“Harry Lumsdale's Courtship”


"First when Harry cam' to Clatt," he asks bonnie Jean, "wilt thou go Up to Auchindoir we' me?" Jean and her mother hesitate. Harry decides to turn to Betty Brown. After he leaves, Jeannie says, "O for him back again!"


Ord describes this as the original for Burns's "My Harry Was a Gallant Gay" (aka "Highland Harry.") This strikes me as unlikely. The common material is a single verse, near the end of Ord's text and clearly not integral to it; it seems more likely that "Highland Harry" is a genuine traditional song and that Ord's obscure poem has picked up its chorus. - RBW


  1. Ord, pp. 427-429, "Harry Lumsdale's Courtshhip" (1 text)
  2. Roud #6186
  3. BI, Ord427


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1930 (Ord)
Found in: Britain(Scotland)