Monday, May 30, 2016

Ye Banks and Braes of Bonnie Doon. 

Please click the link lower right 
under "Harp Demo"to hear the song.

The melody was written by James Miller, a clerk in Edinburgh around 1783. 

One day he was challenged by a music editor named Stephen Clark to write a Scottish air by using only the black keys of the harpsichord (which is like a piano). 

Taking the challenge, James Miller, composed a melody and called it "The Caledonian Hunt's Delight."   Clarke was really pleased with the tune and he told Robert Burns about it.  

Burns then supplied some beautiful words, and the song became known as Ye Banks and Braes of Bonnie Doon .  Burns lived 37 years: 1759 - 1796. 

The "Bonnie Doon" is a river that flows from Loch Doon to the Firth of Clyde in Ayrshire, Scotland, past Burns' home town of Alloway.

Ye banks and braes o' Bonnie Doon,
How can ye bloom sae fresh and fair?
How can ye chant, ye little birds,
And I'm sae weary, fu' o' care!

Ye'll break my heart, ye warbling birds,
That wanton through the flow'ring thorn
Ye mind me o' departed joys,
Departed, never to return.
Oft I have rov’d by bonnie doon,
To see the rose and woodbine twine;
And every bird sang of its love,
And fondly sae did I o' mine.

Wi' lightsome heart I put a rose,
Full sweet upon the thorny tree.
But my false lover stole my rose,
And ah, he left the thorn wi' me.

bonnie: pretty
braes: hills
fu': full
hae: have
ilka: each
oft: often
sae: so
wantons: disrespectful