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The LiederNet Archive
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Duncan Gray cam here to woo

Language: Scottish (Scots)

Duncan Gray cam here to woo,
  (Ha, ha, the wooing o't !)
On blythe Yule night when we were fu',
  (Ha, ha, the wooing o't !)
Maggie coost her head fu' high,
Look'd asklent and unco skiegh,
Gart poor Duncan stand abiegh;
  Ha, ha, the wooing o't !

Duncan fleech'd, and Duncan pray'd;
  (Ha, ha, the wooing o't !)
Meg was deaf as Ailsa craig,
  (Ha, ha, the wooing o't !)
Duncan sigh'd baith out and in,
Grat his een baith bleer't an' blin',
Spak o' lowpin o'er a linn;
  Ha, ha, the wooing o't !

Time and Chance are but a tide,
  (Ha, ha, the wooing o't !)
Slighted love is sair to bide,
  (Ha, ha, the wooing o't !)
Shall I, like a fool, quoth he,
For a haughty hizzie die?
She may gae to - France for me!
  Ha, ha, the wooing o't !

How it comes let Doctors tell
  (Ha, ha, the wooing o't !)
Meg grew sick as he grew heal,
  (Ha, ha, the wooing o't !)
Something in her bosom wrings,
For a relief a sigh she brings;
And O ! her een, they spak sic things!
  Ha, ha, the wooing o't !

Duncan was a lad o' grace,
  (Ha, ha, the wooing o't !)
Maggie's was a piteous case,
  (Ha, ha, the wooing o't !)
Duncan could na be her death,
Swelling Pity smoor'd his Wrath;
Now they're crouse and canty baith,
  Ha, ha, the wooing o't !

Translation(s): SWG FRE GER

List of language codes

L. Beethoven sets stanzas 1, 3-5

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with The Complete Poetical Works of Robert Burns, Cambridge edition, Boston and New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1897, page 272.

Submitted by Pierre Mathé [Guest Editor]


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Settings in other languages or adaptations:

  • Also set in Swiss German (Schwizerdütsch), a translation by August Corrodi (1826 - 1885) GER FRE by Friedrich Niggli.

Other available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (G. Pertz) , title 1: "Duncan Gray"
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title 1: "Duncan Gray", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2014-07-28 11:29:45
Line count: 40
Word count: 245

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Duncan Gray

Language: French (Français) after the Scottish (Scots)

Duncan Grey vint ici faire sa cour
    (Ha, ha, quelle cour !)
Durant la joyeuse nuit de Noël, quand nous étions soûls,
    (Ha, ha, quelle cour !)
Maggie leva sa tête bien haut,
Regarda de côté et d'un air étonnée
Fit en sorte de tenir éloigné le pauvre Duncan ;
    Ha, ha, quelle cour !

Duncan la cajola et la pria ;
    (Ha, ha, quelle cour !)
Meg était aussi sourde qu' Ailsa Craig
    (Ha, ha, quelle cour !)
Duncan soupirait autant dehors que dedans,
Pleura, les yeux à la fois tirés et aveuglés,
Parla de sauter dans une cataracte ;
    Ha, ha, quelle cour !

Le temps et le hasard ne sont que marées,
    (Ha, ha, quelle cour !)
Un amour blessé est dur à supporter,
    (Ha, ha, quelle cour !)
Devrai-je – dit-il – comme un fou
Mourir pour une coquette arrogante ?
Elle peut bien aller en France pour moi !
    Ha, ha, quelle cour !

Les docteurs disent comment c'est arrivé,
    (Ha, ha, quelle cour !)
Meg devint malade tandis qu'il guérissait,
    (Ha, ha, quelle cour !)
Quelque chose serrait son cœur,
Pour se soulager, elle poussa un soupir ;
Et oh ! Ses yeux disaient de telles choses !
    Ha, ha, quelle cour !

Duncan était un gentil garçon,
    (Ha, ha, quelle cour !)
Maggie était en piteux état,
    (Ha, ha, quelle cour !)
Duncan ne pouvait être cause de sa mort,
Une pitié grandissante terrassa sa colère
Maintenant ils sont tous deux joyeux et gais,
    Ha, ha, quelle cour !

IMPORTANT NOTE: The material directly above is protected by copyright and appears here by special permission. If you wish to copy it and distribute it, you must obtain permission or you will be breaking the law. Once you have permission, you must give credit to the author and display the copyright symbol ©. Copyright infringement is a criminal offense under international law.

L. Beethoven a mis en musique les strophes 1, 3-5


  • Translation from Scottish (Scots) to French (Français) copyright © 2014 by Pierre Mathé, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.


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    (licenses at lieder dot net)

Based on
  • a text in Scottish (Scots) by Robert Burns (1759 - 1796), "Duncan Grey" GER
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Ludwig van Beethoven, Graham Peel, Humphrey Procter-Gregg. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2014-07-13 00:00:00.
Last modified: 2014-07-13 21:51:45
Line count: 40
Word count: 256