The Merry Muses of Caledonia/Anna
Tune—"The dearest o' the Quorum."
|The heroine of this song was Ann Park, a niece of Mrs. Hyslop, of the Globe Tavern, Dumfries, and mother of Burns's illegitimate daughter Elizabeth, who was brought up by Jean Armour as one of her own children. She was born March 31st, 1791; was married to John Thomson, Pollokshaws, to whom she bore a large family; and died at Crossmyloof, June, 1873, aged 82. The Globe Tavern was where Burns lodged when his Excise duties precluded his return to Ellisland, and it remained to the end of his days his favourite "howff "in Dumfries. What became of "Anna" is not certainly known. Burns had an extravagant notion of the merits of this song. He copied the first two double stanzas into the Glenriddell MS. collection, and the third stanza appears on another page of the same book. The "postscript" was added for the benefit of the "Crochallan Fencibles." He sent a colder-toned version to Thomson, who did not consider it suitable for his "Collection." In the accompanying letter Burns writes—"'The Banks of Banna" is to me a heavenly air—what would you think of a set of Scots verses to it? I made one a good while ago, which I think is the best love song I ever composed in my life; but in its original state it is not quite a lady's song." This song is printed in Scott Douglas's Edinburgh edition exactly as it appears here (Vol. II., p. 292). A MS. of this song, in Burns's hand, was sold at the Hoe sale, New York, in May, 1911.|
Yestre'en I had a pint o' wine,
POSTSCRIPT BY ANOTHER HAND.
The Kirk and State may join and tell