More about this song
Burns wrote this song for Lesley Baillie, who along with her father and sister had called upon Burns in Dumfries on their way to England.
Burns also wrote, ‘Saw ye Bonie Lesley’ in her honour. He sent a copy of ‘Blythe hae I been on yon hill’ to her in May 1793, before sending another to George Thomson on 30 June 1793.
Burns was extremely proud of this song, and in September of the same year he remarked that it was ‘one of the finest songs I ever made in my life; and, besides, is composed on a young lady, positively the most beautiful, lovely woman in the world’.
The tune is set to ‘Merrily dance the Quaker’.