Verse 1: 'Lord Thomas and fair Annet Sat a' day on a hill Whan night was come and the sun was set, They had not talk'd their fill.' The 'Scots Musical Museum' is the most important of the numerous eighteenth- and nineteenth-century collections of Scottish song. When the engraver James Johnson started work on the second volume of his collection in 1787, he enlisted Robert Burns as contributor and editor. Burns enthusiastically collected songs from various sources, often expanding or revising them, whilst including much of his own work. The resulting combination of innovation and antiquarianism gives the work a feel of living tradition. John Glen (1900) writes that the tune for this song is probably English in origin. The name of the tune that the song is adapted to is called 'The Old Bard', which appears in James Oswald's 'Caledonian Pocket Companion' (1759). The story told in the ballad is a tragic one. Lord Thomas and Annet have a lovers' tiff, following which an angry Lord Thomas proposes marriage to the maid. Annet goes to the church on the wedding day and presents Lord Thomas with a rose, but the jealous maid kills her with a 'bodkin'. On seeing Annet fall, Lord Thomas thrusts his dagger into the maid, then stabs himself. A wild rose bush is then planted over the graves of Lord Thomas and Annet as a symbol of their enduring love.

CountryUnited Kingdom
CollectionBurns Scotland
Year1787-01-01 - 1803-12-31
Repository Page
Web Page,-song-535,-pages-...
Subject Termspoetry, Robert Burns