Annie Laurie
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Barry Taylor

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Our Familiar Songs and Those Who Made Them (1881) relates that an "old Ballad-Book" collected by Charels Kirkpatrick Sharpe, of Hoddam noted that Annie was the daughter of Sir Robert Laurie, first baronet of the Maxwellton family (created 27 March 1865) and his second wife. William Douglas, of Fingland, composed the verses for her, but she went on to marry a Mr. Ferguson of Craigdarroch.*

However, there is some doubt regarding the story. The words were possibly written by Allen Cunningham circa 1810 or 1820.**

Lady John Douglas Scott of Berwickshire, Scotland, wrote the tune and adapted the words to her work. Lady John Scott was born Alicia Anne Spottiswoode. In 1836 she married Lord John Douglass Scott, a son of the Duke of Buccleuch.*

The tune was popular with British troops during the Crimean War.

Maxwelton's braes are bonnie,
Where early fa's the dew,
And it's there that Annie Laurie
Gave me her promise true.
Gave me her promise true,
Which ne'er forgot will be,
And for bonnie Annie Laurie
I'd lay me doon and dee.

Her brow is like the snawdrift,
Her throat is like the swan,
Her face it is the fairest,
That 'er the sun shone on.
That 'er the sun shone on.
And dark blue is her e'e,
And for bonnie Annie Laurie
I'd lay me doon and dee.

Like dew on the gowan lying,
Is the fa' o' her fairy feet,
And like winds in summer sighing,
Her voice is low and sweet.
Her voice is low and sweet,
And she's a' the world to me,
And for bonnie Annie Laurie
I'd lay me doon and dee.
*From Our Familiar Songs and Those Who Made Them
See Bibliography for full information.
**Thanks to Ian Chandler's research.