Traditional Scottish Songs
- Ca' the Yowes

There are a number of versions of this song by Robert Burns. The one below was his second effort as he was not satisfied with the first. He produced it while on a solitary evening stroll in September 1794. The "Clouden" is a tributary of the river Nith and the "silent towers" are the ruins of Lincluden Abbey.

Ca' the Yowes

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.


Meaning of unusual words:
knowes=knolls, hills
burnie=small stream
rowes=rolls along
mavis=song thrush
a-faulding=put in a sheep fold

Return to the Index of Traditional Scottish Songs

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