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O how can I be blythe and glad

Language: Scottish (Scots)

O how can I be blythe and glad,
    Or how can I gang brisk and braw,
When the bonie lad that I lo'e best
    Is o'er the hills and far awa ?

It's no the frosty winter wind,
    It's no the driving drift and snaw;
But aye the tear comes in my e'e,
    To think on him that's far awa.

My father pat me frae his door,
    My friends they hae disown'd me a';
But I hae ane will tak my part,
    The bonie lad that's far awa.

A pair o' glooves he bought to me,
    And silken snoods he gae me twa;
And I will wear them for his sake,
    The bonie lad that's far awa.

O, weary Winter soon will pass,
    And Spring will cleed the birken shaw;
And my young babie will be born,
    And he'll be hame that's far awa !

Translation(s): FRE GER GER

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About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with The Complete Poetical Works of Robert Burns, Cambridge edition, Boston and New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1897, page 234.

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)

  • by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827), "O how can I be blythe and glad", op. 108 (25 schottische Lieder mit Begleitung von Pianoforte, Violine und Violoncello) no. 14 (1815). [voice, violin, violoncello, piano] [
     text verified 1 time

Settings in other languages or adaptations:

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Anonymous/Unidentified Artist) , title 1: "O wie kann ich wohl fröhlich sein"
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title 1: "Le joli garçon qui est au loin", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2004-08-03.
Last modified: 2014-07-28 11:30:03
Line count: 20
Word count: 145

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O wie kann ich wohl fröhlich sein

Language: German (Deutsch) after the Scottish (Scots)

 O wie kann ich wohl fröhlich sein!
 Wie kann ich hüpfen flink und drall?
 Da nun er, den ich so treu gemeint,
 Ist ferne über Berg und Tal!
 Nicht ist es eis'ger Winterwind,
 Nicht Schneegestöber, das mich treibt;
 Doch kommen Tränen in mein Aug',
 Denk' ich an ihn, der ferne bleibt.

 Mein Vater shloß mir seine Tür,
 Die Meinen kennen mich nicht mehr;
 Doch noch einen kenn' ich, der mich schützt,
 Ach, wenn er nur so fern nicht wär'!
 Doch bald der läst'ge Winter geht,
 Den Birkenwald schmückt Lenz so lieb;
 Ich habe Freudentränen nur,
 Denn er kommt heim, der ferne blieb!

Submitted by Ferdinando Albeggiani


Based on
  • a text in Scottish (Scots) by Robert Burns (1759 - 1796), "The Bonie Lad That's Far Awa", written 1788 FRE
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Ludwig van Beethoven. Go to the text.

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

    [ None yet in the database ]

Text added to the website: 2004-08-18.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:09
Line count: 16
Word count: 103