by Robert Burns (1759 - 1796)

Duncan Gray cam here to woo
Language: Scottish (Scots) 
Available translation(s): FRE
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 !

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.


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, adaptations, or excerpts:

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

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

Researcher for this text: Pierre Mathé [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 40
Word count: 245