Tuesday, 6 January 2015

A Red, Red Rose by Robert Burns

A Red, Red Rose
courtesy of Scott Branson (Flickr)
Creative Commons



A Red, Red Rose
by Robert Burns 
(1794)

My love is like a red, red rose
   That’s newly sprung in June :
My love is like the melody
   That’s sweetly played in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
   So deep in love am I :
And I will love thee still, my dear,
   Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
   And the rocks melt wi’ the sun :
And I will love thee still, my dear,
   While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only love,
   And fare thee weel a while !
And I will come again, my love,
   Thou’ it were ten thousand mile.


Robert Burns Portrait (1787)
by Alexander Naysmith
source Wikipedia



This is my first choice for the Deal Me In Challenge.  It is a poem put to song based on a familiar song that Burns had heard.  It's structured in four quatrains (four-line stanzas).  Using similes and hyperbole, the writer expresses his great love for a fair, "bonnie lass" and the poem's repetition enforces his feelings.  Initially he likens his love to a rose, a melody, and then declares the endurance of that love.  At the end of the poem it seems the writer has to go away for awhile, which is perhaps why he has written the poem. so that his sweetheart will know the strength of his feelings and of his constancy.

So far my favourite Burns poem is To A Mouse, but I really appreciate the straight-forward honesty of this one.  I'm so used to little teasings and wittiness from Burns, but this poem is quite delightful!

And for Marianne, here is the poem put to music (the poem begins at about 0:40, for those who don't like long introductions):




Deal Me In Challenge - Queen of Diamonds #1




21 comments:

  1. This one is really pretty read aloud. Which we could hear the Scottish accent. :)

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    1. Your wish is my command, Marianne! Thanks for the suggestion. The song is lovely!

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    2. Oh, my! That's just beautiful! I love the accent. :D

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  2. Lovely poem. Not heard a lot of Burns but do like him. Emma

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    1. I'm beginning to like him more and more. I have a wonderfully old volume of his poetry and I hope to read more of it.

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  3. Oh, I love this! :) "Till a’ the seas gang dry." - I can *hear* that. Such a lovely poem!

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    1. I just put up a video thanks to Marianne, so you can "hear" it now if you like!

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  4. I sang this as part of a mass choir in high school. Absolutely gorgeous!

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    1. What an experience! Whenever I post on poetry, I think people won't be that interested, but it's been so rewarding to learn about people's interactions with it throughout their lives. It's great!

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  5. Oh! I love this one...I love the sentiment...I must dig up more Robert Burns! I loved the "Scottish intonation" in the song as well. Thank you Cleo...made my day!

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    1. Oh, I'm so glad! I actually listened to this again this morning because it's so lovely. It may be a daily occurrence for awhile.

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  6. I first "met" this poem via the classic film adaptation of Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth starring... Pat Boone(!) He sings it to his sweetheart early in the picture. I couldn't find a clip of that scene, but there was a recording on YouTube: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cFQ5UH7yhpk

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    1. Another interesting story connected to this poem! Wow, Pat Boone! I haven't heard of him in awhile. A very different rendition. Thanks for sharing it.

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  7. I grew up listening to Andy Stewart. He's been very popular in Scotland for years & was one of my dad's favourite Scottish singers.

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    1. Andy Stewart's a new discovery, I think. I'll have to investigate what else he sings. I loved this song! And thanks for the tip below .....

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  8. PS Also love that poem. Eva Cassidy does a lovely version also but she's not a Scot.

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    1. I'll have to check her out. Thanks for the tip!

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  9. My introduction to this poem was through the song, which was sung on Celtic Thunder. :) It really is very sweet!

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    1. Ah! Can you believe I had to look up Celtic Thunder. But now I know who they are so we're all good. :-)

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  10. Replies
    1. Thanks! Yes, I think I found a winner!

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