When the Kye Comes Hame
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


Information
Lyrics
(Kye means cow or cattle.)

The words are by James Hogg (The Ettrick Shepherd) and though the tune is based on an older air according to The Popular Songs and Melodies of Scotland by Farquhar Graham, Hogg had "considerably altered" the air. The older air Hogg adapted was The Blaithrie o't.

James Hogg (1770-1835), also wrote/adapted the tune or words to

Come all ye jolly shepherds,
That whistle through the glen.
I'll tell ye o' a secret
that courtiers dinna ken.
What is the greatest bliss
That the tongue o' man can name
'Tis to woo a bonnie lassie
When the kye comes hame.

Chorus:
When the kye comes hame
When the kye comes hame,
When the kye comes hame,
Tween the gloamin' and the mirk,
When the kye comes hame.

'Tis not beneath the burgonet
Nor yet beneath the crown,
'Tis not on couch of velvet
Nor yet on bed of down;
'Tis beneath the spreading birch
In the dell without a name,
Wi' a bonnie, bonnie lassie
When the kye comes hame.

Awa' wi' fame and fortune:
What comforts can they gi'e?
And a' the arts that prey upon
Man's life and liberty!
Gi'e me the highest joy
That the heart o' man can frame:
My bonnie, bonnie lassie
When the kye comes hame.
Related Links
From The New Scottish Song Book
See Bibliography for full information.