“Burns and His Highland Mary”


(Robert) Burns meets Mary on the banks of the Ayr. Mary is returning to the Highlands to visit friends, but promises to return quickly. Both promise to be true. Mary departs, but soon falls sick and dies. Burns "ne'er did... love so fondly again."

Historical references

  • 1759-1796 - Life of Robert Burns
  • 1786 - Death of Mary Campbell while on a visit to the Highlands

Cross references


  • Bodleian, Firth b.26(512), "Burns and Highland Mary," G. Walker (Durham), 1797-1834; also Harding B 15(37a), Harding B 11(3216), Harding B 11(496), Harding B 26(84)[some words illegible], Harding B 26(85), "Burns and Highland Mary"; 2806 c.14(5), 2806 c.14(4)[some words illegible], Johnson Ballads 3180[some words illegible], 2806 c.14(3)[some lines illegible], "Burns and His Highland Mary"
  • Murray, Mu23-y1:009, "Burns and Highland Mary," J. Bristow (Glasgow), 19C; also Mu23-y1:026, Mu23-y4:024, "Burns and Highland Mary"
  • NLScotland, RB.m.168(082), "Burns and His Highland Mary," unknown, c.1840; also APS.3.80.4, RB.m.143(030), L.C.Fol.70(10a), "Burns and His Highland Mary"


  1. Laws O34, "Burns and His Highland Mary"
  2. Ford-Vagabond, pp. 112-114, "Burns and His Highland Mary" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Doerflinger, pp. 312-313, "Burns and His Highland Mary" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Ord, pp. 354-355, "The Parting of Burns and Highland Mary" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Tunney-SongsThunder, pp. 108-111, "The Clear, Winding Ayr" (1 text)
  6. Creighton/Senior, p. 159-161, "Burns and His Highland Mary" (1 text)
  7. Creighton-Maritime, pp. 88-89, "Burns and His Highland Mary" (1 text, 2 tunes)
  8. Creighton-SNewBrunswick 56, "Burns and His Highland" (1 text, 1 tune)
  9. Peacock, pp. 427-429, "The Banks of the Ayr" (1 text, 2 tunes)
  10. DT 488, BURNMARY
  11. Roud #820
  12. BI, LO34


Author: Ord lists a "police constable named Thomson," c. 1865
Earliest date: before 1835 (broadside, Bodleian Firth b.26(512))
Found in: Canada(Mar,Newf) US(NE) Ireland