Let Me In This Ae Nicht

DESCRIPTION: The (Laird o' Windy Wa's) comes to the girl's window (in bad weather) and begs her, "Let me in this ae nicht." The girl protests. He convinces her to let him in discreetly. She does, and he takes her maidenhead (waking her mother)) and steals away
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1776 (Herd)
KEYWORDS: sex nightvisit bawdy mother father trick grief courting request rejection storm father lover mother soldier
FOUND IN: Britain(England(Lond),Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (7 citations):
Greig/Duncan4 778, "The Laird o' Windywa's" (3 texts, 1 tune)
Porter/Gower-Jeannie-Robertson-EmergentSingerTransformativeVoice #46, pp. 197-198, "The Laird o' Windy Wa's" (1 text, 1 tune)
Kennedy-FolksongsOfBritainAndIreland 90, "Glaw, Keser, Ergh Ow-cul Yma [It Rains, It Hails and Snows and Blows]" (1 text + Cornish translation, 1 tune)
Reeves/Sharp-TheIdiomOfThePeople 22, "Cold Blow and a Rainy Night" (1 text)
Whitelaw-BookOfScottishSong, p. 245, "Let Me In This Ae Night" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: David Herd,"Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs, Heroic Ballads, etc." (Edinburgh, 1870 (reprint of 1776)), Vol. II, pp. 167-169, "Let Me In This Ae Nicht"

Roud #135
cf. "Aye She Likit The Ae Nicht" (chorus, theme)
cf. "Love Let Me In (Forty Long Miles; It Rains, It Hails)" (plot)
cf. "Rise Up Quickly and Let Me In (The Ghostly Lover)" (plot)
The Laird o Windy Wa's
The Laird o Udny
Cold Haily Windy Night
Cold Blow and a Rainy Night
NOTES [304 words]: This is a complicated story. Kennedy-FolksongsOfBritainAndIreland seems to split this song from "Cold Blow and a Rainy Night" but I unhesitatingly lump them. [As do I - RBW.] The plot combines elements of the first three night-visiting songs cross-referenced, but has a distinctly different ending, more reminiscent of "The Barley Straw."
Kennedy's Cornish words are a revivalist translation from the English. Digital Tradition mentions a 19th-century broadside in Baring Gould's collection, but offers no details, and it's not in Kennedy. - PJS
Archie Fisher and Kennedy both say this is part of a longer song found in Herd. But is it a part, or a relative (compare "Aye She Likit The Ae Nicht")? I flatly don't trust Kennedy's list of versions.
Paul Stamler wanted to file this as "Cold Haily Windy Night," on the basis that it's the one best known to folkies, citing recordings by Steeleye Span and Martin Carthy. But I had already assigned the title I learned.... - RBW
The "laird o' windy-wa's," not capitalized in Herd, seems to me to be a comment rather than a title; after all, in Herd, the singer says "The morn it is the term-day, I maun awa', I canna stay," hardly the statement of a Laird. The "term-day" is the termination day of the farm help hired for six months. (See also, "South Ythsie," "Straloch" and "O Bonny Sandy.")
Kennedy's text, at least, shares little with the Herd or Greig/Duncan4 texts. On the other hand it is very close to Greig/Duncan5 983, "Forty Long Miles" and Kidson's Traditional Tunes pp. 58-59, "Forty Miles." - BS
Porter and Gower note that "Several versions of this old bawdy song, more often than not sung by women and all to the same air, have been current among [Scottish] Northeast travellers" (Porter/Gower-Jeannie-Robertson-EmergentSingerTransformativeVoice, p. 198. - DGE
Last updated in version 5.3
File: DTaenich

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2022 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.