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The Burns Encyclopedia
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Murray of Lintrose, Euphemia (b. 1769)

A cousin of Sir William of Ochtertyre, Euphemia Murray was known as 'The Flower of Strathmore'. She was eighteen when Burns stayed with Sir William in 1787, and wrote the song 'Blythe, blythe and merry was she'. Of the song, he recalled: 'I composed these verses while I stayed at Ochtertyre with Sir William Murray. The lady, who was also at Ochtertyre at the same time, was a well-known toast, Miss Euphemia Murray of Lintrose...' The lady. according to tradition, did not appreciate the honour done her by Burns, though one who knew her said that the concluding verse was 'very expressive of her appearance and style of beauty':
"Her bonnie face it was as meek,
As ony lamb upon a Ice; [lea
The evening sun was ne'er sae sweet,
As was the blink o' Phemie's ee."

In 1794, she married David Smythe of Methven Castle, later a judge of the Court of Session, by whom she had several children.

The tune, 'Andro and his cutty gun' to which the words are set, goes back to the Caledonian Pocket Companion, 1754. Burns's song appeared both in the Scots Musical Museum and in Thomson's Scottish Airs,1799.

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Robert Burns Store

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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
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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...