“Low Down in the Broom”


"My daddy is a canker'd carle, He'll ne'er twine wi' his gear," the girl admits as she wishes to be with her lad. She details all the ways her family reigns her in. But she meets her love beneath the broom, and at last they escape and live happily


Said to be the tune Burns used for "My Love Is Like a Red, Red Rose."

Ford's version of this is distinctly longer than the versions in Ord and the Scots Musical Museum; it starts with several stanzas about how Jenny and "Pate" meet, whereas the SMM text simply outlines how difficult the girl's parents are. It is not clear which form is older; Ford had it from a chapbook. - RBW


  1. Ford-Vagabond, pp. 234-236, "Low Down in the Broom" (1 text)
  2. Ord, p. 161, "Low Down in the Broom" (1 text)
  3. Roud #1644
  4. BI, FVS234


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1804 (Scots Musical Museum)
Found in: Britain(Scotland)