Will ye go to the Indies, my Mary


Will ye go to the Indies, my Mary, And leave auld Scotia's shore; Will ye go to the Indies, my Mary, Across th' Atlantic roar. O sweet grows the lime and the orange, And the apple on the pine; But a' the charms o' the Indies Can never equal thine. I hae sworn by the Heavens to my Mary, I hae sworn by the Heavens to be true; And sae may the Heavens forget me, When I forget my vow! O plight me your faith, my Mary, And plight me your lily-white hand; O plight me your faith, my Mary, Before I leave Scotia's strand. We hae plighted our troth, my Mary, In mutual affection to join: And curst be the cause that shall part us, The hour and the moment o' time!!!

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Phil McKee

About this work

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

Themes for this song

love marriage anguish

Selected for 28 May

Another poem in honour of 'Highland Mary' (see May 14th). Here Burns holds out the prospect of their emigration as a couple. He was to remain in Scotland, but not with 'Mary'. He had given his lover a bible and his pledge. Burns who seems to have seduced and abandoned this young woman from Argyll, promised her much and offered her little, breaking both his word and her heart.

Donny O'Rourke

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