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Robert Burns "Comin Thro the Rye" translation

Robert Burns "Comin Thro the Rye" translation

A Poem by Michael R. Burch

Comin Thro the Rye
by Robert Burns
modern English translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

 
Oh, Jenny's all wet, poor body,
Jenny's seldom dry;
She's draggin' all her petticoats
Comin' through the rye.
 

Comin' through the rye, poor body,
Comin' through the rye.
She's draggin' all her petticoats
Comin' through the rye.
 

Should a body meet a body
Comin' through the rye,
Should a body kiss a body,
Need anybody cry?
 

Comin' through the rye, poor body,
Comin' through the rye.
She's draggin' all her petticoats
Comin' through the rye.
 

Should a body meet a body
Comin' through the glen,
Should a body kiss a body,
Need all the world know, then?
 

Comin' through the rye, poor body,
Comin' through the rye.
She's draggin' all her petticoats
Comin' through the rye.

The poem "Comin Thro the Rye" by Robert Burns may be best-known today because of Holden Caulfield's misinterpretation of it in "The Catcher in the Rye." In the book, Caulfield relates his fantasy to his sister, Phoebe: he's the "catcher in the rye," rescuing children from falling from a cliff. Phoebe corrects him, pointing out that poem is not about a "catcher" in the rye, but about a girl who has met someone in the rye for a kiss (or more), got her underclothes wet (not for the first time), and is dragging her way back to a polite (i.e., Puritanical) society that despises girls who are "easy." Robert Burns, an honest man, was exhibiting empathy for girls who were castigated for doing what all the boys and men longed to do themselves. Keywords/Tags: Robert Burns, Jenny, rye, petticoats, Scot, Scots dialect, Scottish, translation, modernization, update, interpretation, modern English, song, wet, body, kiss, gossip, puritanism, prudery
 

© 2020 Michael R. Burch


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Added on April 24, 2020
Last Updated on April 24, 2020
Tags: Robert Burns, Jenny, rye, petticoats, Scot, Scots, Scottish, translation, modernization, update, interpretation, modern English, song, wet, body, kiss, gossip, puritanism, prudery