Contains some scenes of a sexual nature

Our John's Brak Yestreen

Twa neebor wives sat i' the sun, A twynin' at their rocks, An' they an argument began, An' a' the plea was cocks. 'Twas whether they were sinnens strang, Or whether they were bane? An' how they row'd about your thumb, And how they stan't themlane? First, Raichie gae her rock a rug, An syne she claw'd her tail; "When our Tam draws on his breeks, It waigles like a flail". Says Bess, "they're bane I will maintain, And proof in han' I'll gie; For our John's it brak yestreen, And the margh ran down my thie".


Daniela Nardini

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It is read here by Daniela Nardini.

More about this song

The bawdy song 'Our John's Brak Yestreen' was published in The Merry Muses of Caledonia in 1799. There is no manuscript evidence to attribute this song to Robert Burns.

However, its presence in The Merry Muses would suggest that Burns collected the song. As such, it might, at the very least, be considered a useful partner piece to Burns's bawdry.

In the song, two women scrutinise their husband's private parts and sexual prowess. This is a common motif of bawdy folk song which can be traced back to medieval times and to the poetry of the Scottish Makars (eg. William Dunbar's 'The Tretis of the Twa Mariit Women and the Wedo).

Pauline Mackay

Themes for this song

man sex

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