A Lass Wi A Tocher

Awa' wi' your witchcraft o' Beauty's alarms, The slender bit Beauty you grasp in your arms, O, gie me the lass that has acres o' charms, O, gie me the lass wi' the weel-stockit farms. Chorus: Then hey, for a lass wi' a tocher, Then hey, for a lass wi' a tocher; Then hey, for a lass wi' a tocher; The nice yellow guineas for me. Your Beauty's a flower in the morning that blows, And withers the faster, the faster it grows: But the rapturous charm o' the bonie green knowes, Ilk spring they're new deckit wi' bonie white yowes. Then hey, for a lass, &c. And e'en when this Beauty your bosom hath blest The brightest o' Beauty may cloy when possess'd; But the sweet, yellow darlings wi' Geordie impress'd, The langer ye hae them, the mair they're carest. Then hey, for a lass, &c.


John Gordon Sinclair

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It was written in 1796 and is read here by John Gordon Sinclair.

More about this song

This piece was written by Burns near the end of his life and was published posthumously by his correspondent George Thomson.

Sung to the Irish traditional tune Balinamona and Ora, this poem is unusual for Burns as it sees him praise money and property over the beauty of his intended.

It is possible that this was pragmatism on Burns part, merely writing what he thought Thompson would wish to hear. This is borne out in correspondence between the two in February 1796, where Thompson says of the poem 'It is the first time I have seen you debasing the god of self-desire into an amateur of acres and guineas'. This was intended as a compliment apparently.

Alistair Braidwood

Themes for this song

greed love marriage

Locations for this song


Skip to top

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.