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A Few Songs By Burns

As important as was Robert Burns's contribution to Scots literature with his original poetry, his greater contribution to Scots and to Western culture was his nearly single-handed rescue of the Scots folk music tradition.

Ae Fond Kiss
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 cheerful twinkle lights me;
Dark despair around benights me.

I'll ne'er blame my partial fancy,
Naething could resist my Nancy:
But to see her was to love her;
Love but her, and love for ever.
Had we never lov'd sae kindly,
Had we never lov'd sae blindly,
Never met -- or never parted,
We had ne'er been broken-hearted.

Fare-thee-weel, thou first and fairest!
Fare-thee-weel, thou best and dearest!
Thine be ilka joy and treasure,
Peace, Enjoyment, Love and Pleasure!
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.

The Banks O' Doon
Ye flowery banks o' bonie Doon,
How can ye blume sae fair ?
How can ye chant, ye little birds,
And I sae fu' o care!
Thou'll break my heart, thou bonie bird,
That sings upon the bough!
Thou minds me o' the happy days
When my fause Luve was true.
Thou'll break my heart, thou bonie bird,
That sings beside thy mate;
For sae I sat, and sae I sang ,
And wist na o' my fate.

Aft hae I rov'd by bonie Doon,
To see the woodbine twine;
And ilka bird sang o' its Luve ,
And sae did I o' mine.
Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose,
Upon its thorny tree;
But my fause Luver staw my rose,
And left the thorn wi' me.
Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose,
Upon a morn in June;
And sae I flourished on the morn,
And sae was pu'd or noon.

For A That
Tho' women's minds , like winter winds,
May shift, and turn, an' a' that,
The noblest breast adores them maist --
A consequence I draw that.

Chorus
For a' that, an' a' that,
And twice as meikle's a' that;
The bonie lass that I loe best
She'll be my ain for a' that.

Great love I bear to a' the fair ,
Their humble slave, an' a' that;
But lordly will, I hold it still
A mortal sin to thraw that.
For a' that, &c.

But there is ane aboon the lave ,
Has wit, and sense, an' a' that;
A bonie lass, I like her best,
And wha a crime dare ca' that?
For a' that, &c.

In rapture sweet this hour we meet,
Wi' mutual love an' a' that,

But for how lang the flie may stang ,
Let inclination law that.
For a' that, &c.

Their tricks an' craft hae put me daft .
They've taen me in, an' a' that;
But clear your decks, and here's -- "The Sex!"
I like the jads for a' that.
For a' that, &c.

A Man's A Man For A' That
Is there for honest Poverty
That hings his head, an' a' that;
The coward slave -- we pass him by ,
We dare be poor for a' that!
For a' that, an' a' that.
Our toils obscure an' a' that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The Man's the gowd for a' that.

What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin grey, an' a that;
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine;
A Man's a Man for a' that:
For a' that, and a' that,
Their tinsel show, an' a' that;
The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor,
Is king o' men for a' that.

Ye see yon birkie , ca'd a lord,
Wha struts, an' stares, an' a' that;
Tho' hundreds worship at his word,
He's but a coof for a' that:
For a' that, an' a' that,
His ribband, star, an' a' that:
The man o' independent mind
He looks an' laughs at a' that.

A prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, an' a' that;
But an honest man's abon his might,
Gude faith, he maunna fa' that!
For a' that, an' a' that,
Their dignities an' a' that;
The pith o' sense, an' pride o' worth ,
Are higher rank than a' that.

Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a' that,)
That Sense and Worth , o'er a' the earth,
Shall bear the gree , an' a' that.
For a' that, an' a' that,
It's coming yet for a' that,
That Man to Man, the world o'er,
Shall brothers be for a' that.

My Heart's In The Highlands
Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North,
The birth-place of Valour, the country of Worth ;
Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,
The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.

Chorus:
My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart's in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer;
Chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe,
My heart's in the Highlands, wherever I go.

Farewell to the mountains, high-cover'd with snow,
Farewell to the straths and green vallies below;
Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woods,
Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods.
My heart's in the Highlands, &c.

Scots Wha Hae
Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled,
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led,
Welcome to your gory bed,
Or to Victorie!

Now's the day, and now's the hour;
See the front o' battle lour;
See approach proud Edward's power --
Chains and Slaverie!

Wha will be a traitor knave?
Wha can fill a coward's grave?
Wha sae base as be a Slave?
Let him turn and flee !

Wha , for Scotland's King and Law,
Freedom's sword will strongly draw,
Free-man stand, or Free-man fa' ,
Let him on wi' me!2

By Oppression's woes and pains!
By your Sons in servile chains!
We will drain our dearest veins,
But they shall be free!

Lay the proud Usurpers low !
Tyrants fall in every foe!
Liberty's in every blow! --
Let us Do or Die!

Auld Lang Syne
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne !

Chorus:
For auld lang syne , my dear,
For auld lang syne .
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne .

And surely ye'll be your pint stowp !
And surely I'll be mine!
And we'll tak a cup o'kindness yet,
For auld lang syne .
For auld , &c.

We twa hae run about the braes ,
And pou'd the gowans fine;
But we've wander'd mony a weary fit ,
Sin' auld lang syne .
For auld , &c.

We twa hae paidl'd in the burn ,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin' auld lang syne .
For auld , &c.

And there's a hand, my trusty fere !
And gie's a hand o' thine!
And we'll tak a right gude-willie waught ,
For auld lang syne .
For auld , &c.

Ca' The Yowes Tae The Knowes
Chorus:
Ca' the yowes to the knowes ,
Ca' them where the heather grows,
Ca' them where the burnie rowes ,
My bonie dearie

As I gaed down the water-side,
There I met my shepherd lad:
He row'd me sweetly in his plaid,
And he ca'd me his dearie.
Ca' the yowes , &c.

Will ye gang down the water-side,
And see the waves sae sweetly glide
Beneath the hazels spreading wide,
The moon it shines fu' clearly.
Ca' the yowes , &c.

Ye sall get gowns and ribbons meet,
Cauf-leather shoon upon your feet,
And in my arms ye'se lie and sleep,
An' ye sall be my dearie.
Ca' the yowes , &c.

If ye'll but stand to what ye've said,
I'se gang wi' thee, my shepherd lad,
And ye may row me in your plaid,
And I sall be your dearie.
Ca' the yowes , &c.

While waters wimple to the sea,
While day blinks in the lift sae hie ,
Till clay-cauld death sall blin' my e'e ,
Ye sall be my dearie.
Ca' the yowes , &c.

Green Grow The Rashes
Chorus:
Green grow the rashes , O;
Green grow the rashes , O;
The sweetest hours that e'er I spend,
Are spent amang the lasses, O.

There's nought but care on ev'ry han' ,
In ev'ry hour that passes, O:
What signifies the life o' man,
An' 'twere na for the lasses, O.
Green grow, &c.

The war'ly race may riches chase,
An' riches still may fly them, O;
An' tho' at last they catch them fast,
Their hearts can ne'er enjoy them, O.
Green grow, &c.

But gie me a cannie hour at e'en ,
My arms about my dearie, O;
An' war'ly cares, an' war'ly men,
May a' gae tapsalteerie , O!
Green grow, &c.

For you sae douce , ye sneer at this;
Ye're nought but senseless asses, O:
The wisest man the warl' e'er saw ,
He dearly lov'd the lasses, O.
Green grow, &c.

Auld Nature swears, the lovely dears
Her noblest work she classes, O:
Her prentice han' she try'd on man,
An' then she made the lasses, O.
Green grow, &c.

McPherson's Rant
Farewell, ye dungeons dark and strong,
The wretch's destinie!
M'Pherson's time will not be long
On yonder gallows-tree.

Chorus:
Sae rantingly, sae wantonly,
Sae dauntingly gaed he;
He play'd a spring , and danc'd it round,
Below the gallows-tree.

O, what is death but parting breath?
On many a bloody plain
I've dared his face, and in this place
I scorn him yet again!
Sae rantingly, &c.

Untie these bands from off my hands,
And bring me to my sword;
And there's no a man in all Scotland
But I'll brave him at a word.
Sae rantingly, &c.

I've liv'd a life of sturt and strife;
I die by treacherie:
It burns my heart I must depart,
And not avenged be.
Sae rantingly, &c.

Now farewell light, thou sunshine bright,
And all beneath the sky!
May coward shame distain his name,
The wretch that dares not die!
Sae rantingly, &c.

James M'Pherson, an expert fiddler, was a freebooter who lived a Robin Hood style life until he was captured and hanged at Banff in 1700. His sweetheart had obtained a pardon for him but the local officials had set the village clocks ahead and he was hanged before his time. Tradition has it that his last request was for his fiddle upon which he played the Rant, then he smashed the fiddle over his knee and flung it into his awaiting grave.

Red, Red Rose
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 sun;
And 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' 'twere ten thousand mile!

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