Show Navigation

Song by Robert Burns; 'in the character of a ruined Farmer' (page 2 of 2)

Back

View Large Image

Song by Robert Burns: 'in the character of a ruined Farmer' (page 2 of 2)

Introduction:
This song tells of the worries a ruined farmer faces, woebegone at the thoughts of how his wife and children will fare. Again Burns turns to the welcome peace of the grave but that would not resolve the problem of caring for his family.
Image Rights Holder:
National Trust for Scotland
Ref:
BMT366.06B
Project:
618:The Burns Manuscripts at Alloway
What:
Song by Robert Burns; 'in the character of a ruined Farmer' (page 2 of 2)
Subject:
Robert Burns' father moved his family to Lochlie farm near Tarbolton in 1777, however after a good start, he was taken to court by his landlord for arrears in rent 7 years later. William Burnes eventually won his case but at great personal cost to his health such that he died two weeks after his appeal was heard by the court of sessions in Jan 1784. It is probable that Robert Burns based this song on the experience of his own father's misfortunes.
Who:
Robert Burns (1759-1796) (author)
William Burnes (1721-1784) (father of poet)
When:
Autumn 1786 (when copied to Stair Ms)
Where:
The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, South Ayrshire
Background:
Robert Burns' father moved his family to Lochlie farm near Tarbolton in 1777, however after a good start, he was taken to court by his landlord for arrears in rent 7 years later. William Burnes eventually won his case but at great personal cost to his health such that he died two weeks after his appeal was heard by the court of sessions in Jan 1784. It is probable that Robert Burns based this song on the experience of his own father's misfortunes.
Description:
In this last page Burns tells how the farmer who could once help relieve the hardship of others, now could barely support his own family. Death would be one way out, but how would his family fare. The farmer, careworn, has nowhere to turn and does not see any relief in the future.