“The Paisley Officer (India's Burning Sands)”


Henry, an officer from Paisley, meets and falls in love with Mary. His regiment having been called to India, (they are married and) she dresses as a soldier to accompany him. He is fatally injured; she is killed caring for him


The description of this song at the Bodleian site associates this with the Sepoy Rebellion (1857-1858) -- but note that the National Library of Scotland broadsides probably predate this. - BS, RBW

Cross references


  • Bodleian, Harding B 17(234a), "The Paisley Officer," Sanderson (Edinburgh), 1830-1910; also 2806 c.14(124), "The Paisley Officer"
  • NLScotland, L.C.178.A.2(198), "The Paisley Officer," unknown, c.1840; also L.C.178.A.2(198); RB.m.169(070), "The Paisley Officer"


  • Sara Cleveland, "In Bonny Scotland" (on SCleveland01)
  • Warde Ford, "India's Burning Sands" [fragment] (AFS 4199Bx1, 1938; in AMMEM/Cowell)


  1. Laws N2, "The Paisley Officer (India's Burning Sands)"
  2. Doerflinger, pp. 308-310, "The Paisley Officer" (2 texts, 1 tune)
  3. SHenry H120, pp. 332-333, "Blythe and Bonny Scotland/India's Burning Sands" (1 text, 1 tune, composite)
  4. McBride, pp. 65,75, "The Paisley Officer" (1 text)
  5. Creighton/Senior, pp. 192-193, "The Paisley Officer" (2 texts)
  6. Creighton-Maritime, pp. 158-159, "The Paisley Officer" (1 text, 1 tune)
  7. Mackenzie 51, "Bonny Scotland" (2 texts)
  8. Ives-NewBrunswick, pp. 153-157, "The Paisley Officer" (1 text, 1 tune)
  9. Gardner/Chickering 86, "The Village Pride" (1 text plus mention of 1 more)
  10. DT 438, PAISLYOF
  11. Roud #550
  12. BI, LN02


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1916 (Gardner/Chickering, who also mention a manuscript copy dated 1884); there are sundry 19C broadsides
Found in: US(MA,MW,NE) Canada(Mar) Ireland