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Brose and Butter


Jenny sits up i' the laft, Jockie wad fain a been at her; But there cam a wind out o' the west Made a' the winnocks to clatter. O Gie my love brose, lasses; O gie my love brose and butter; For nane in Carrick wi' him Can gie a cunt its supper. The laverock lo'es the grass, The paetrick lo'es the stibble: And hey, for the gardiner lad, To gully awa wi' his dibble! My daddie sent me to the hill To pu' my Minnie some heather; An' drive it in your fill, Ye're welcome to the leather. The Mouse is a merry wee beast, The Moudiewart wants the een; And O' for a touch o' the thing I had in my nieve yestreen. We a' were fou yestreen, The night shall be its brither; And hey, for a roaring pin To nail twa wames thegither! O Gie my love brose, lasses; O gie my love brose and butter; For nane in Carrick wi' him Can gie a cunt its supper.

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Juliet Cadzow

About this work

This is a poem by Robert Burns. It is read here by Juliet Cadzow.

More about this poem

James De Lancey Ferguson reckoned that Brose and Butter was the earliest surviving work of Burns as a collector of folk-songs.

It is an extensive adaptation of an old Ayrshire ballad full of bawdry. The poem is laced with innuendo, the term brose and butter, for example, is a reference to semen.

‘grass’ and ‘stibble’ are metaphors for female pubic hair, while ‘dibble’, ‘Mouse’, and ‘Moudiewart’ all refer to the penis.

Ralph McLean

Themes for this poem

sex

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