I'll mak you be fain to follow me


As late by a sodger I chanced to pass, I heard him a courting a bony young lass; My hinny, my life, my dearest, quo he, I'll mak you be fain to follow me. Gin I should follow you, a poor sodger lad, Ilk ane o' my cummers wad think I was mad; For battles I never shall lang to see, I'll never be fain to follow thee. To follow me, I think ye may be glad, A part o' my supper, a part o' my bed, A part o' my bed, wherever it be, I'll mak you be fain to follow me. Come try my knapsack on your back, Alang the king's high-gate we'll pack; Between Saint Johnston and bony Dundee, I'll mak you be fain to follow me.

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Phil McKee

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It was written in 1790 and is read here by Phil McKee.

Themes for this song

love war

Selected for 10 November

Tomorrow, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, we remember all those who fell in battle, especially the many who perished in the senseless slaughter of the First World War. On the eve of those commemorations we offer this poem about warfare. Needing money and wanting adventure at the age of 23 Burns considered, 'joining up' but never did. A bit of the Bard could still respond to the bugle's siren call however. Here the poet's martial alter ego attempts to win a young woman over to the glory and glamour of life with a military man.

Donny O'Rourke

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