The Merry Muses of Caledonia/The Lass o' Liviston


Burns mentions this song in the samples of old pieces surviving among the peasentry of the West of Scotland which he sent to Lord Woodhouselee, in August 1787. Cromek garbled Burns's note on the song (as was his wont) in his "Select Scottish Songs," published in 1810. James C. Dick gives the correct note in his "Notes on Scottish Song by Robert Burns," published in 1908. It is as follows:—
"'Pain'd with her slighting Jamie's love,
Bell dropt a tear—Bell dropt a tear;
The gods descended from above
Well pleased to hear, well pleased to hear,' &c.
The original set of verses to this tune is still extant, and have a very great deal of poetic merit, but are not quite ladies' reading." The stanza quoted is from an old song of decorous character.

The bonnie lass o' Liviston,
Her name ye ken, her name ye ken,
And aye the welcomer you'll be.
The farther ben, the farther ben.
And she has written in her contract,
To lie her lane, to lie her lane;
And I have written in my contract.
To claw her wame, to claw her wame.

The bonny lass o' Liviston,
She's berry brown, she's berry brown;
And ye winna trow her raven locks,
Gae farther down, gae farther down.
She has a black and rolling e'e.
And a dimplit chin, a dimplit chin,
And no to prie her bonnie mou'
Wad be a sin, wad be a sin.

The bonnie lass o' Liviston,
Came in to me, came in to me,
I wat wi' baith ends o' the busk,
I made her free, I made her free;
I laid her feet to my bed-stock.
Her head to the wa', her head to the wa',
And I gied her her wee coat in her teeth,
Her sark and a', her sark and a'.