I Reign In Jeanie's Bosom


Louis, what reck I by thee, Or Geordie on his ocean? Dyvor, beggar louns to me, I reign in Jeanie's bosom! Let her crown my love her law, And in her breast enthrone me, Kings and nations - swith awa'! Reif randies, I disown ye!

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David Rintoul

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It was written in 1788 and is read here by David Rintoul.

More about this song

What care he for kings or paupers while he is held in the heart of his ladylove? This seems to be a fragment of lyric verse intended for further development and was probably written for Jean Armour when she arrived at the farm in Ellisland in late 1788.

The song was published December 1796 in Scots Musical Museum, just months after the poet's death. The ennobling power of love as transcendent of everyday demands is described succinctly here but with no less emphasis then the love ballads.

Lisa Harrison

Themes for this song

class love equality

Selected for 30 July

On July 30th, 1786, the poet had fled a writ and was in hiding, driven undercover by the wrathful indignation of Jean Armour's father. He believed a rapscallion scribbler and failing farmer to be no match for the daughter of a respectable builder, and no fit parent either, for the baby Jean was carrying. This poem, composed after he had finally married her, is the kind of thing Robert Burns WAS able to offer Jean.

Donny O'Rourke

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