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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

Good Night and Joy

The tune is 'Good Night and Joy Be With Ye' which first appears in recorded history as early as 1625. The lyrics are an adaptation of the poem 'The Soldier's Adieu' which dates from 1808, and was written by Scotland's Robert Tannahill.

The weary sun's gaen down the west,
The birds sit nodding on the tree;
All nature now prepares for rest,
But rest prepared there's none for me.

 The trumpet sounds to war's alarms,
The drums they beat, the fifes they play:
Come, Mary, cheer me wi' thy charms,
For the morn I will be far away.

 Good night, and joy - good night, and joy,
Good night, and joy be wi' you a';
For since it’s so that I must go,
Good night, and joy be wi' you a'!

 I grieve to leave my comrades dear,
I mourn to leave my native shore -
To leave my aged parents here,
And the bonnie lass whom I adore.

 But tender thoughts maun now be hush'd,
When danger calls I must obey;
The transport waits us on the coast,
And the morn I will be far away.

 Adieu, dear Scotia's sea-beat coast!
Though bleak and drear thy mountains be,
When on the heaving ocean cast,
I'll cast a wishful look to thee!

 And now, dear Mary, fare thee well,
May Providence thy guardian be!
Or in the camp, or on the field,
I'll heave a sigh, and think on thee!

'Good Night and Joy' is performed by Ewan McVicar.