Ae fond kiss (SATB)

Music: Trad. arr. Frances Cockburn. Words: Robert Burns (1759-1796)
performance time approx 3m 00s
Range S: c' – f'' / A: a – d'' / T: c – d' / B: F – f
Price code: C
Complexity: **

See a perusal copy of the music.
Hear a performance
This song of love and heartbreak is based on a real parting between Robert Burns and Agnes MacLehose, a woman who was married but had separated from her husband. Burns and MacLehose were never lovers, but corresponded intimately, using the pen-names Clarinda and Sylvander. Burns sent the poem to MacLehose in 1791, shortly before she left for the West Indies. As it happens, she returned to Scotland six months later, but the two never met again.

Frances Cockburn's gorgeous setting uses three different harmonisations, featuring many 2nds and 9ths that add a little dissonant spice and pain to the sweet declarations of love! A soloist sings the first verse.

The recording is by Rudsambee Company of Singers, directed by the arranger. It is on the album Bottled At Source (RUBEECD003).

Glossary and pronunciation guide included.


Ae fond kiss, and then we sever![one]
Ae fareweel, and then for ever![farewell]
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee!

Who shall say that fortune grieves him
While the star of hope she leaves him?
Me, nae chearfu' twinkle lights me;[no cheerful]
Dark despair around benights me.

Had we never lov'd sae kindly,[so]
Had we never lov'd sae blindly,
Never met - or never parted,
We had ne'er been broken-hearted.

Fare thee weel, thou first and fairest! [well]
Fare thee weel, thou best and dearest!
Thine be ilka joy and treasure,[every]
Peace, Enjoyment, Love, and Pleasure!

Robert Burns

Purchase – 1001: Ae fond kiss (SATB)

Before you click the "buy" button, please enter the name of your group and select the appropriate size.
Name of group
Size of group
The price depends on the number of singers in your group. This is a single payment for a licence to make as many copies as you need for your group to rehearse and perform the song. You can also re-print - for instance, to replace copies that get lost or worn out.

Copies must not be given, lent, hired or sold to any other group.

Orders are normally despatched within 24 hours - not instantly, because each PDF file is created specially for the purchaser.

Canasg sales are processed via Paypal. Paypal lets you pay with a simple credit or debit card if you don't have a Paypal account. Your Paypal transaction will be in sterling and it will be converted automatically if your credit card draws on a different currency. Paypal passes none of your secure information to Canasg.

If you would like us to send an invoice before you pay, or if you would like your order priced in $US or Euros, then please e-mail your order to us instead of using the form above.

Canasg sells sheet music for choirs …

… in PDF format, delivered by e-mail, with a licence to print as many copies, and as often, as you like. The copies are for the exclusive use of one ensemble, and the licence doesn't let you give, lend, hire or sell them to anybody else. Please read the detail before you buy.

Copying permitted (terms and conditions apply!)

When you buy from us, you can make as many copies as you need of the music, and as often as you need - so you can replace lost or worn copies.

Free perusal copies

You can download a sample PDF from this site, and make a printed copy for your own use. It will be overprinted “sample”. It isn't licensed for rehearsal or performance.

Modest prices

We do not charge a price per copy. You pay according to the size of your group.

Keep in touch

You can bookmark this page to help you find it again. For new releases, seasonal suggestions, and other news, we invite you to opt in to our occasional mailing list. Opting out is easy, whenever you want to.

Keep me posted:

Email Marketing by VerticalResponse

"Liking" Canasg on Facebook is another way to get updates.

You can e-mail us via the link at the foot of this page. We're always interested in your suggestions and your experience with using this web site.

Canasg Choral Music Publishing Canasg Music
publishing refreshingly original choral music

16 Morningside Park,
Edinburgh EH10 5HB, Scotland
Contact us