More about this song
'The Gallant Weaver' was published in James Johnson's Scots Musical Museum in 1792. Burns's reference to the River Cart points to the weaving town of Paisley where a thriving textile industry sprung up in eighteenth century.
In 'The Gallant Weaver' Burns adopts a common motif of folk song: the importance of marrying for love and happiness as opposed to wealth and social elevation: 'My daddie sign'd my tocher-band/ To gie the lad that has the land,/ But to my heart I'll add my hand/ And give it to the Weaver.'
Finances played an important, practical part in eighteenth-century courtships and marriages. Certainly, a young man or woman's prospects for marriage were significantly increased should they come from a wealthy family.