Lyrics

Ae fond kiss and then we sever
Ae fareweel and then forever
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee
Warring cries and groans I'll wage thee

I'll ne'er blame my partial fancy
Nothing could resist my Nancy
Just to see her is to love her
Lover but her and love forever

Had we never loved sae kindly
Had we never loved sae blindly
Never loved and never parted
We had ne'er been broken-hearted

Fare-thee-weel, thou first and fairest
Fare-thee-weel, thou best and dearest
Thine be every joy and treasure
Peace, contentment, love and pleasure

Ae fond kiss and then we sever
Ae fareweel, alas, forever
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee
Warring cries and groans I'll wage thee

Robert Burns wrote this poem after the end of his passionate but unusually platonic relationship with the unhappily married Mrs Agnes Craig Maclehose, whom he referred to alternatively as "Nancy" and "Clarinda". Their relationship dwindled after Burns married Jean Armour. Mrs Maclehose subsequently sailed to Jamaica from Leith in February 1792 on an attempt at reconciliation with her husband; this failed as he had taken one of his black slaves as a concubine. Burns originally set this song to the tune Rory Dall's Port.

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