Lodge Canongate Kilwinning No 2

Thomas Neil 1730 - 1800

Precentor of Old Tollbooth Church

Tam Neil, a carpenter in Edinburgh, who was well known for singing Scottish Songs, gave Burns a copy of the song. Burns stated that the expression "Up and warn a', Willie" alluded to the crantara, or warning, of a Highland clan to arms and that Lowlanders of the West use the expression, "Up and waur them, a." Burns adds that the Lowland expression, does not refer to summoning a clan, because "waur" means to surpass or excel at something.