Five Burns Songs

Song Cycle by Mervyn, Lord Horder, the Second Baron of Ashford (1910 - 1998)

Word count: 570

1. A red, red rose [sung text not yet checked]

O my [Luve's]1 like a red, red rose 
  That's newly sprung in June: 
O my [Luve's]1 like the melodie 
  That's sweetly play'd in tune. 

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass, 
  [So]2 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 sun; 
I will luve thee still, my dear, 
  While the sands o' life shall run. 

And fare thee weel, my only Luve! 
  And fare thee weel a while! 
And I will come again, my Luve, 
  Tho' it were ten thousand mile.

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • SWG Swiss German (Schwizerdütsch) (August Corrodi) , "Min schatz ist wienes Röseli", first published 1870
  • CZE Czech (Čeština) (Josef Václav Sládek) , "Má milá jest jak růžička"
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GRE Greek (Ελληνικά) [singable] (Christakis Poumbouris) , "Η π’ αγαπώ ’ναι ρόδο ροζ", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • HUN Hungarian (Magyar) (József Lévay) , "Szerelmem, mint piros rózsa..."
  • IRI Irish (Gaelic) [singable] (Gabriel Rosenstock) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)

Note: due to a similarity in first lines, Berg's song O wär' mein Lieb' jen' Röslein roth is often erroneously indicated as a translation of this poem.

1 Beach and Scott: "Luve is"; Bacon: "love's"
2 Scott: "Sae"

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Iain Sneddon [Guest Editor]

2. O whistle and I'll come to you [sung text not yet checked]

O whistle, and I'll come to ye, my lad,
O whistle, and I'll come to ye, my lad;
Tho' father, and mother, and a' should gae mad,
  [Thy Jeanie will venture wi' ye, my lad.]1

But warily tent, when ye come to court me,
And come nae unless the back-yett be a-jee;
Syne up the back-style and let naebody see,
  And come as ye were na comin to me -
  And come as ye were na comin to me. -
     O whistle, and I'll come to ye, my lad...

At kirk, or at market whene'er ye meet me, 
Gang by me as tho' that ye car'd nae a flie;
But steal me a blink o' your bonie black e'e,
  Yet look as ye were na lookin at me -
  Yet look as ye were na lookin at me.
     O whistle, and I'll come to ye, my lad...

Ay vow and protest that ye care na for me,
And whyles ye may lightly my beauty a wee;
But court nae anither, tho' jokin ye be,
  For fear that she wyle your fancy frae me -
  For fear that she wyle your fancy frae me. -
     O whistle, and I'll come to ye, my lad...

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View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Hopekirk

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Andrew Schneider [Guest Editor]

3. My Jean [sung text not yet checked]

Of a' the airts the wind can blaw, 
	I dearly like the west, 
For there the bonnie Lassie lives, 
  The Lassie I lo'e best: 
There's wild-woods grow, and rivers row, 
  And mony a hill between; 
But day and night my fancy's flight 
  Is ever wi' my Jean. 

I see her in the dewy flowers, 
  I see her sweet and fair; 
I hear her in the tunefu' birds, 
  I hear her charm the air: 
There's not a bonnie flower that springs 
  By fountain, shaw, or green; 
There's not a bonnie bird that sings, 
  But minds me o' my Jean.

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

Tune: Miss Admiral Gordon's Strathspey

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. John Anderson, my jo [sung text not yet checked]

John Anderson, my jo, John, 
  When we were first acquent, 
Your locks were like the raven, 
  Your bonie brow was brent; 
But now your brow is beld, John, 
  Your locks are like the snaw; 
But blessings on your frosty pow, 
  John Anderson, my jo! 

John Anderson, my jo, John, 
  We clamb the hill thegither, 
And mony a cantie day, John, 
  We've had wi' ane anither: 
Now we maun totter down, John, 
  But hand in hand we'll go, 
And sleep thegither at the foot, 
  John Anderson, my jo!

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Confirmed with The Complete Poetical Works of Robert Burns, Cambridge edition, Boston and New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1897, page 223.


Researcher for this text: Pierre Mathé [Guest Editor]

5. The Winter it is past [sung text not yet checked]

The Winter it is past, 
and the summer comes at last,
And the small birds, they sing on ev'ry tree;
Now ev'ry thing is glad,
while I am very sad,
Since my true love is parted from me.

The rose upon the brier,
by the waters running clear,
May have charms for the linnet or the bee;
Their little loves are blest,
and their little hearts at rest,
But my true love is parted from me.

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Researcher for this text: Jean Branch