Comin thro' the Rye

Original Text: 
Robert Burns, Songs, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect (Kilmarnock: James M'Kie, 1869): IV, 211-12 (first setting), 213 (second setting). PR 4300 1786ab K5
1.2     Comin thro' the rye,
1.4     Comin thro' the rye.
[CHORUS.]
1.5          Oh Jenny 's a' weet poor body
1.6               Jenny 's seldom dry,
1.7          She draigl't a' her petticoatie
1.8               Comin thro' the rye.
1.10     Comin thro' the rye,
1.11Gin a body kiss a body --
1.12     Need a body cry.
1.13          Oh Jenny 's a' weet, &c.
1.14Gin a body meet a body
1.16Gin a body kiss a body --
1.18          Oh Jenny 's a' weet, &c.
[Second Setting]
2.1Gin a body meet a body, comin thro' the rye,
2.2Gin a body kiss a body, need a body cry;
2.5Gin a body meet a body, comin frae the well,
2.6Gin a body kiss a body, need a body tell;
2.7Ilka body has a body, ne'er a ane hae I,
2.8But a the lads they loe me, and what the waur am I.
2.9Gin a body meet a body, comin frae the town,
2.11Ilka Jenny has her Jockey, ne'er a ane hae I,
2.12But a' the lads they loe me, and what the waur am I.

Notes

1.1] The first setting is clearly Burns' own; the second setting is unsigned but widely accepted as his.
For the melody, and a text based on a collation of early manuscripts and printed texts, see The Poems and Songs of Robert Burns, ed. James Kinsley (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968): II, 843-44.
rye: grass grown for grain. Back to Line
1.3] draigl't: draggled, made wet and soiled by dragging, or lying down. Back to Line
1.9] Gin: if (perhaps from "gif"). Back to Line
1.15] glen: lonely narrow valley. Back to Line
1.17] ken: know. Back to Line
2.3] Ilka: every.
ne'er a ane hae I: never a one have I (meaning, perhaps, that she believes herself unattractive). Back to Line
2.4] loe: love.
waur: worse off. Back to Line
2.10] gloom: act sullen. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.