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Duncan Macleerie


Duncan Macleerie and Janet his wife, They gaed to Kilmarnock to buy a new knife; But instead of a knife they coft but a bleerie; We're very weel saird, quo' Duncan Macleerie. Duncan Macleerie has got a new fiddle, It's a' strung wi' hair, and a hole in the middle; An' ay when he plays on't, his wife looks sae cheary, Very weel done, Duncan, quo' Janet Macleerie. Duncan he play'd till his bow it grew greasy; Janet grew fretfu', and unco uneasy. Hoot, quo' she, Duncan, ye're unco soon weary; Play us a pibroch, quo' Janet Macleerie. Duncan Macleerie play'd on the harp, An' Janet Macleerie danc'd in her sark; Her sark it was short, her cunt it was hairy, Very weel danc'd, Janet, quo' Duncan Macleerie.

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Denis Lawson

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It is read here by Denis Lawson.

More about this song

'Duncan Macleerie' first appeared in the collection of bawdy songs The Merry Muses of Caledonia.

While there is no manuscript evidence to attribute 'Duncan Macleerie' to Robert Burns, it is likely that the poet collected the song. And so, at the very least we might consider it a useful partner piece to Burns's own bawdry.

Humorous metaphorical references to both male and female private parts (here a 'fiddle' and 'bow') are common in folk bawdry, as are sexually insatiable female characters ('Hoot, quo' she, Duncan, ye're unco soon weary'), and notions of mutual sexual enjoyment.

Pauline Mackay

Themes for this song

sex man woman bawdry

Locations for this song

Kilmarnock

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