Traditional Scottish Songs
- Jessie the Flower o' Dunblane

This is a perfect example of the "gentle, artless lyrics set to traditional music" written by Robert Tannahill (1774-1810). But it is not clear why this Paisley-born weaver should have been inspired by Jessie from Dunblane in Perthshire but it has become one of his most popular songs. The tune to which it is sung is by R A Smith.

Jessie the Flower o' Dunblane

The sun has gane down o'er the lofty Ben Lomond,
And left the red clouds to preside o'er the scene;
While lanely I stray in the calm simmer gloamin',
To muse on sweet Jessie, the flow'r o' Dunblane.

How sweet is the brier wi' its saft fauldin' blossom,
And sweet is the birk wi' its mantle o' green;
Yet sweeter and fairer, and dear to this bosom,
Is lovely young Jessie, the flow'r o' Dunblane.

She's modest as onie and blythe as she's bonnie,
For guileless simplicity marks her its ain;
And far be the villain divested o' feeling,
Wha'd blight in its bloom the sweet flow'r o' Dunblane.

Sing on, thou sweet mavis, thy hymn to the evening,
Thour't dear to the echoes o' Calderwood glen;
Sae dear to this bosom, sae artless and winning,
Is the charming young Jessie, the flow'r o' Dunblane.

Meaning of unusual words:
simmer gloamin'=summer twilight/dusk
brier=wild rose bush
birk=birch tree
blythe=cheerful, merry
bonnie=pretty, attractive
mavis=song thrush

Return to the Index of Traditional Scottish Songs

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