[Sheet music] Annie Laurie

Accession Number RC10925.003
Collection number Sheet Music Collection 440
Collection type Published Collection
Record type Item
Item count 1
Measurement Overall: 26 cm x 18 cm
Object type Sheet Music
Place made United Kingdom: England, Greater London, London
Date made c 1900
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Period 1900-1909
Copying Provisions Copyright restrictions apply. Only personal, non-commercial, research and study use permitted. Permission of copyright holder required for any commercial use and/or reproduction.

Sheet music for the song titled 'Annie Laurie'. There were various modifications to the lyrics over the years, but this version of the song is featured in the book titled 'The Songs of Scotland Volume 1', which was printed in circa early 1900s and edited by Brown and Pittman. The footnote in the book states that the second verse of the song is actually from an early version of 'John Anderson My Joe'. The lyrics of this song focus on the beauty of Annie Laurie and the promise that she made at Maxwellton.

There is still debate over when and by whom the song was originally composed. Variations have been attributed to William Douglas, Allan Cunningham and Lady John Scott. The provenance of the origins of the Scottish poem/song 'Annie Laurie' is not able to be verified through archival documents. However, it is popularly believed that the song was based upon a poem written in the late 17th Century or early 18th Century by William Douglas about his unsuccessful romance with a Scottish teen called Annie Laurie. Another alternate opinion is that the words were written by the Scottish poet and author, Allan Cunningham - as the first known written version appeared in 1868 on page 108 of 'Four books of choice old Scottish ballads 1823-1844'.

It is reported that in 1890, Lady John Scott (nee Ann Spottiswoode) wrote to the editor of Dumfries Standard and claimed that she composed the tune, and wrote the ‘modern words’ for the song 'Annie Laurie'.

Towards the bottom of this page is a sound recording of this sheet music, or a parody, that was created as part of the Music and the First World War project. More information about this recording, including names of the performers, can be found on the catalogue record for the sound recording. A link to the catalogue record for the sound recording can be found at the bottom of this page, under the heading ‘Related objects’ where it can be identified with the prefix [sound recording].