Contains some scenes of a sexual nature

Green Sleeves


Green sleeves and tartan ties Mark my truelove where she lies; I'll be at her or she rise, My fiddle and I thegither. Be it by the chrystal burn, Be it by the mill-white thorn, I shall rouse her in the morn, My fiddle and I thegither.

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Gerry Carruthers

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It was written in 1789 and is read here by Gerry Carruthers.

More about this song

A holograph of the song 'Green Sleeves' was discovered among Burns's papers and so it is believed that the poet collected these verses which are thought to be traditional.

Although these lines are somewhat more subtly erotic than Burns's bawdy song included in The Merry Muses of Caledonia (1799), the fiddle is clearly a euphemism.

Pauline Mackay

Themes for this song

love seduction

Selected for 06 April

'For we fight not for glory, nor for riches nor for honour but only and alone for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life'. So proclaimed the Declaration of Arbroath on April 6th, 1320. In 1998, the US Senate designated April, 6th as an annual ‘Tartan Day’, in celebration of America’s Scottish diaspora and its extraordinary achievements. As far as we know, Burns never once wore even a scrap of tartan. After Culloden it was proscribed. But at least the iconic textile design is mentioned in today’s selection.

Donny O'Rourke

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