More about this song
'The Bonie Wee Thing' was first published in the Scots Musical Museum in August 1792. It was later sent, along with a letter dated the 06 April 1793, to Miss Deborah Duff Davies, who is thought to have inspired the song.
Miss Davies was apparently in poor health, and very frail, yet her vulnerability seems to have captured the Poet's sympathy and imagination. In a letter to Frances Dunlop written in June 1793, Burns declares Miss Davies beautiful, regardless of her frailty.
As such, Burns's treatment of Miss Davies in song is exceedingly tender, and without the sexual charge that we witness in other love songs such as 'Yestreen I Drank A Pint O Wine'.
The fragile and delicate woman is not necessarily to be desired, but protected, and this is communicated by Burns's repetitive description of the lady: 'Bonie wee thing, canie wee thing/ Lovely wee thing'.
Burns describes the inspiring female in other-worldly, divine terms as a 'constellation', a 'Goddess', and as such she is rendered untouchable in every sense of the word.