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The Gowden Locks of Anna

Yestreen I had a pint o' wine, A place where body saw na ; Yestreen lay on this breast o' mine The gowden locks of Anna. The hungry Jew in wilderness, Rejoicing o'er his manna, Was naething to my hinny bliss Upon the lips of Anna. Ye monarchs, take the East and West Frae Indus to Savannah; Gie me, within my straining grasp, The melting form of Anna: There I'll despise Imperial charms, An Empress or Sultana, While dying raptures in her arms I give and take wi' Anna! Awa , thou flaunting God of Day! Awa , thou pale Diana! Ilk Star, gae hide thy twinkling ray, When I'm to meet my Anna! Come, in thy raven plumage, Night, (Sun, Moon, and Stars, withdrawn a' ;) And bring an angel-pen to write My transports with my Anna! Postscript The Kirk an' State may join an' tell, To do sic things I maunna : The Kirk an' State may gae to hell, And I'll gae to my Anna. She is the sunshine o' my e'e , To live but her I canna ; Had I on earth but wishes three, The first should be my Anna.


Robbie Coltrane

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It is read here by Robbie Coltrane.

Themes for this song


Selected for 31 March

On the last day of March, 1791, Helen Anne Park, a barmaid at the Globe Tavern in Dumfries, gave birth to Burns's daughter, Elizabeth. His wife, Jean Armour, herself expecting a son within the week, once again, took in the illegitimate offspring of another woman. 'Oor Robbie should have had twa wives' was her tolerant, and astute reaction to news of Anna Park's pregnancy. Never much of a reader, Jean may have been unaware of the lyric her husband wrote for his 'Anna'. It was the poet's favourite amongst his hundreds of love songs. And if Jean did see or hear the verses in praise of her (latest) rival? Insult added to injury perhaps? There was certainly much to be jealous about.

Donny O'Rourke

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