Dainty Davie


Now rosy May comes in wi' flowers, To deck her gay, green-spreading bowers; And now comes in the happy hours, To wander wi' my Davie. Meet me on the warlock knowe , Dainty Davie, Dainty Davie; There I'll spend the day wi' you, My ain dear Dainty Davie. The crystal waters round us fa' , The merry birds are lovers a' , The scented breezes round us blaw , A wandering wi' my Davie. As purple morning starts the hare, To steal upon her early fare, Then thro' the dews I will repair, To meet my faithfu' Davie. When day, expiring in the west, The curtain draws o' Nature's rest, I flee to his arms I loe' the best, And that's my ain dear Davie. Meet me on the warlock knowe , Dainty Davie, Dainty Davie; There I'll spend the day wi' you, My ain dear Dainty Davie.

Listen

Siobhan Redmond

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It was written in 1793 and is read here by Siobhan Redmond.

More about this song

In a letter to George Thomson, Burns announced that he had found a song in The Scots Musical Museum, which he had altered for the better.

Burns was convinced that ‘the words, ‘Dainty Davie’, glide so sweetly in the air, that to a Scots ear, any song to it, without ‘Davie’ being the hero, would have a lame effect’.

Thomson may have agreed with the words, but strongly opposed the musical setting of the song. As a compromise he agreed that two stanzas should be sung together, followed by the chorus.

For his part, Burns was surprised that Thomson wished to interfere with the setting, and wrote, somewhat tongue-in-cheek to Thomson that, "I have heard sung, nineteen thousand, nine hundred, and ninety-nine times, and always with the chorus to the low part of the tune; and nothing, since a Highland wench in the Cowgate once bore me three bastards at birth, had surprised me so much as your opinion on this subject".

Regardless of the dispute between the two, the song is a powerful example of Burns’s ability to blend together both Scots and English language in his work.

Ralph McLean

Themes for this song

love nature

Selected for 08 May

'Now rosy May comes in wi' flowers'... And once again, Burns, writing convincingly from a woman's perspective, manages, with his light and likeable use of colloquial Scots, to make a fairly tame and conventional poem really rather charming.

Donny O'Rourke

Skip to top

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.