Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Rantin' Rovin' Robin

Scottish Song By Robert Burns

Rantin' Rovin' Robin (also known as There Was A Lad) is a Scottish song written by Robert Burns, appearing in his Second Commonplace Book (his writer's journal) in 1787 when he was 28.

First appearing in print in 1808, it was originally written and sung to the tune Dainty Davie but latterly most often sung to the tune O Gin Ye Were Dead Gudeman. (The song published under the title Dainty Davie is an entirely different and unrelated composition.)

Rantin' Rovin' Robin is an optimistic, autobiographical piece, giving a forecast of the author's imminent fame, said to reflect a similar prophecy given by a way-faring woman at Burns' birth.

Originally Burns had Davie throughout, instead of Robin but since his own footnote indicated that he meant it to be autobiographical it was later changed to Robin, a common variation of Burns own name which he used himself elsewhere.

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Rantin' Rovin' Robin

Rantin' Rovin' Robin By Robert Burns

There was a lad was born in Kyle,
But what'n a day, o' what'n a style,
I doubt it's hardly worth the while
To be sae nice wi' Robin.

Robin was a rovin' Boy,
Rantin' rovin', rantin' rovin';
Robin was a rovin' Boy,
Rantin' rovin' Robin.


Our monarch's hindmost year but ane
Was five-and-twenty days begun,
'Twas then a blast o' Januar' Win'
Blew hansel in on Robin.


The Gossip keekit in his loof,
Quo' she, Wha lives will see the proof,
This waly boy will be na coof;
I think we'll ca' him Robin.


He'll hae misfortunes great and sma',
But aye a heart aboon them a';
He'll be a credit till us a',
We'll a' be proud o' Robin.


But sure as three times three mak nine,
I see by ilka score and line,
This chap will dearly like our kin',
So leeze me on thee, Robin."


Guid faith quo' scho I doubt you Stir,
Ye'll gar the lasses lie aspar;
But twenty fauts ye may hae waur
So blessins on thee Robin.

Rantin' Rovin' Robin Song Video

Rantin' Rovin' Robin Song - Information Video
Rantin' Rovin' Robin
Rantin' Rovin' Robin - From Page 58 Of 'Scenes Of Scottish Story

The Online Scots Dictionary Translate Scots To English.
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