Can you leave me thus, my Katy


Canst thou leave me thus, my Katy, Canst thou leave me thus, my Katy; Well though know'st my aching heart, And canst thou leave me thus for pity. Is this thy plighted, fond regard, Thus cruelly to part, my Katy: Is this thy faithful swain's reward- An aching broken heart, my Katy. Canst thou leave me thus, my Katy, Canst thou leave me thus, my Katy; Well though know'st my aching heart, And canst thou leave me thus for pity. Farewel! And ne'er such sorrows tear That fickle heart of thine, my Katy! Thou mayest find those will love thee dear But not a love like mine, my Katy. Canst thou leave me thus, my Katy, Canst thou leave me thus, my Katy; Well though know'st my aching heart, And canst thou leave me thus for pity.

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Gary Lewis

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It was written in 1794 and is read here by Gary Lewis.

More about this song

This song was written between 19 and 20 November 1794, and was sent to George Thomson. It is set to the tune of ‘Roy’s Wife’.

In one version of the song ‘Betty’ was substituted for ‘Katie’, which has led to some erroneous suggestions that the song ought to be associated with Elizabeth Riddell, the wife of Burns’s friend Robert Riddell.

However, given that Burns and the Riddells had broken off contact following the over-enthusiastic enactment of the rape of the Sabine women, it is unlikely that Burns would have addressed Elizabeth in this manner.

Ralph McLean

Themes for this song

love anguish unhappiness

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