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August 31, 2017

Click here to listen: https://soundcloud.com/words-of-burns/deluded-swain-the-pleasure


Robert Burns was an avid searcher of old Scottish country songs, many of which he greatly improved for publication. He sent the following to George Thomson, the music collector, in 1793. He described it as a “Bacchanal” or drinking song and thought it would sit well with the tune, “The Collier's Dochter”.


“Deluded swain, the pleasure The fickle Fair can give thee,

Is but a fairy treasure, Thy hopes will soon deceive thee:


The billows on the ocean, The breezes idly roaming,

The cloud's uncertain motion, They are but types of Woman.


O art thou not asham'd To doat upon a feature?

If Man thou wouldst be nam'd, Despise the silly creature.


Go, find an honest fellow, Good claret set before thee,

Hold on till thou art mellow, And then to bed in glory!”



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© 2014 Neil Macgillivray