Performed by Sheena Wellington
Traditionally it is thought that Burns wrote this song around 1790 when he was having an affair with Anne Park (1770-c. 1799), the niece of the owners of the Globe Inn, Dumfries, who bore him a child on 31st March 1791 (Nine days later Jean Armour gave birth to a son). Jean actually raised Park’s daughter Elizabeth as one of her own family.
The song appears in Burns’s holograph, in a letter to George Thomson on 7th April 1793, when he described it as, ‘I think… the best love-song I ever composed in my life’. However, he was concerned that the song in its original state was ‘not quite a lady’s song’. The song is set to the Irish air, ‘Banks of Banna’ a song with which Burns was familiar as he had a copy of it in the Perth Musical Miscellany (1786).