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O, Can Ye Labour Lea
TUNE: (As Title)


Burns Original

Standard English Translation

O, Can Ye Labour Lea

O, can ye labour lea, young man,
O, can ye labour lea?
Gae back the gate ye came again -
Ye's never scorn me!
I fee'd a man at Martinmas
Wi' airle-pennies three;
But a' the faut I had to him
He couldna labour lea.
(Note:- Martinmas is the mass or feast of St Martin
. Hansel-(pennies), hansel also handsel is a gift at
New Year or an inaugural gift, or earnest money, in
this case it was a down payment for wages to come,
obviously she was not satisfied.)
O, clappin's guid in Febarwar,
An' kissin's sweet in May;
But what signifies a young man's love,
An't dinna last for ay?
O, kissin is the key o' love
An' clappin is the lock;
An' makin of's the best thing
That e'er a young thing got!


O, Can You Labour Land

O, can you labour land, young man,
O, can you labour land?
Go back the way you came again -
You shall never scorn me!

I hired a man at Martinmas
With hansel- pennies three;
But all the fault I had to (with) him
He could not labour land.

O, stroking is good in February,
And kissing is sweet in May;
But what signifies a young man's love,
If it does not last for always?

O, kissing is the key of love
And stroking is the lock;
And making of it is the best thing
That ever a young thing got!


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