Gloomy Winter’s Noo Awa’


“Gloomy winter’s noo awa’, saft the westlin’ breezes blaw
Amang the birks o’ Stanley Shaw, the mavis sings fu’ cheery-o
Sweet the crawflower’s early bell, decks Glennifer’s dewy dell
Bloomin’ like your bonnie sel’, my ain my darlin’ dearie-o
Come my lassie let us stray o’er Glennifer’s sunny brae
And blythely spend the gowden day ‘midst joys that never weary-o

Towerin’ o’er the Newton woods, lavrocks fan the snaw white clouds
And siller saughs wi’ downy buds, adorn the banks sae briery-o
Round the sylvan fairy nooks, feathery brackens fringe the rocks
And ‘neath the brae the burnie jouks, and ilka thing is cheery-o
O trees my bud and birds may sing, flowers may bloom and verdure spring
But joy tae me they cannae bring, unless wi’ you my dearie-o.”

The lyrics are by the Scottish Poet Robert Tannahill (1774-1810): “… in 1810, following the rejection of an augmented collection of his work by publishers in Greenock and Edinburgh, he fell into a despondency aggravated by fears for his own health. Eventually he burned all his manuscripts and drowned himself in a culverted stream under the Paisley Canal, where he was found because he had left his jacket at the mouth of the tunnel.” 😥

This poem sung by Dougie MacLean. The poems of Tannahill were set to music by, a.o. , Scottish organists R.A. Smith and John Ross and some by Tannahill himself.

(ps: this song was the inspiration for The Heart Asks Pleasure First” by Michael Nyman, made famous by the movie “The Piano” – 1993)

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