Holds Good in 1915

O why the deuce should I repine, And be an ill foreboder? I’m twenty-three, and five feet nine, I’ll go and be a sodger! I gat some gear wi’ mickle care, I held it weel thegither; But now it’s gane, and something mair- I’ll go and be a sodger! — I’ll Go And Be A Sodger, Robert Burns, 1782.

Fareweel Our Ancient Glory

Fareweel to a’ our Scottish fame, Fareweel our ancient glory; Fareweel ev’n to the Scottish name, Sae fam’d in martial story. Now Sark rins over Solway sands, An’ Tweed rins to the ocean, To mark where England’s province stands- Such a parcel of rogues in a nation! What force or guile could not subdue, Thro’ […]

Breaking Sticks to Roast the Duke

I hae been at Crookieden, My bonie laddie, Highland laddie, Viewing Willie and his men, My bonie laddie, Highland laddie. There our foes that burnt and slew, My bonie laddie, Highland laddie, There, at last, they gat their due, My bonie laddie, Highland laddie. Satan sits in his black neuk, My bonie laddie, Highland laddie, […]

Warring Sighs and Groans I’ll Wage Thee

Ae fond kiss, and then we sever; Ae fareweel, alas, for ever! Deep in heart-wrung tears I’ll pledge thee, Warring sighs and groans I’ll wage thee! Who shall say that Fortune grieves him While the star of hope she leaves him? Me, nae cheerfu’ twinkle lights me, Dark despair around benights me. I’ll ne’er blame […]

There’ll Never Be Peace Till Jamie Comes Hame

By yon Castle wa’, at the close of the day, I heard a man sing, though his head it was gray; And as he was singing, the tears down came — There’ll never be peace till Jamie comes hame. The Church is in ruins, the State is in jars, Delusions, oppressions, and murderous wars; We dare na weel say’t, but […]

Awa’ Whigs Awa’

Our thrissles are a’ flourish’d And bonnie bloom’d our roses But Whigs cam like a frost in June An’ wither’d a’ our posies Chorus: Awa’, Whigs, awa’ Awa’, Whigs, awa’ Ye’re jist a pack o’ traitor louns Ye’ll dae nae guid at a’ Our sad decay in church and state Surpasses my descriving The Whigs […]

O Wert Thou in the Cauld Blast

O wert thou in the cauld blast, On yonder lea, on yonder lea, My plaidie to the aingry airt, I’d shelter thee, I’d shelter thee. Or did misfortune’s bitter storms Around thee blaw, around thee blaw, The bield should be my bosom, To share it a’, to share it a’. Or were I in the […]

The Slave’s Lament

It was in sweet Senegal that my foes did me enthral, For the lands of Virginia,-ginia, O: Torn from that lovely shore, and must never see it more; And alas! I am weary, weary O. Torn from that lovely shore, and must never see it more; And alas! I am weary, weary O. All on […]

Till A’ the Seas Gang Dry

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose, That’s newly sprung in June: O my Luve’s like the melodie, That’s sweetly play’d in tune. As fair art thou, my bonie lass, So deep in luve am I; And I will luve thee still, my dear, Till a’ the seas gang dry. Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear, And the rocks melt wi’ the […]

Tyrannic Man’s Dominion

This is one of my favourite Burns’ songs.  The best recording of it I have encountered is by Dick Gaughan, the Scottish folk singer/activist.  I think the third verse is masterful. * * * Now Westlin Winds Now westlin winds and slaughtering guns Bring autumn’s pleasant weather The moorcock springs on whirring wings Among the […]