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Cauld Frosty Morning


'Twas past ane o'clock in a cauld frosty morning, When cankert November blaws over the plain, I heard the kirk-bell repeat the loud warning, As, restless, I sought for sweet slumber in vain: Then up I arose, the silver moon shining bright; Mountains and valleys appearing all hoary white; Forth I would go, amid the pale, silent night, And visit the Fair One, the cause of my pain. Sae gently I staw to my lovely Maid's chamber, And rapp'd at her window, low down on my knee; Begging that she would awauk from sweet slumber, Awauk from sweet slumber and pity me: For, that a stranger to a' pleasure, peace and rest, Love into madness had fired my tortur'd breast; And that I should be of a' men the maist unblest, Unless she would pity my sad miserie! My True-love arose and whispered to me, (The moon looked in, and envy'd my Love's charms;) 'An innocent Maiden, ah, would you undo me!' I made no reply, but leapt into her arms: Bright Phebus peep'd over the hills and found me there; As he has done, now, seven lang years and mair: A faithfuller, constanter, kinder, more loving Pair, His sweet-chearing beam nor enlightens nor warms.

Listen

Gary Lewis

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It was written in 1790 and is read here by Gary Lewis.

More about this song

Cauld Frosty Morning is Burns’s attempt to create a Scottish version of the Colley Cibber song, ‘Twas past twelve o’clock on a fine summer morning’.

James Kinsley in his commentary on Burns’s poetry and songs concluded that it was a piece of doggerel which was below the level of Burns’s worst, and that the song which appeared in the Scots Musical Museum had little that was to be admired.

Nevertheless, Burns did have a hand in its creation.

Ralph McLean

Themes for this song

love unhappiness

Selected for 17 November

In chilly November farmland is frequently hard, hoary and webbed with silver. There's more than a just a touch of 'cankert' November frost in today's selection.

Donny O'Rourke

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