Rantin' Rovin' Robin

There was a lad was born in Kyle, But whatna day o' whatna style, I doubt it's hardly worth the while To be sae nice wi' Robin. Chor. - Robin was a rovin' boy, Rantin', rovin', rantin', rovin', Robin was a rovin' boy, Rantin', rovin', Robin! Our monarch's hindmost year but ane Was five-and-twenty days begun, 'Twas then a blast o' Janwar' win' Blew hansel in on Robin. Robin was, &c. The gossip keekit in his loof, Quo' scho, "Wha lives will see the proof, This waly boy will be nae coof: I think we'll ca' him Robin." Robin was, &c. "He'll hae misfortunes great an' sma', But aye a heart aboon them a', He'll be a credit till us a'- We'll a' be proud o' Robin." Robin was, &c. "But sure as three times three mak nine, I see by ilka score and line, This chap will dearly like our kin', So leeze me on thee! Robin." Robin was, &c. "Guid faith," quo', scho, "I doubt you gar The bonie lasses lie aspar; But twenty fauts ye may hae waur So blessins on thee! Robin." Robin was, &c.


Alan Cumming

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It was written in 1787 and is read here by Alan Cumming.

More about this song

'There was a Lad' is, these days, a popular and often-sung song, whose chorus was adapted from a traditional song, Daintie Davie, by Burns.

It features in the Second Commonplace Book, is dated 09 April 1787, and as such would have been written on the back of Burns' success with the Kilmarnock edition. Burns may have written this in celebration of his birthday, in late January 1787.

Juliet Linden Bicket

Themes for this song


Selected for 25 January

'Rantin' rovin' Robin', celebrated his 28th birthday on this day in 1787. The song harks back to the momentous, and the poet, half-jokingly suggests, portentous, storm that damaged the house he was born in as well as many other properties in the neighbourhood. As our year with Robert Burns affirms, the New Year gift or 'hansel' of the wind, did indeed, turn out to have been auspicious....

Donny O'Rourke

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