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Nae Birdies Sang The Mirky Hour
TUNE: Sweet Willy

 

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation

Nae Birdies Sang The Mirky Hour

1.
Nae birdies sang the mirky hour
Amang the braes o' Yarrow,
But slumber'd on the dewy boughs,
To wait the wauk'ning morrow.
2.
' Where shall I gang, my ain true love,
Where shall I gang to hide me;
For weel I ken, i' ye're father's bow'r,
It wad be death to find me.'
3.
' O, go you to yon tavern house,
An' there count o'er your lawin,
An' if I be a woman true,
I'll meet you in the dawin.'
4.
O, he's gone to yon tavern house,
An' ay he counted his lawin,
An' ay he drank to her guid health -
Was to meet him in the dawin.
5.
O, he's gone to yon tavern house,
An' counted owre his lawin,
When in there cam three armed men
To meet him in the dawin.
6.
' O, woe be unto woman's wit,
It has beguiled many!
She promised to come hersel,
But she sent three men to slay me.'
* * * * *
7.
' Get up, get up, now Sister Ann,
I fear we've wrought you sorrow;
Get up, ye'll find your true love slain
Among the banks of Yarrow.
8.
She sought him east, she sought him west,
She sought him braid and narrow,
Till in the clintin of a craig,
She found him drown'd in Yarrow.
9.
She's ta'en three links of her yellow hair
That hung down long and yellow;
And she's tied it about sweet Willie's waist,
An' drawn him out of Yarrow.
* * * * *
10.
I made my love a suit of clothes,
I clad him all in tartan;
But ere the morning sun arose
He was a' bluid to the gartan.
* * * * *

 

No Birds Sang The Dark Hour


No birds sang the dark hour
Among the hill slopes or Yarrow,
But slumbered on the dewy boughs,
To wait the wakening to-morrow (morning).

' Where shall I go, my own true love,
Where shall I go to hide me;
For well I know, in your father's bower,
It would be death to find me.'

' O, go you to yonder tavern house,
And there count over your reckoning,
And if I be a woman true,
I will meet you in the dawning.'

O, he is gone to yonder tavern house,
And yes he counted his reckoning,
And yes he drank to her good health -
Was to meet him in the dawning.

O, he is gone to yonder tavern house,
And counted over his reckoning,
When in there came three armed men
To meet him in the dawning.

' O, woe be unto woman's wit,
It has beguiled many!
She promised to come herself,
But she sent three men to slay me.'
* * * * *

' Get up, get up, now Sister Ann,
I fear we have worked you sorrow,
Get up, you will find your true love slain
Among the banks of Yarrow.

She sought him east, she sought him west,
She sought him broad and narrow,
Till in the cleft of a crag (rock),
She found him drowned in Yarrow.

She has taken three locks of her yellow hair
That hung down long and yellow;
And she has tied it about sweet Willie's waist,
And drawn him out of Yarrow.
* * * * *

I made my love a suit of clothes,
I clad him all in tartan;
But ere the morning sun arose
He was all blood to the garter.
* * * * *

 

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