Davy Arthur                       [A Night-Visiting song]                                   SA1980.06.4

There are many diverse themes that have become attached to this lovely night-visiting song.  Davy said afterwards that this was the version popularised by The Corries folk group.  It was known throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland as well as in the maritime provinces of America.  Forty-nine versions are listed in the Steve Roud Index (no. 22568).

We get a hint of the supernatural in this version but in some versions it is even more explicit, where the night visitor is manifestly the ghost of a lover drowned at sea, as in the longest of our  broadsheet ballads on our website – Young Gregor’s Ghost.

I must away love, I can no longer tarry,
The morning tempest I have to cross.
I will be guided wi’out a stumble
Into the arms I love the best.

And when he came up tae his true love’s dwelling
And when he  knelted doon upon a stane,
And through her window he whispered softly
“Is my true lover within at hame?”

“Wake up, wake up, love, it is your own true lover,
Wake up, wake up, my love, and let me in;
For I come love, a long, long journey,
And I am drenched right through my skin.”

She raised her up in the greatest pleasure,
She raised her up, aye and let him in,
And they kiss’d and embraced each other
Till in the morning lay as one.   

I must away now, I can no longer tarry,
The morning tempest I have to cross.
For I’ll be guided without a stumble
Back tae the arms I love the best.
Back tae the arms I love the best.