Corn Rigs


It was upon a Lammas night, When corn rigs are bonie, Beneath the moon's unclouded light, I held awa to Annie: The time flew by, wi' tentless heed, Till 'tween the late and early; Wi' sma' persuasion she agreed, To see me thro' the barley. Corn rigs, an' barley rigs, An' corn rigs are bonie: I'll ne'er forget that happy night, Amang the rigs wi' Annie. The sky was blue, the wind was still, The moon was shining clearly; I set her down, wi' right good will, Amang the rigs o' barley: I ken't her heart was a' my ain; I lov'd her most sincerely; I kiss'd her owre and owre again, Amang the rigs o' barley. I lock'd her in my fond embrace; Her heart was beating rarely: My blessings on that happy place, Amang the rigs o' barley! But by the moon and stars so bright, That shone that hour so clearly! She ay shall bless that happy night Amang the rigs o' barley. I hae been blythe wi' Comrades dear; I hae been merry drinking; I hae been joyfu' gath'rin gear; I hae been happy thinking: But a' the pleasures e'er I saw, Tho' three times doubl'd fairly, That happy night was worth them a', Amang the rigs o' barley. Corn rigs, an' barley rigs, An' corn rigs are bonie: I'll ne'er forget that happy night, Amang the rigs wi' Annie.

Listen

Crawford Logan

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It was written between 1771 and 1779 and is read here by Crawford Logan.

More about this song

Burns reworked this song around the year 1782.

The air itself, ‘Corn Rigs’ was a popular choice for song writers, most notably Allan Ramsay who used it for ‘My Patie is a Lover Gay’ in his pastoral play, The Gentle Shepherd (1725).

Corn Rigs refers to a drainage system which was achieved by dividing fields into ridges around three feet high, and then ploughing then from end to end, the resulting furrows would drain excess water from the one above it.

The Annie of the second stanza is a reference to Anne Rankine, the youngest daughter of John Rankine of Adamhill. She married John Merry, the inn-keeper at New Cumnock, where Burns stayed in August 1786.

Ralph McLean

Themes for this song

seduction nature love

Selected for 29 August

In this the month of Lammas celebrations, a light-hearted early love song from harvest time, always an important season, both practically and symbolically, for Burns the farmer. And for Robert the ladies' man in pursuit of ripening and abundant charms.

Donny O'Rourke

Skip to top

BBC navigation

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.