Kathleen Ferrier – Ca` the Yowes

There are traditional songs that can restore to me a sense of  centeredness, calm – even gratefulness in stressful times such as these. The Scottish traditional song  Ca` the Yowes is one of these. The words are by Rabbie Burns. The voice belongs to the legendary Kathleen Ferrier.

1789 lyrics Robert Burns
Ca’ the yowes to the knowes,
Ca’ them where the heather grows
Ca’ them where the burnie rows,
My bonie dearie.

Hark! the mavis’ evening sang
Sounding Cluden’s woods amang,
Then a-fauldin let us gang,
My bonie dearie.

We’ll gae down by Cluden side,
Thro’ the hazels spreading wide,
O’er the waves that sweetly glide
To the moon sae clearly.

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 rows,
My bonie dearie.



Kathleen Ferrier

“The greatest thing in music in my life has been to know Kathleen Ferrier and Gustav Mahler – in that order.” That’s what the conductor Bruno Walter wrote after Ferrier’s death from breast cancer in 1953, at the age of just 41.

[Wikipedia] Kathleen Mary Ferrier was an English contralto singer who achieved an international reputation as a stage, concert and recording artist, with a repertoire extending from folksong and popular ballads to the classical works of Bach, Brahms, Mahler and Elgar.

Her death from cancer, at the height of her fame, was a shock to the musical world and particularly to the general public, which was kept in ignorance of the nature of her illness until after her death.

Dick Gaughan sings Burns’ “Westlin Winds”

Dick Gaughan’s classic version of Robert Burns song

And the moon shines bright, as I rove by night,
To muse upon my charmer.

This is one of Burns earliest songs, although he revised it later for publication. Written in 1775 at the time of Burns’ infatuation with Peggy Thomson of Kirkoswald.

`I spent my seventeenth summer,’ he wrote in his autobiographical letter to Dr Moore in August 1787, `on a smuggling [coast] a good distance from home at a noted school, to learn Mensuration, Surveying, Dialling, etc … I went on with a high hand in my Geometry; till the sun entered Virgo, a month which is always a carnival in my bosom, a charming Fillette who lived next door to the school overset my Trigonometry, and set me off on a tangent from the sphere of my studies.’

Later, he tried out a modification of this early song in honour of Jean Armour; no known copy survives. Going back to the same song, Burns then sent a version which has a number of Scots words in place of the original English diction to be printed in `The Scots Musical Museum’ (vol. iv, 1792, no. 351). Unusually for a love-song, `Now westlin winds’ includes four lines of protest against the `slaught’ring guns’ of sportsmen (ll 21-4). [source: Robert Burns’ poems and songs]


Lyrics:

Tune: I had a horse, I had nae mair

   Now westlin winds, and slaught’ring guns                     western

      Bring Autumn’s pleasant weather;

   The moorcock springs on whirring wings,

      Amang the blooming heather:

   Now waving grain, wide o’er the plain,

      Delights the weary farmer;

   And the moon shines bright, as I rove by night,

      To muse upon my charmer.

   The paitrick lo’es the fruitfu fells;                      partridge

      The plover lo’es the mountains;

   The woodcock haunts the lonely dells;

      The soaring hern the fountains:                             heron

   Thro lofty groves, the cushat roves,                          pigeon

      The path o man to shun it;

   The hazel bush o’erhangs the thrush,

      The spreading thorn the linnet.

   Thus ev’ry kind their pleasure find,

      The savage and the tender;

   Some social join, and leagues combine;

      Some solitary wander:

   Avaunt, away, the cruel sway!

      Tyrannic man’s dominion!

   The sportsman’s joy, the murd’ring cry,

      The flutt’ring, gory pinion!

   But Peggy dear, the ev’ning’s clear,

      Thick flies the skimming swallow;

   The sky is blue, the fields in view,

      All fading-green and yellow:

   Come let us stray our gladsome way,

      And view the charms of Nature;

   The rustling corn, the fruited thorn,

      And ilka happy creature.                                    every

   We’ll gently walk, and sweetly talk,

      While the silent moon shines clearly;

   I’ll clasp thy waist, and fondly prest,

      Swear how I lo’e thee dearly:

   Not vernal show’rs to budding flow’rs,

      Not Autumn to the farmer,

   So dear can be, as thou to me,

      My fair, my lovely charmer!

Visiting Edinburgh? The Writers’ Museum is must-see

May be an image of castle and outdoors
Photo by Keith Foley

The Writers’ Museum celebrates the lives of three giants of Scottish Literature – Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson.

Home to portraits, rare books and personal objects including Burns’ writing desk, the printing press on which Scott’s Waverley Novels were first produced, and the rocking horse he used as a child. We have Robert Louis Stevenson’s riding boots and the ring given to him by a Samoan chief, engraved with the name ‘Tusitala’, meaning ‘teller of tales’. There is also a plaster cast of Robert Burns’ skull, one of only three ever made.

This free museum is easy to locate just off the Lawnmarket, the top part of Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile, in Lady Stair’s Close.

With a wide range of stories and objects this museum has something for everyone to enjoy, whether young or old, local resident or visitor. You don’t need to have read these writers’ works to enjoy the fascinating life stories told in the Writers’ Museum.

Collection Highlights include:

The Writers’ rich collections include books, manuscripts, portraits and fascinating personal items relating to Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson. Highlights include a first edition of Scott’s novel Waverley and Stevenson’s beloved classic, A Child’s Garden of Verses. Manuscripts include Burns’ draft of Scots wha hae (‘Bruce’s Address to his troops at Bannockburn’). There is also the press on which Scott’s Waverley Novels were printed, a chair used by Burns to correct proofs at William Smellie’s printing office, and Stevenson’s wardrobe made by the infamous Deacon Brodie whose double life may have inspired the novel The strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Kathleen Ferrier – Ca` the Yowes

There are traditional songs that can restore to me a sense of  centeredness, calm – even gratefulness in stressful times such as these. The Scottish traditional song  Ca` the Yowes is one of these. The words are by Rabbie Burns. The voice belongs to the legendary Kathleen Ferrier.

1789 lyrics Robert Burns
Ca’ the yowes to the knowes,
Ca’ them where the heather grows
Ca’ them where the burnie rows,
My bonie dearie.

Hark! the mavis’ evening sang
Sounding Cluden’s woods amang,
Then a-fauldin let us gang,
My bonie dearie.

We’ll gae down by Cluden side,
Thro’ the hazels spreading wide,
O’er the waves that sweetly glide
To the moon sae clearly.

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 rows,
My bonie dearie.



Kathleen Ferrier

“The greatest thing in music in my life has been to know Kathleen Ferrier and Gustav Mahler – in that order.” That’s what the conductor Bruno Walter wrote after Ferrier’s death from breast cancer in 1953, at the age of just 41.

[Wikipedia] Kathleen Mary Ferrier was an English contralto singer who achieved an international reputation as a stage, concert and recording artist, with a repertoire extending from folksong and popular ballads to the classical works of Bach, Brahms, Mahler and Elgar.

Her death from cancer, at the height of her fame, was a shock to the musical world and particularly to the general public, which was kept in ignorance of the nature of her illness until after her death.

“Great Chieftain o’ the Puddin-race!”

Robbie Burns day is upon us once more. Celebrating one of the most iconic Scottish holidays, honoring the life and poetry of Scotland’s best-known poet, Robert Burns, with an address to a Haggis. 

Address to a Haggis from the Malcolm Hotel

by Robert Burns

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,

Great Chieftain o’ the Puddin-race!

Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,

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