Galloway Tam

O Galloway Tam came here to woo, I'd rather we'd gin him the brawnit cow; For our lass Bess may curse and ban The wanton wit o' Galloway Tam. O Galloway Tam came here to shear, I'd rather we'd gin him the gude gray mare; He kist the gudewife and strack the gudeman, And that's the tricks o' Galloway Tam.


Daniela Nardini

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It was written in 1792 and is read here by Daniela Nardini.

More about this song

It is thought that 'Galloway Tam' is based on a traditional folk song, collected by Robert Burns for James Johnson's Scots Musical Museum. It was published in 1790.

While there is no manuscript evidence to confirm the extent to which Burns altered the original (if at all), the poet was known to 'improve' songs that he collected before passing them to his editors for publication.

Pauline Mackay

Themes for this song

man seduction

Locations for this song


Selected for 03 August

Today's poem was written before the tour of Galloway which inspired yesterday's selection. Seduction in life as in literature, had been on the poet's mind long before he moved from Ayrshire, farther South West to Dumfries. It was the 'wanton wit' of Alloway Rab that memorialised the 'tricks' of Galloway Tam.

Donny O'Rourke

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