Traditional Scottish Songs
- The Rigs o' Barley

This song (to the tune "Corn Rigs") was composed by Robert Burns from a traditional ballad. The "Annie" in the first stanza is Anne Rankine, youngest daughter of John Rankine of Adamhill. Despite Burns' reputation with the lassies, it is unlikely that Burns had any relationship with Annie - she married John Merry, inn-keeper at New Cumnock, in the same year that Burns wrote the song. But the poet lodged at the inn in New Cumnock four years later.

The Rigs o' Barley

   Corn rigs, an barley rigs,
   An corn rigs are bonie:
I'll ne'er forget that happy night,
   Amang the rigs wi Annie.

It was upon a Lammas night,
   When corn rigs are bonie,
Beneath the moon's unclouded light,
   I held awa to Annie;
The time flew by, wi tentless heed;
   Till, 'tween the late and early,
Wi sma' persuasion she agreed
   To see me thro the barley.


The sky was blue, the wind was still
   The moon was shining clearly.,
I set her down, wi right good will,
   Amang the rigs o barley:
I ken't her heart was a' my ain;
   I lov'd her most sincerely;
I kiss'd her owre and owre again,
   Amang the rigs o barley.


I lock'd her in my fond embrace;
   Her heart was beating rarely:
My blessings on that happy place,
   Amang the rigs o barley!
But by the moon and stars so bright,
   That shone that hour so clearly!
She ay shall bless that happy night
   Amang the rigs o barley.


I hae been blythe wi comrades dear;
   I hae been merry drinking;
I hae been joyfu gath'rin gear;
   I hae been happy thinking:
But a' the pleasures e'er I saw,
   Tho three times doubl'd fairly
That happy night was worth them a',
   Amang the rigs o barley.


Meaning of unusual words:
Rigs=narrow strip of land, ridge
Lammas=legal quarter day on 1 August
tentless heed=without a care
gath'rin gear=earning money

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