A photo of William Douglas

William Douglas

“Annie Laurie” is an old Scottish song based on a poem said to have been written by William Douglas (1682?–1748) of Dumfriesshire, about his romance with Annie Laurie (1682–1764). The words were modified and the tune was added by Alicia Scott in 1834/5. The song is also known as “Maxwelton Braes”.

William Douglas became a soldier in the Royal Scots and fought in Germany and Spain and rose to the rank of captain. He also fought at least two duels. He returned to his estate at Fingland in 1694.

There has been some doubt that Douglas composed the poem. The words of the second verse of the song may be based on an old version of John Anderson My Jo, to the tune of which song Annie Laurie was sometimes sung.

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Songs by William Douglas