MS: 'Can you love me thus, my Betty'; Verses 2 and 4 of 'The Minstrel at Lincluden'

Robert Burns, Author 
Object Number:


This manuscript contains two songs written by Burns. The first page contains the song Can you leave me thus, my Betty?. This is the alternative version of the poem 3.6253.

This song was written in 1794 and sent to George Thomson for consideration for inclusion in A Select Collection of Original Scottish Airs for the Voice. It is set to the English tune Roy's wife.

It is widely believed that this song was intended for Maria Riddell or Elizabeth Riddell. However, very little evidence exists to substantiate these claims.

On the reverse of the manuscript are two verses (the 2nd & 4th) of the song As I stood by yon roofless tower. Burns wrote the words and set the song to the tune Cumnock Psalms, eventually sending it to Thomson in 1794. The 'roofless tower' mentioned refers to Lincluden Abbey, found in north of Dumfries in Maxwelltown. The manuscript is docketed by Dr Currie with an endorsement by W. Wallace Currie.

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