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My Collier laddie


Whare live ye, my bonie lass, And tell me what they ca' ye? My name, she says, is Mistress Jean, And I follow the Collier laddie. My name, she says, is Mistress Jean, And I follow the Collier laddie. See you not yon hills and dales The sun shines on sae brawlie? They a' are mine, and they shall be thine, Gin ye'll leave your Collier laddie. They a' are mine, and they shall be thine, Gin ye'll leave your Collier laddie. Ye shall gang in gay attire, Weel buskit up sae gaudy; And ane to wait on every hand, Gin ye'll leave your Collier laddie. And ane to wait on every hand, Gin ye'll leave your Collier laddie. Tho' ye had a' the sun shines on, And the earth conceals sae lowly, I wad turn my back on you and it a', And embrace my Collier laddie. I wad turn my back on you and it a', And embrace my Collier laddie. I can win my five pennies in a day And spen't at night fu' brawlie; And make my bed in the Collier's neuk, And lie down wi' my Collier laddie. And make my bed in the Collier's neuk, And lie down wi' my Collier laddie. Loove for loove is the bargain for me, Tho' the wee Cot-house should haud me; And the warld before me to win my bread, And fair fa' my Collier laddie! And the warld before me to win my bread, And fair fa' my Collier laddie!

Listen

Alex Norton

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It was written in 1792 and is read here by Alex Norton.

Themes for this song

love class

Selected for 18 September

In terms of maimings, lives lost and lungs ruined, the price of coal has always been high. Robert Burns lived through the traumatic start of the agrarian and industrial revolutions. In 1959, two hundred years after he was born, 47 miners died at Auchengeich, in Lanarkshire when smoke filled the pit, a thousand feet below ground. That disaster, just one of so many, occurred on September 18th. Vanguard figures in the struggle for votes and rights, miners occupied an important role in Scottish life until government policy in the 1980s closed nearly all the mines. Today's poem celebrates the vigour and attractiveness of a collier laddie whom his sweetheart cannot be persuaded to forsake.

Donny O'Rourke

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