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On BBC Radio Four's Desert Island Discs, Liz Lochead, Scotland's Makar, or National Poet of Scotland, 2011-16, chose Burns' Green Grow the Rashes O, sung by Michael Marra, as the piece of music she would save from the waves.
"Green Grow The Rashes O" is one of Robert Burns' earliest songs, originally without the final verse. It was song number 77 in the Scots Musical Museum vol 1 (1787). The first two lines of the chorus are taken from a version in Herd's 'Scots Songs', ii, p. 224, 1776, a song entitled "Green grows the Rashes".
Green Grow the Rashes O was sung to a traditional Scottish tune, an early version of which appears in written record as "A dance. grein greus ye rasses" (A dance: Green grow the rashes) as early as the early 17th century (Straloch Lute manuscript, 1627-29). By the time Burns wrote his piece, the modern form of the tune was established and appeared in collections of music as (The) Grant's Rant, John Black's Daughter, Lucky Black's Daughter, Foot's Vagaries, and Green Grows the Rashes, and Burns himself refers to "the merry old tune of that name" (Green Grows the Rashes). The tune appears in William MacGibbon in Book 1 of Scots Tunes 1742 as Green Grows the Rashes (to be played slow).
The collection The Merry Muses of Caledonia (1799) had two other sets of much more ribald verses- one collected by Burns and the other probably devised by him. These are not the verses now preserved in the well-known song of Burns, Green Grow the Rashes O, which are a more decorous celebration of the pleasures of the flesh over materialism.