the songs
title : Willie Stewart
written by : Robert Burns
song copyright : none
segue into:
title : Molly Rankin
written by : John Morris Rankin
song copyright : copyright control (SOCAN)

arranged by : Eddi Reader, Ian Carr, Phil Cunningham, Boo Hewerdine, John McCusker and Ewen Vernal
Eddi said
“This was written for Robert’s good friend William Stewart. As I searched through some song books this song caught my eye because it was titled ‘Enscribed on a tumbler’. Robert had a diamond stylus and wrote these verses onto a crystal glass one night in celebration of his good friend. He wrote the last two verses for Willie’s daughter Polly Stewart and I used those verses to continue his tribute to Willie. At the end of the song Phil Cunningham leads the band into a stirring tune called ‘Molly Rankin’ which was written by the late John Rankin of Cape Breton.”
booklet note in her Burns albums (both original and deluxe editions)

the performance
musicians
Eddi Reader vocal, acoustic guitar
with :
Ian Carr acoustic guitar
Phil Cunningham whistle?
Boo Hewerdine acoustic guitar, backing vocal
John McCusker fiddle, whistle?, backing vocal?
Ewen Vernal double bass
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
conducted by Kevin McCrae 
strings, arranged by Kevin McCrae
1st violins: Edwin Paling, William Chandler, Tamas Fejes, Andrew Martin, Robert Yeomans, Barbara Paterson, Jane Reid, Gail Digney; 2nd violins: Rosalin Lazaroff, Jacqueline Speirs, Marion Wilson, Wanda Wojtasinska, Elizabeth Lloyd, Paul Medd; violas: John Harrington, Ian Budd, David Amon, Claire Dunn; cellos: Pauline Dowse, Jeremy Fletcher, Betsy Taylor, William Paterson; double basses: David Inglis, Robert Mitchell
music
key : A major
time-signature : 2/4
tempi : MM 100, 94, 100 – 124
form : c′ c C V C c V c cV V + C C c c′ p / a a b b a a b b
[music same for V and C]
lyrics

Willie Stewart

you’re welcome, Willie Stewart
you’re welcome, Willie Stewart
there’s ne’er a flower that blooms in May
that’s half so welcome’s thou art

come, bumpers high, express your joy
the bowl we must renew it
the tappet hen, gae bring her ben
to welcome Willie Stewart

you’re welcome, Willie Stewart
you’re welcome, Willie Stewart

there’s ne’er a flower that blooms in May
that’s half so welcome’s thou art

though foes be strong, and friends be slack
their action, must they rue it
may woman on him turn her back
that wrang thee, Willie Stewart

you’re welcome, Willie Stewart
you’re welcome, Willie Stewart

there’s ne’er a flower that blooms in May
that’s half so welcome’s thou art

[slower:]
a flower, it grows, it fades, it falls
and nature cannot renew it
but worth and truth, eternal youth
we’ll gie to Willie Stewart

may she whose arms shall enfold thy charms
possess a loyal and true heart
to her be given to ken the heaven
she holds in Willie Stewart

[in tempo:]
you’re welcome, Willie Stewart
you’re welcome, Willie Stewart
there’s ne’er a flower that blooms in May
that’s half so welcome’s thou art

{you’re welcome, Willie Stewart}
oh, you’re welcome, Willie Stewart
there’s ne’er a flower that blooms in May

that’s half so welcome’s thou art

– playout and jig Molly Rankin

glossary
kenknow
tappit hen a hen with a top-knot;
hence figuratively a large drinking cup with a knobbed lid
wrangwronged
explanations

As Eddi confirms, her version is a combination of two lyrics for the Stewart family, one for Willie and the other for his daughter Polly. The first was engraved by Burns on a glass tumbler, much to the disgust of the landlady who owned it!

[You’re welcome, Willie Stewart]

You’re welcome, Willie Stewart,
  You’re welcome, Willie Stewart;
There’s ne’er a flower that blooms in May
  That’s half sae welcome ’s thou art.

Come, bumpers high, express your joy,
  The bowl we maun renew it;
The tappet-hen gae bring her ben,
  To welcome Willie Stewart.

May foes be strang, and friends be slack,
  Ilk action may he rue it;
May woman on him turn her back,
  That wrangs thee, Willie Stewart.

source : No. 538 in Poems and songs of Robert Burns / edited by James Kinsley. – Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1968

The other lyric was actually published, in the 1796 volume of The Scots musical museum (edited by James Johnson), as follows :

Lovely Polly Stewart

O lovely Polly Stewart!
  O charming Polly Stewart!
There’s ne’er a flower that blooms in May
  That’s hauf sae sweet as thou art.—

The flower it blaws, it fades, it fa’s,
  And art can ne’er renew it;
But Worth and Truth eternal youth
  Will gie to Polly Stewart.—

  O lovely…

May he, whase arms shall fauld thy charms,
  Possess a leal and true heart!
To him be given, to ken the Heaven
  He grasps in Polly Stewart!

  O lovely…

source : No. 579 in Poems and songs of Robert Burns / edited by James Kinsley. – Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1968

additional glossary
benindoors kenknow
blawsblows lealloyal
fa’sfalls maunmust
fauldenfold saeso
gaego strangstrong
giegive tappit-hen a hen with a top-knot;
hence figuratively a large drinking cup with a knobbed lid
ilkevery whasewhose

the recording
personnel
produced by : Boo Hewerdine
recorded by : Robert Rankin at CaVa Studios, Glasgow – 2003-01
mixed by : Jon Kelly
mastered by : Tim Young at Metropolis Studios, London
technical
signal path : DDD
song timing : 4:13
released on
album : Eddi Reader sings the songs of Robert Burns track 3   timing : 4:18
album : The songs of Robert Burns (deluxe edition) track 3   timing : 4:18