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Rigs o Barley

[ Roud 1024 ; G/D 6:1154 ; Ballad Index DTcornri ; Robert Burns]

Emily Smith sang Robert Burns’ song Rigs o Barley in 2002 on her Foot Stompin’ CD A Day Like Today. She noted:

This is one of Robert Burns’ most well known songs. Given a new melody by Jamie [McClennan] and a tune by Ross [Ainslie] the song has been given a new lease of life but the sentiment remains the same.

Compare this to traditional song The Barley Raking which has the same Roud number 1024.


Emily Smith sings Rigs o Barley

It was upon a Lammas night when corn rigs are bonnie oh
Beneath the moon’s unclouded light I held awa tae Annie oh
The time flew by wi’ tentless heid ’til ’tween the late and early oh
Wi’ sma’ persuasion she agreed tae see me through the barley oh

The sky was blue, the wind was still and the moon was shinin’ clearly oh
I set her doon wi’ right good will amang the rigs o’ barley oh
I kent her heart wis a’ my ain an’ I loved her most sincerely oh
I kissed her o’er an’ o’er again amang the rigs o’ barley oh

Chorus (twice after each verse):
Corn rigs an’ barley rigs, corn rigs are bonnie
I’ll ne’er forget that happy night amang the rigs wi’ Annie oh

I locked her in my fond embrace and her heart was beatin’ rarely oh
Ma blessin’s on that happy place amang the rigs o’ barley oh
But by the moon and stars so bright that shone that hour so clearly oh
She aye shall bless that happy night amang the rigs o’ barley oh

I hae been blithe wi’ comrades dear and I hae been merry drinkin’ oh
I hae been joyful gatherin’ fear and I hae been merry thinkin’ oh
But a’ the pleasures e’er I saw though three times doubled fairly oh
That happy night was worth them a’ amang the rigs o’ barley oh