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Hey for a Lass wi' a Tocher


Awa wi' your witchcraft o' beauty's alarms, The slender bit beauty you grasp in your arms: O, gie me the lass that has acres o' charms, O, gie me the lass wi' the weel-stockit farms. Then hey for a lass wi' a tocher, then hey for a lass wi' a tocher, Then hey for a lass wi' a tocher, the nice yellow guineas for me. Your beauty's a flower, in the morning that blows, And withers the faster the faster it grows; But the rapturous charm o' the bonie green knowes, Ilk Spring they're new deckit wi' bonie white yowes. Then hey for a lass wi' a tocher, then hey for a lass wi' a tocher, Then hey for a lass wi' a tocher, the nice yellow guineas for me. And e'en when this Beauty your bosom has blest, The brightest o' beauty may cloy when possess'd; But the sweet, yellow darlings wi' Geordie impress'd, The langer ye hae them, - the mair they're carest! Then hey for a lass wi' a tocher, then hey for a lass wi' a tocher, Then hey for a lass wi' a tocher, the nice yellow guineas for me.

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Simon Donald

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It was written in 1796 and is read here by Simon Donald.

Themes for this song

beauty marriage

Selected for 06 March

With the lambing season now underway, here is a poem in praise of new-born ewes, 'bonie white yowes', not as is customary with Burns, symbols of carefree rustic innocence, but in this instance, tokens of wealth. 'Weel-stockit farms', and 'acres o charms' triumph over true love. The idea of an attractive wife with an even more attractive dowry must have had occasional wistful appeal for a poet forced to grovel for patronage, a struggling farmer never able to free himself from worries about money.

Donny O'Rourke

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