MS: 'Handsome Nell', also known as 'Once I loved a bonie Lass'

Date:
1786 
Creator:
Robert Burns, Author 
Object Number:
3.6275.e

Summary

Robert wrote this, his first song, at the age of 15. Inspired by Nelly Kilpatrick, the lass chosen as his work partner during the harvest, he immortalised his unspoken love for her in 'O Once I lov’d a bonie lass'. The song is also commonly known as 'Handsome Nell'.

This particular manuscript of the song was written 12 years after Robert first composed it. It is part of the Stair manuscript collection, a group of eight early songs and poems Burns copied and sent to Mrs Alexander Stewart of Stair in 1786.

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