“Let Me In This Ae Nicht”

Alternate titles: “The Laird o Windy Wa's”; “The Laird o Udny”; “Cold Haily Windy Night”; “Cold Blow and a Rainy Night”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1976 (recording, Archie Fisher)
Keywords: sex nightvisit bawdy mother father trick grief courting request rejection storm father lover mother soldier
Found in: Britain(Scotland)

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 and steals away

Notes

This is a complicated story. Kennedy 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

Cross references

References

  1. Kennedy 90, "Glaw, Keser, Ergh Ow-cul Yma [It Rains, It Hails and Snows and Blows]" (1 text + Cornish translation, 1 tune)
  2. DT, AENICHT COLDRAIN*
  3. Roud #135
  4. BI, DTaenich