Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Mauchline Lady

Scottish Song By Robert Burns

The Mauchline Lady (also known as When First I came To Stewart Kyle) is a Scottish song written by Robert Burns in 1784 and sung to the tune I Had A Horse, I Had Nae Mair (I had a horse, I had no more).

This is a lighthearted song commemorating Burns falling in love with Jean Armour when they met in 1784.

The two brothers, Robert and Gilbert Burns, moved to a farm at Mossgiel, near Mauchline, which they maintained with an uphill fight for the next four years. In mid-1784 Robert Burns came to know a group of girls known collectively as The Belles of Mauchline, one of whom was Jean Armour, the daughter of a stonemason from Mauchline.

Jean Armour, became pregnant with twins in March 1786. Robert signed a paper attesting his marriage to Jean, but her father "was in the greatest distress, and fainted away". To avoid disgrace, her parents sent her to live with her uncle in Paisley. Although Jean's father initially forbade it, they were eventually married in 1788. Jean bore him nine children, only three of whom survived infancy.

Related Scottish Country Dances

The Mauchline Lady

The Mauchline Lady By Robert Burns

When first I came to Stewart Kyle,
My mind it was na steady;
Where'er I gaed, where'er I rade,
A mistress still I had ay.

But when I came roun' by Mauchline toun,
Not dreadin any body,
My heart was caught, before I thought,
And by a Mauchline lady.

The Mauchline Lady Image
The Mauchline Lady - From Page 58 Of 'A Study In Tone-Poetry' By Robert Burns

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