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Contains some scenes of a sexual nature

Gie The Lass Her Fairing

O gie the lass her fairing, lad, O gie the lass her fairin', An' something else she'll gie to you, That's waly worth the wearin'; Syne coup her o'er amang the creels, When ye hae taen your brandy, The mair she bangs the less she squeels, An' hey for houghmagandie. Then gie the lass a fairin' lad, O gie the lass her fairin', An' sh'ell gie you a hairy thing, An' of it be na sparin'; But coup her o'er amang the creels, An' bar the door wi' baith your heels, The mair she gets the less she squeels; An' hey for houghmagandie.


Crawford Logan
Liam Brennan

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It is read here by Crawford Logan.

More about this song

The song 'Gie the lass her fairin' appears in The Merry Muses of Caledonia (1799) and has been attributed to Robert Burns by the critic W. Scott Douglas. In the absence of any manuscript evidence, or indeed any evidence to the contrary, scholars tentatively reiterate this attribution.

The title and refrain of the song, 'Gie the lass her fairin' encourages men to feed women as a prelude to sex, and so carnal sexuality is placed alongside references to bodily appetites more generally.

The reference to the female genitals, in crude terms, as 'a hairy thing', emphasises that the song is concerned more with the practical, physical mechanics of intercourse than sexual pleasure. Not only this, but the female is depicted as a sexual play-thing, to be 'couped' and 'banged' until she 'squeels'. And so, masculine sexuality is quite clearly the driving force of the song.

Pauline Mackay

Themes for this song

sex bawdry woman

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