“John Anderson, My Jo, John”


Singer upbraids her lover for rising so early and coming to bed so late, tells him he's aging and risking being cuckolded. She describes his attributes fairly explicitly, and her own, saying "'Tis all for your conveniency/John Anderson, my jo"


It's clear that "John Anderson, My Jo (I)" is a thoroughly bowdlerized version of this song, but their mood is so different that I've split them. - PJS

There is still a third version, the Digital Tradition's JOHNAND5, which is a temperance song.

Burns may have had his hand in some versions of this text, but it is not all his; the "official" version, in the Scots Musical Museum (filed in the Index as "John Anderson, My Jo (I)") is entirely Burns's work. - RBW

Same tune

  • John Anderson, My Jo (I) (File: FSWB141B)
  • Johnny Bull, My Jo, John (File: SBoA118)
  • John Bull's Epistle (Huntington-Whalemen, pp. 172-174)
  • O Jimmy Fisk, My Jo, Jim (fragment in Cohen-LSRail, p. 91)

Cross references


  1. Percy/Wheatley II, pp. 131-133, "John Anderson My Jo" (1 text, short and probably bowdlerized; Percy's first and final editions have some differences)
  2. Silber-FSWB, p. 155 "John Anderson, My Jo (II)
  4. BI, FSWB155A


Author: Attributed to Robert Burns
Earliest date: 1765 (Percy)
Found in: Britain