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Robert Burns


Postcard illustrating "Comin Thro the Rye"

Image Rights Holder:
Dumfries & Galloway Museums Service
:Future Museum
width: 137 mm, length: 88 mm
Robert Burns
Bauermeister, Glasgow (Publisher)
20th Century
Burns, Robert “The Complete Poetical Work of Robert Burns 1759 – 1796”, Ed. Dr James A Mackay. Ayr: Alloway Publishing Limited, 1993; Burns, Robert “The Poems and Songs of Robert Burns”, 3 vols., Ed. James Kinsley. Oxford: Clarendon, 1968; Gilfillan, Reverend George (editor) “The National Burns”. Glasgow, Edinburgh and London: William Mackenzie, 1878; Mackay, James “Burnsiana”. Ayr: Alloway Publishing Limited, 1988; Westwood, Peter J “The Deltiology of Robert Burns”. Dumfries: Creedon Publications, 1994

A colour tinted  postcard from a photograph of a scene from the song "Comin Thro the Rye".


This postcard illustrates the stanza beginning, "Gin a body meet a body, Comin frae the well." A couple are posed in an embrace, they wear a theatrical version of late 18th century rural dress. The "well", however, is a pump and the girl carries galvanised buckets, both contemporary with the postcard rather than the song.


Robert Burns' only published version of this old Scottish song does not actually contain the stanza, "...Comin frae the well...", but "Comin Thro the Rye" is popularly believed to be his work. There were many versions of it around even at the time he wrote it down - some particularly bawdy.


The theme of the postcard, combining associations with Burns, quaint "scottishness" and an element of the risqué would have been particularly attractive to the publisher, Bauermeister of Glasgow, who published this as part of a series called "Scotch Wooing".