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Updated 05/01/2013

 


I'll Gang Nae Mair tae Yon Toon
(I'll Go No More to Your Town)
Robert Burns

I'll Gang Nae Mair tae Yon Toon (I'll Go No More to Your Town) appears earliest  in Robert Bremner's 1757 Collection of Scots Reels or Country Dances Robert Burns (25 January 1759 21 July 1796) (also known as Rabbie Burns, Scotland's favorite son, the Ploughman Poet, the Bard of Ayrshire and in Scotland as simply The Bard) was a Scottish poet and a lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English and a "light" Scots dialect, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland. He also wrote in standard English, and in these pieces, his political or civil commentary is often at its most blunt.

He is regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic movement and after his death became a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism. A cultural icon in Scotland and among the Scottish Diaspora around the world, celebration of his life and work became almost a national charismatic cult during the 19th and 20th centuries, and his influence has long been strong on Scottish literature.

I'll gae nae mair tae yon town has been a fruitful source of variants which circulated under various titles.  Miss Lucy Johnston of Hilton was a charming and accomplished beauty at the close of the 18th century; a musician and frequenter of concerts and the dance assembly until she married one Richard Oswald of Auchencruive in 1793. Robert Burns wrote extra verses for the song "I'll gang nae mair to yon toon" in honor of her arrival at her husband's family seat, near where he lived.  She died of tuberculosis four years later, after the birth of two daughters, despite Oswald's efforts to contain the disease by taking her to Portugal.



Lyrics by Robert Burns

Burns Original

Chorus
O, wat ye wha's in yon town
Ye see the e'enin sun upon?
The dearest maid's in yon town
That e'enin sun is shining on!


Now haply down yon gay green shaw
She wanders by yon spreading tree.
How blest ye flowers that round her blaw!
Ye catch the glances o' her e'e.

How blest ye birds that round her sing,
And welcome in the blooming year!
And doubly welcome be the Spring,
The season to my Jeanie dear!

The sun blinks blythe in yon town,
Among the broomy braes sae green;
But my delight in yon town,
And dearest pleasure, is my Jean.

Without my Love, not a' the charms
O' Paradise could yield me joy;
But gie me Jeanie in my arms,
And welcome Lapland's dreary sky!

My cave wad be a lover's bower,
Tho' raging Winter rent the air,
And she a lovely little flower,
That I wad tent and shelter there.

O, sweet is she in yon town
The sinkin sun's gane down upon!
A fairer than's in yon town
His setting beam ne'er shone upon.

If angry Fate be sworn my foe,
And suff'ring I am doom'd to bear,
I'd careless quit aught else below,
But spare, O, spare me Jeanie dear!

For, while life's dearest blood is warm,
Ae thought frae her shall ne'er depart,
And she, as fairest is her form,
She has the truest, kindest heart.

Standard English Translation

Chorus
O, know you who is in yonder town
You see the evening sun upon?
The dearest maid is in yonder town
That evening sun is shining on!


Now happily down yonder gay green woods
She wanders by yonder spreading tree.
How blessed you flowers that round her blow!
You catch the glances of her eyes.

How blessed you birds that round her sing,
And welcome in the blooming year!
And doubly welcome be the Spring,
The season to my Jeanie dear!

The sun shines blythe in yonder town,
Among the broom covered hillsides so green;
But my delight in yonder town,
And dearest pleasure, is my Jean.

Without my Love, not all the charms
Of Paradise could yield me joy;
But give me Jeanie in my arms,
And welcome Lapland's dreary sky!

My cave would be a lover's bower,
Though raging Winter rent the air,
And she a lovely little flower,
That I would tend and shelter there.

O, sweet is she in yonder town
The sinking sun has gone down upon!
A fairer than is in yonder town
His setting beam never shone upon.

If angry Fate be sworn my foe,
And suffering I am doomed to bear,
I would careless quit anything else below,
But spare, O, spare me Jeanie dear!

For, while life's dearest blood is warm,
One thought from her shall never depart,
And she, as fairest is her form,
She has the truest, kindest heart.