foregoing was to have been an elaborate dissertation on the various species of men; but as I cannot please myself in the arrangement of my ideas , I must wait till farther experience, & nicer observation throw more light on the subject. ––– In the mean time I shall set down the following fragment which, as it is the genuine language of my heart, will enable any body to determine which of the Classes I belong to –’. Several versions of this song exist in Burns’s holograph, and it is believed to have been based upon a traditional song. It was first printed in the Edinburgh edition of Burns’s Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect (1787).

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