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June 2, 2017

Click here to listen: https://soundcloud.com/words-of-burns/youre-welcome-willie-stewart


One of Robert Burn’s favourite possessions was a diamond-tipped stylus. Burns put this tool to good use inscribing verse on window panes and glasses as he travelled around the country. However, not every owner of the glass concerned was delighted with his treatment of their property. One such, the landlady of the inn at Closeburn, Dumfriesshire was particularly dismayed when Burns addressed a poem/song to her son on one of her crystal glasses. To pacify her, a gentleman in the company purchased the glass for a shilling and took it away. It later ended up in the ownership of Sir Walter Scott and remains among his artefacts at Abbotsford.


“You're welcome, Willie Stewart, 
You're welcome, Willie Stewart, 
There's ne'er a flower that blooms in May, 
That's half sae welcome's thou art! 

Come, bumpers high, express your joy, 
The bowl we maun renew it, 
The tappet hen, gae bring her ben, 
To welcome Willie Stewart, 

May foes be strang, and friends be slack 
Ilk action, may he rue it, 
May woman on him turn her back 
That wrangs thee, Willie Stewart.”


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© 2014 Neil Macgillivray