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Coming Through The Rye

Robert Burns

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Added by: G. Baird
Don't any of you guys have access to a dictionary? Where's the problem? If you don't understand something, look it up! If you can't find it, use a better dictionary, one with Scots vocabulary, which is not an unexpected thing to come across in a Scottish poem by a Scottish writer, after all. Don't blame the writer for your own ignorance or laziness.
Added by: dan
in "the catcher in the rye", it has nothing to do with sex. holden merely misinterpreted the poem, showing his imperfection and immaturity. he heard the boy in the street singing the song, so he connected it with children. he simply wants to save children, like his sister, from growing up and dealing with the things he has to deal with. he sees how happy and blissful little kids are and realizes, he used to be like that until he started to grow up. he wants kids to always be kids, blissful, free, careless. he wants to save them before they fall off the cliff and become what he has grown to resent. old.
sex or innocence
Added by: woodchuck
It's both. Holden is hoping that he can save other children from the phoniness of adult life but also from the sexual aspects of it which give him so much trouble. The poem itself is talking about how if two people meet and have a sexual relationship alone should they have to tell the world? Although this is not its relation to Catcher it is the meaning. THe poem is really there because of Holden's mistake in saying if a body catch a body instead if a body meet a body. He's thinking in safety terms for the young and innocent. He doesn't realize that he is misconstruing the point of the poem and actually flipping the meaning by saying that someone caught the two lovers in the Rye.
Oh and Rye alcohol is really not the meaning although it can be associated with it now in the US, Catcher is not using alcohol because Holden does in fact not worry about alochol but rather the corruption of innocence in the form of lies and sexual activity.
Connection to Catcher
Added by: R. Krebs
The above comments were very helpful. The allusions to the sexuaiity in Burn's poem and 'distortions' of a life contorted by alcohol are getting at it some but not really. I think the catcher in the book is not Holden at first, but Phoebe. Of all the characters Phoebe stops Holden in his tracks (catcher - doesn't Holden put his [ball] cap on her head?) and stops him from running away (falling off the cliff) ultimately. As a child she embodies the perfect honesty, energy, fun, intelligence, stubborn good nature and innocense he feels he's losing. Ackley (the suicide at school) fell off the cliff (through the rye) trying to be accepted. After Holden's interaction with Phoebe (end of the book) he goes to a therapist to get help, does not commit suicide and does not run away. We are the therapist. Holden opens the book like he's sitting on our therapist couch for his session: "If you really want to know about this I'll tell you...". The language is all self-confessional and stream-of-consciousness like he's remembering the whole thing on our therapist's recliner. By our reading this book and how he was saved by the innocense of Phoebe he becomes THE catcher in the rye he always wanted to be, for all time (frozen in this book) catching and saving each of us (as readers) one by one before we fall off the cliff and either commit suicide (by thinking the world MIGHT BE like Holden describes and Ackley felt) or become a "phoney" and act like all the people in the book we've met in real life who really ARE phoney. That's my take and I'm stickin to it. Thanks for the good comments, and having this page.
I found this translation...
Added by: cassie
Coming Through The Rye.
O Jenny is all wet, poor body,
Jenny is seldom dry:
She draggled all her petticoats,
Coming through the rye!

Coming through the rye, poor body,
Coming through the rye,
She draggled all her petticoats,
Coming through the rye!

Should a body meet a body
Coming through the rye,
Should a body kiss a body,
Need a body cry?

Should a body meet a body
Coming through the glen,
Should a body kiss a body,
Need the world know?

Should a body meet a body
Coming through the grain,
Should a body kiss a body,
The thing is a body's own.

comin thro the rye
Added by: Breanna
I too have been reading Cathcer In the Rye and i was wondering what the song meant by Robert Burns. IF anyone knows anything else it would be helpful. thanks
Added by: ari
okay. what holden is talking about when he says he wants to be a catcher in the rye, is that he wants to save children from falling from innocence. holden is a teenager, and is no longer innocent. he is faced with the confusion of sex, and along with that, responsibility in general. holden doesn't like this adult life, and doesn't want the children to ever have to experience. he'd like to keep them from ever getting hurt--and keep them from growing up.
all of holden's problems, if you think about it, trace back to sex, and as long as you're still a child, you don't have to worry about it.

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