He is now remembered chiefly by his songs, of which six or seven remain among the favourites in every Scottish collection. Of what is perhaps the most popular of these, "I lo'ed ne'er a laddie but ane," the first eight lines are said to have been written by the Rev. Mr. Clunie of Borthwick. Some of the touches in this song remain among the finest of the Scottish lyric muse, while "Come under my Plaidie," "My boy Tommy," and other compositions prove Macneil's genius to have been as varied as it was characteristically Scottish.
Collections of Macneil's poems appeared at Philadelphia in 1815 and at Edinburgh in 1856, and the greater number of his pieces are included in the late Charles Mackay's edition of Allan Ramsay, Hamilton of Bangour, and others. Among other novels which he wrote, one, the Memoirs of Charles Macpherson, Esq. is supposed to relate his own wanderings and adventures.