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The Scottish Nation

CLUNIE, a surname derived from the parish of that name in the district of Stormont, Perthshire. It is the modern orthography of the old Celtic word cluaine, which signifies “a green pasture between woods.”

CLUNIE, THE REV. JOHN, author of the well-known Scots song, ‘I lo’e na a laddie but ane,’ was born about 1757. He was educated for the Church of Scotland, and after being licensed to preach the gospel, he became schoolmaster at Markinch in Fife, and having an excellent voice, he also acted as precentor. He was afterwards about 1790, ordained minister of the parish of Borthwick, in Mid Lothian. Burns, in one of his letters to Mr. Thomson, dated in September 1794, thus celebrates him for his vocal skill: “I am flattered at your adopting ‘Ca’ the yowes to the knowes,’ as it was owing to me that it saw the light. About seven years ago I was well acquainted with a worthy little fellow of a clergyman, a Mr. Clunie, who sung it charmingly, and at my request Mr. Clarke (Stephen Clarke the composer) took it down from his singing.” Mr. Clunie died at Greenend, near Edinburgh, 13th April, 1819.

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