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The lea-rig


When o'er the hill the eastern star Tells bughtin-time is near, my jo, And owsen frae the furrow'd field Return sae dowf and weary O; Down by the burn where scented birks Wi' dew are hangin clear, my jo, I'll meet thee on the lea-rig, My ain kind Dearie O. At midnight hour, in mirkest glen, I'd rove and ne'er be irie O, If thro' that glen I gaed to thee, My ain kind Dearie O: Altho' the night were ne'er sae wet, And I were ne'er sae weary O, I'll meet thee on the lea-rig, My ain kind Dearie O. The hunter lo'es the morning sun; To rouse the mountain deer, my jo; At noon the fisher seeks the glen, Adown the burn to steer, my jo: Gie me the hour o' gloamin grey, It maks my heart sae cheary O To meet thee on the lea-rig, My ain kind Dearie O.

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Laura Fraser

About this work

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

Themes for this song

nature love supernatural

Selected for 17 January

The landscape of love, loss and longing so powerfully present in Burns's poems and songs was also the inhospitable habitat from which he had to wrest an uncertain living. But, at working day's end, the sheltered edge of a ploughed field could be a trysting place too. The 'lea-rig', that narrow strip or ridge of tenant farmed, pasture-land left untilled, is sufficient setting for 'rustic' romance. Yet the yearning given vent to, rings right and real as the Ayrshire back-drop to it and the drowsy oxen trudging to the byre. Not even the gloom of gloaming can keep the lover from his lass in this ineffably beautiful lyric with its deep delving, high topped, heart meltingly wistful tune.

Donny O'Rourke

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