The Book of Scottish Song/Comin' thro' the rye 1

For other versions of this work, see Comin' Thro' the Rye.

Comin’ thro’ the rye.

[The original old words of "Comin' thro' the rye," or "Gin a body meet a body," cannot be satisfactorily traced. There are many different versions of the song. Some sets embrace such verses as the following:

Gin a body meet a body
Comin' frae the well,
Gin a body kiss a body—
Need a body tell?
Ilka Jenny has her Jocky,
Ne'er a ane ha'e I;
But a' the lads they look at me—
And what the waur am I?

Gin a body meet a body,
Comin' frae the town, (or thro' the broom,)
Gin a body kiss a body—
Need a body gloom? &c.

The following is the version which is given in Johnson's Museum, and which passed through the hands of Burns. The air forms, with slight variation, the third and fourth strains of strathspey called "The Miller's Daughter," in Gow's first Collection.]

Coming through the rye, poor body,
Coming through the rye,
She draiglet a' her petticoatie,
Coming through the rye.
Oh Jenny's a' wat, poor body,
Jenny's seldom dry;
She draiglet a' her petticoatie,
Coming through the rye.

Gin a body meet a body—
Coming through the rye,
Gin a body kiss a body—
Need a body cry?

Gin a body meet a body
Coming through the glen,
Gin a body kiss a body—
Need the warld ken?

Oh Jenny's a' wat, poor body;
Jenny's seldom dry;
She draiglet a' her petticoatie,
Coming through the rye.