More about this song
Burns composed this song on 18 November 1794, and he considered it as something of a self-portrait.
Indeed, when the painter Alexander Reid came to create his portrait miniature Burns wished to link the two together, so that, ‘the portrait of my face and the picture of my mind may go down the stream of time together’.
The song is set to the tune, ‘Lumps o Puddins’, a humorous air that Burns believed was worthy of preservation. In a letter to George Thomson, Burns suggested that if he did not wish to use it then he would instead submit it to James Johnson for The Scots Musical Museum.
However, Thomson did like the piece, and so Burns wrote to Johnson in May 1795 asking him what had happened to the work.