More about this song
George Thomson admired the traditional song of Down the Burn Davie, but lamented that it concluded in an objectionable manner.
He commissioned Burns to write ‘a single elegant stanza’ so that, ‘this most exquisite song may no longer be excluded from good company’.
At first Burns responded by stating that he would not touch the original, but he duly sent his revisions to Thomson in September 1793.
He was told by Robert Riddell’s father that the air for this particular song had been composed by David Maigh, the keeper of the blood slough hounds which belonged to the Laird of Riddell in Tweeddale.