Rabbie Burns

I have loved this song since the first time I heard it, performed live in a concert by Patsy Seddon & Mary MacMaster (otherwise known collectively as Sileas), when I was around 7 years old, at a concert in The Pleasants Edinburgh.  I was there with my dad for the Ediburgh Harp Festival (now held in Colington at the beautiful grounds of Merchiston Castle School).  It went right through me, reverberating around my ribs, chest and gut.  To this day it still has this effect, regardless of how many times I listen to it.

And then, today, a revalation – I discover as looking for the lyrics that it is an old Rabbie Burns poem.  I knew it was a traditional Scottish song, but did not know it was from our great treasure Rabbie – also the author of ‘Auld Lang Syne’.


Ca’ The Yowes To The Knowes

Type: Poem

Chorus.-Ca’ the yowes to the knowes,
Ca’ them where the heather grows,
Ca’ them where the burnie rowes,
My bonie dearie

As I gaed down the water-side,
There I met my shepherd lad:
He row’d me sweetly in his plaid,
And he ca’d me his dearie.
Ca’ the yowes, &c.

Will ye gang down the water-side,
And see the waves sae sweetly glide
Beneath the hazels spreading wide,
The moon it shines fu’ clearly.
Ca’ the yowes, &c.

Ye sall get gowns and ribbons meet,
Cauf-leather shoon upon your feet,
And in my arms ye’se lie and sleep,
An’ ye sall be my dearie.
Ca’ the yowes, &c.

If ye’ll but stand to what ye’ve said,
I’se gang wi’ thee, my shepherd lad,
And ye may row me in your plaid,
And I sall be your dearie.
Ca’ the yowes, &c.

While waters wimple to the sea,
While day blinks in the lift sae hie,
Till clay-cauld death sall blin’ my e’e,
Ye sall be my dearie.
Ca’ the yowes, &c.


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