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Ca' the Yowes to the Knowes (2nd version)


Ca'the yowes to the knowes, Ca' them where the heather grows, Ca' them where the burnie rowes, My bonie Dearie. Hark the mavis' e'ening sang, Sounding Clouden's woods amang; Then a-faulding let us gang, My bonie Dearie. We'll gae down by Clouden side, Thro' the hazels, spreading wide, O'er the waves that sweetly glide, To the moon sae clearly. Yonder Clouden's silent towers, Where, at moonshine's midnight hours, O'er the dewy-bending flowers, Fairies dance sae cheery. Ghaist nor bogle shalt thou fear, Thou'rt to Love and Heav'n sae dear, Nocht of ill may come thee near; My bonie Dearie. Fair and lovely as thou art, Thou hast stown my very heart; I can die - but canna part, My bonie Dearie. Ca'the yowes to the knowes, Ca' them where the heather grows, Ca' them where the burnie rowes, My bonie Dearie.

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Annette Crosbie

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It was written in 1794 and is read here by Annette Crosbie.

More about this song

Burns sent this revised version of 'Ca' the yowes to the Knowes' to George Thomson in September 1794. A pastoral love song, the original version was sent to James Johnson some years previously for inclusion in the Scots Musical Museum.

Here Burns retains the chorus of the original version, while providing a new set of pastoral verses.

Of particular interest here is Burns's introduction of the supernatural - 'Fairies dance sae cheery' and 'Ghost nor bogle shalt thou fear' - in allusion to eighteenth-century rural folklore.

Pauline Mackay

Themes for this song

love nature

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