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The Burns Encyclopedia
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Doon, River

Flows from Loch Doon, on the borders of Ayrshire and Kirkcudbrightshire, to the Firth of Clyde, which it enters about 10 miles west of Ayr. It divides the Ayrshire districts, Carrick and Kyle.

Burns mentions it many times, notably in 'Tam o' Shanter' and in the song 'Ye banks and Braes o' Bonie Doon'. This — possibly the most popular of all Burns's songs — first appeared in the Scots Musical Museum in 1792. It also appeared in Thomson's Scottish Airs. In a letter to Thomson, dated November 1794, Burns asked: 'Do you know the history of the air? It is curious enough. A good man years ago, a Mr Jas Miller, Writer in your good town, a gentleman whom, possibly, you know — was in company with our friend, Clarke; and talking of Scots music, Miller expresses an ardent ambition to be able to compose a Scots air. Mr Clarke, partly by way of a joke, told him to keep to the black keys of the harpsichord and preserve some kind of rhythm; and he would infallibly compose a Scots air. Certain it is, that within a few days, Mr Miller produced the rudiments of an air, which Mr Clarke, with some touches and corrections, fashioned into the tune in question'. Thus, using the pentatonic scale, one of the world's loveliest airs was fashioned! A copy was given to Neil Gow, who called it 'The Caledonian Hunts Delight' and printed it in his Strathspey Reels, 1788, 4 years before it appeared with Burns's words in the Museum. The manuscript of the song, in the British museum, has Gow's title crossed out.

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Robert Burns Store

NEW!! robert burns store View our exclusive range of distinctive Robert Burns related products. Register with our Shopping Club for further offers and unique member offers.Click here...


Complete Burns Songs

linn recordings of burns Linn Records have completed their landmark recording of all 368 Burns songs, available as individual CDs or a 12 volume presentation box set. We have full details. Click here...


Burns Music & Recordings
Search our huge CD and music store for any Burns-related phrase!
Hint: Type "lang syne" or "peck maut" etc. into the Search box there for all artists, titles, descriptions or track listings with the words entered.
Burns Chess Sets

Burns Chess SetsUnique collectors' pieces based on Burns' life and works. (The ideal gift for your Burns Supper guests!) Click here...

Scotweb Store

ScotwebThe finest Scottish shopping site in the world, with the world's largest choice of kilts and tartans, exclusive jewelry, Highland Dress, Bagpipes and piping supplies, cashmere, and much more. Buying from these sites helps pay for the upkeep of Burns Country! Click here...