Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Birnie Bouzle

Scottish Song By James Hogg

Birnie Bouzle is a Scottish poem/song written by James Hogg c.1810 and sung to the tune The Braes O' Tullymet.

The name Birnie Bouzle is possibly derived from birnie 'land covered with birns, i.e. scorched stems of heather' and bouzy 'covered with bushes'.

James Hogg (1770-1835) was a Scottish poet, novelist and essayist who wrote in both Scots and English. As a young man he worked as a shepherd and farmhand, and was largely self-educated through reading. He was a friend of many of the great writers of his day, including Sir Walter Scott, of whom he later wrote an unauthorized biography.

He became widely known as the "Ettrick Shepherd", a nickname under which some of his works were published.

In Aberdeen, there is a series of streets called Birnie Bouzle, which presumably have been built over the original house.

Related Scottish Country Dances


Birnie Bouzle By James Hogg

Gin ye'll marry me, lassie,
At the kirk o' Birnie Bouzle,
Till the day ye dee, lassie,
Ye shall ne'er repent it.

Ye shall wear when ye are wed
A kirtle and a hieland plaid,
Sleep upon a heather bed
Sae couthie and sae canty.

Ye shall gan sae braw, lassie,
Tae the kirk o' Birnie Bouzle,
Little brogues and a', lassie,
Vow! but ye'll be canty.

Yer wee bit tocher is but sma',
But hodden gray will wear for a',
I'll save my siller tae mak' ye braw,
Ye shall ne'er repent it.

We'll ha' bonnie bairns and a',
Some lassies fair and laddies braw,
Like their mother ane and a',
And yer father he's consented.

I'll hunt the otter and the brock,
The hart, the hare, the heather cock,
I'll pull ye limpets frae the rock
Tae mak' ye dishes dainty.

Birnie Bouzle Song Video

Birnie Bouzle Song - Information Video
James Hogg
"James Hogg, 1770-1835. Poet; 'The Ettrick Shepherd' " Sir John Watson Gordon (1788-1864) (Scottish), Oil On Canvas, c. 1830

The Online Scots Dictionary Translate Scots To English.
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Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original James Hogg article on Wikisource.
Image copyright Sir John Watson Gordon [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

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