Contains some scenes of a sexual nature

Let me in this ae night


O lassie, art thou sleeping yet, Or are you waking, I wou'd wit? For love has bound me hand and foot, And I wou'd fain be in, jo. O let me in this ae night, this ae, ae, ae night, O let me in this ae night, and I'll ne'er come back again, jo. The morn it is the term-day, I maun away, I canna stay : O pity me, before I gay, And rise and let me in, jo. O let me in this ae night, this ae, ae, ae night, O let me in this ae night, and I'll ne'er come back again, jo. The night it is baith cauld and weet, The morn it will be snaw and sleet, My shoen are frozen to my feet Wi' standing on the plain, jo. O let me in this ae night, this ae, ae, ae night, O let me in this ae night, and I'll ne'er come back again, jo. I am the laird of windy-was, I come na here without a cause, And I hae gotten mony fa's Upon a naked wame o! O let me in this ae night, this ae, ae, ae night, O let me in this ae night, and I'll ne'er come back again, jo. My father's wa'king on the street, My mither the chamber-keys does keep, My chamber-door does chirp and cheep, And I dare nae let you in, jo! O gae your way this ae night, this ae, ae, ae night O gae your way this ae night, for I dare nae let you in, jo! But I'll come stealing saftly in And cannily make little dinn, And then the gate to you I'll find, If you'l but direct me in, jo! O let me in this ae night, this ae, ae, ae night, O let me in this ae night, and I'll ne'er come back again, jo. Cast aff the shoen frae aff your feet, Cast back the door up to the weet, Syne into my bed you may creep And do the thing you ken, jo. O well's on me this ae night, this ae, ae, ae night, O well's on me this ae night, that ere I let you in, jo! She let him in sae cannily, She let him in sae privily, She let him in sae cannily, To do the thing ye ken, jo. O well's on me this ae night, this ae, ae, ae night, O well's on me this ae night, that ere I let you in, jo! But ere a' was done and a' was said, Out fell the bottom of the bed, The lassie lost her maidenhead, And her mither heard the din, jo. O the devil take this ae night, this ae, ae, ae night, O the devil take this ae night, that ere I let ye in, jo!

Listen

Paul Higgins

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It is read here by Paul Higgins.

Themes for this song

seduction sex

Selected for 11 December

Although 'snaw and sleet' are forecast for the next morning, the young man in this, 'night visiting' song is undeterred. Burns's slightly bawdy account of a country lad's walk in the cold and wet so that he might woo his sweetheart in her bedchamber is set to a particularly haunting tune. The poem is presented as a dialogue. Parental blind eyes were often turned to these nocturnal trysts. Sometimes the prudent but permissive mother would bind her daughter restrictingly into the bedsheets. Or a 'bowster' (bolster) might be placed along the length of the girl's bed, leaving room for only limited amorous manoeuvre. Here, however, things have gone a good deal further...

Donny O'Rourke

Skip to top

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.