I Love My Love In Secret


My Sandy gied to me a ring, Was a' beset wi' diamonds fine; But I gied him a far better thing, I gied my heart in pledge o' his ring. My Sandy O, my Sandy O, My bonie , bonie Sandy O; Tho' the love that I owe To thee I dare na show, Yet I love my love in secret, my Sandy O. My Sandy brak a piece o' gowd , While down his cheeks the saut tears row'd; He took a hauf , and gied it to me, And I'll keep it till the hour I die. My Sandy O, my Sandy O, My bonie , bonie Sandy O; Tho' the love that I owe To thee I dare na show, Yet I love my love in secret, My Sandy O, &c.

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Hannah Gordon

About this work

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

More about this song

Based an 'old rude song' from the 17th century, I Love My Love in Secret has a various provenance of airs and original words, with the later lines (ll.9-12) definitely Burns' addition.

The subject, too, references a long-standing tradition of the giving of love-tokens in lieu of public courtship ('the love that I owe to thee I dare na show').

It is perhaps easy to read shades of Burns' own courtship of Jean Armour in the secret pledging between lovers, but the poem does not expressly direct readers there.

Lisa Harrison

Themes for this song

love regret

Selected for 15 February

Let's allow love to linger a wee while yet. It seems churlish, with so many Burnsian love tokens to choose from, not to have a little leftover romance, even if it has to remain furtive...

Donny O'Rourke

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