Prose & SongCorrespondence & Poetry

Lassie wi’ the Lintwhite Locks

Title: Lassie wi’ the Lintwhite Locks
First line: Lassie wi’ the linwhite locks,
Air: Rothiemurcus Rant
Performer: Paul McKenna
Source: Thomson, SCOSA Vol 3 1802, 21

Writing to Thomson in September 1794, Burns contrasted his musical taste against Thomson’s, observing pointedly, ‘I am sensible that my taste in Music must be inelegant & vulgar’. Regardless, he affirmed that ‘Rothemurche’s Rant’ was ‘an air which puts me in raptures’. Thomson was positive about the potential of the air and other strathspeys and Burns’s song was duly included in his collection, there set by Haydn. The lyric was written in tribute to Jean Lorimer, a farmer’s daughter. Burns described her relationship to him in a letter to Thomson as that of ‘a Mistress, or Friend, or what you will, in the guileless simplicity of Platonic love’.

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Lassie wi’ the Lintwhite Locks (376 downloads )

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