I'll Aye Ca' In By Yon Town


I'll aye ca' in by yon town, And by yon garden-green again; I'll aye ca' in by yon town, And see my bonie Jean again. There's nane sall ken, there's nane can guess What brings me back the gate again, But she, my fairest faithfu' lass, And stownlins we shall meet again. She'll wander by the aiken tree, When trystin time draws near again; And when her lovely form I see, O haith! she's doubly dear again. I'll aye ca' in by yon town, And by yon garden-green again; I'll aye ca' in by yon town, And see my bonie Jean again.

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Bill Paterson

About this work

This is an epitaph by Robert Burns. It is read here by Bill Paterson.

More about this epitaph

Printed by Johnson just months after the poet's death in 1796, this version of 'We'll Gang Nae Mair to Yon Town' finds the poet in familiar territory, describing a tryst between two lovers, and the attendant feelings of anticipation and excitement generated by thinking of their meeting secretly ('stownlins' l.3).

There is slight sense of biographical detail here, in the inclusion of 'Jean' in the chorus, but the meeting and feelings described are universal - what lover has not felt that quickening of pulse when thinking about next meeting their love?

Lisa Harrison

Themes for this epitaph

woman love

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