> Martin Carthy > Songs > Cold Haily Windy Night
> Steeleye Span > Songs > Cold Haily Windy Night
> Eliza Carthy > Songs > Cold Wet and Rainy Night

Cold Haily Windy Night / Cold Blow and a Rainy Night /
Let Me In This Ae Nicht / The Laird o' Windy Wa's

[ Roud 135 ; G/D 4:778 ; Ballad Index DTaenich ; trad.]

This night-visiting song is known as Cold Haily Windy Night and as Cold Blow and a Rainy Night in England but as Let Me In This Ae Nicht and as The Laird o' Windy Wa's in Scotland. “Windy walls” is an euphemism for the outdoors. The protagonist comes to the girl's window in bad weather and begs her to let him in. The girl protests but he convinces her to let him in discreetly. He takes her maidenhead and steals away.

Jeannie Robertson sang The Laird o' Windywa's in 1960 on her Prestige album Scottish Ballads and Folk Songs.

The Exiles sang The Laird o' the Windy Wa in 1967 on their Topic album The Hale and the Hanged.

The Ian Campbell Folk Group learned The Laird o' the Windy Wa's from Jeannie Robertson and sang it in 1967 on their first album after Dave Swarbrick left, New Impressions. Their liner notes commented:

This was learned from Jeannie Robertson on one of the memorable occasions when she visited us in Birmingham. It is a fragment of a larger song, Let Me In This Ae Nicht to be found in Herds Ancient And Modern Scots Songs and in recent editions of the Merry Muses of Caledonia.

Ian Manuel sang Let Me In This Ae Night on his 1977 Topic album The Dales of Caledonia.

Martin Carthy sang Cold Haily Windy Night on his 1971 album Landfall and re-released in 1999 on Martin Carthy: A Collection. He commented in the original album's sleeve notes:

Cold Haily Windy Night is based on the version collected by Baring-Gould in the South West of England. The tune comes from Johnson's Musical Museum, with a composite text. Although this version may not be very old, in its various parts the idea is as old as the hills, for it is to be found, among other places, in the Song of Songs: “Let me in my love, my dove, my undefiled, for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.”

In the same year, Steeleye Span also recorded Cold, Haily, Windy Night for their second album, Please to See the King. Martin Carthy sings the verses with Maddy Prior joining on the chorus while Peter Knight's violin wails on this ghostly tale. The bass of Ashley Hutchings carries the melody with the other instruments accenting the beat. Compare to this the joyful and tender One Night As I Lay on My Bed from their first album: a similar story but this song is harsh and bitter.

A live recording from Steeleye Span's retrospective reunion concert at The Forum, London on September 2, 1995 was released on the 2 CD set The Journey and on the Martin Carthy anthology The Carthy Chronicles.

Planxty sang Cold Blow and the Rainy Night as the title track of their 1974 album Cold Blow and the Rainy Night. The sleeve notes commented:

Many a traveller has found himself locked out on a stormy night but few have had the luck of the hero in Cold Blow and the Rainy Night. Christy [Moore] learned this version from Mike Harding of Crumpsall, Manchester.

Robin Dransfield sang Cold Blow and a Rainy Night to his brother Barry's fiddle accompaniment on their 1976 Free Reed album Popular to Contrary Belief. This track was also included in 2002 on the Free Reed anthology This Label Is Not Removable.

Archie Fisher sang The Laird o' Windy Wa's in 1976 on his Topic album Will Ye Gang, Love, and he sang it as The Laird of Udny in 1988 on his album Off the Map.

Eliza Carthy sang and played this as Cold, Wet and Rainy Night, in 1996 on her CD Heat Light and Sound and on her anthology The Definitive Collection. She commented in her original album's sleeve notes:

From Cecil Sharp's collection of English folk songs in two volumes. One of the many “trick the lass and run off” songs...! The tune [The Grand Hornpipe] is from A Northern Lass compiled by Jamie Knowles.

Chris Wood, Eliza and Martin Carthy and The Young Coppers with Trans-Global Underground sang Cold Hailey Rainy Night in 2007 on The Imagined Village. They also performed it on February 15, 2008 on Later… with Jools Holland:

and at Liverpool Philharmonic on May 25, 2012 with ‘guest’ vocalists Johnny Kalsi and Kevin Boyd:

Jon Boden learned Cold Blow and the Rainy Night from Planxty and sang it as the February 5, 2011 entry of his project A Folk Song a Day.

Lyrics

Jeannie Robertson sings The Laird of Windywa's Archie Fisher sings The Laird of Udny

For I'm the laird o' Windywa's
And I've come here withoot a cause
But I've got mair that thirty fa's
Comin' oot owre the plains
O let me in this ae nicht
This ae ae ae nicht
O let me in this ae nicht
And I'll never seek back again

O I'm the laird o' Udny's Wa's
And I've come here wi' richt guid cause
And I've had mair that thirty fa's
Comin' oot owre the plain
O let me in this ae nicht
This ae ae ae nicht
O let me in this ae nicht
And I'll never speir back again

My mother, she does soundly sleep
And my bedroom door does chirrup and cheep
My bedroom door does chirrup and cheep
And I cannae let ye in
So gang ye hame this ae nicht
This ae ae ae nicht
Gang ye hame this ae nicht
And never speir back again

O I'll oil the door or it be's weet
And it'll neither chirrup or cheep
For it'll neither chirrup or cheep
And I'll get slippin' in
O let me in this ae nicht,
This ae ae ae nicht
O let me in this ae nicht,
And I'll never seek back again

I'll oil your door gin it maun squeak
And it will neither chirrup nor cheep
No it will neither chirrup nor cheep
And I'll get slippin' in
O let me in this ae nicht,
This ae ae ae nicht
O let me in this ae nicht,
And I'll never speir back again

But when he got in he was sae gled
He drewhis bonnet from off of his head
He kissed her on the cheeks so red
And the auld wife heard the din
O but well she likit that ae nicht
That ae ae ae nicht
O weel she likit that ae nicht
She let her laddie in

When he's got in he was sae gled
He's taken his bonnet frae off of his head
And he's kissed her on the cheeks sae red
And the auld wife heard the din
O but well she likit that ae nicht
That ae ae ae nicht
O weel she likit that ae nicht
She let her laddie in

But when he got in he was sae gled
He knockit the bottom-boards oot o' the bed
He stole the lassie's maidenhead
And the auld wife heard the din
O but well she likit that ae nicht
That ae ae ae nicht
O weel she likit that ae nicht
That she let her laddie in

When he got in he was sae gled
He's knockit the bottom-boards oot o' the bed
And he stole the lassie's maidenhead
And the auld wife heard the din
O but well she likit that ae nicht
That ae ae ae nicht
O weel she likit that ae nicht
That she let her laddie in

Martin Carthy sings Cold Haily Windy Night

Oh me hat is frozen to me head
And me feet they are like a lump of lead,
Oh me shoes they are frozen to me feet
With standing at your window.
“Oh let me in,” the soldier cried,
Cold haily windy night,
“Oh let me in,” the soldier cried,
For I'll not come back again oh.”

“Oh me father he watches down on the street,
My mother the chamber keys do keep.
Oh the doors and the windows they do creak
And I dare not let you in oh.”
“Oh let me in,” the soldier cried,
Cold haily windy night,
“Oh let me in,” the soldier cried,
For I'll not come back again oh.”

Oh she's rose up and let him in,
And she's kissed her true love cheek and chin;
She's drawn him between the sheets again
And she opened and let him in oh.
Oh then she has blessed the rainy night,
Cold haily windy night;
Oh then she has blessed the rainy night
That she opened and she let him in oh.

“Oh soldier, soldier, stay with me?
And soldier soldier, won't you marry me?”
“Oh no oh no that ne'er can be
So fare thee well forever.”
Oh then she has wept for the rainy night
Cold haily windy night;
Oh then she has wept for the rainy night
That she opened and she let him in oh.

And he's jumped up all out of the bed
And he's put his hat all on his head,
For she had lost her maidenhead
And her mother has heard the din oh.
Oh then she has cursed the rainy night,
Cold haily windy night;
Oh then she has cursed the rainy night
That she opened and she let him in oh.

Acknowledgements

Transcribed by Garry Gillard from the Landfall version. Martin Carthy's performance on Please to See the King only differs in the odd syllable.