John Anderson, My Jo

Melody -

ca. 1744; Robert Burns, 1789 version below

John Anderson, my jo, John
I wonder what you mean
To lie sae lang in the morning
And sit sae late at e'en
Ye'll bleer a' your een, John
And why do you so?
Come sooner to your bed at een
John Anderson, my jo.

2. John Anderson, my jo, John
When first that ye began
Ye had as good a tail-tree
As ony ither man
But now its waxen wan, John
And wrinkles to and fro
I've twa gae-ups for ae gae-down
John Anderson, my jo.

3. I'm backit like a salmon
I'm brestit like a swan
My wame it is down-cod
My middle ye may span
Frae my tap-knot to my tae, John
I'm like the new fa'n snow
And its a' for your conveniency
John Anderson, my jo.

4. O it is a fine thing
To keep out o'er the dyke
But it is a mickle finer thing
To see your hurdies fyke
To see your hurdies fyke, John
And hit the rising blow
Its then I like your chanter pipe
John Anderson, my jo.

5. When ye came on before, John
See that ye do your best
When ye begin to haud me
See that ye grip me fast
See that ye grip me fast, John
Until that I cry, Oh
Your back shall crack or I do that
John Anderson, my jo.

6. John Anderson, my jo, John
Ye're welcome when you please
It's either in the warm bed
Or else aboon the claes
Or ye shall hae the horns, John
Upon your head to grow
An that's the cuckold's mallison,
John Anderson, my jo.

Robert Burns' version

John Anderson, my jo, John,
When we were first acquent;
Your locks were like the raven,
Your bonie brow was brent;
But now your brow is beld, John,
Your locks are like the snaw;
But blessings on your frosty pow,
John Anderson, my jo.
2. John Anderson, my jo, John,
We clamb the hill the gither;
And mony a cantie day, John,
We've had wi' ane anither:
Now we maun totter down, John,
And hand in hand we'll go,
And sleep thegither at the foot,
John Anderson, my jo.


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