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Scottish Folksong: Rowan Tree

Oh, rowan tree! Oh, rowan tree ! Thou'lt aye be dear tae me
Entwined thou art wi' mony ties o’ hame and infancy
Thy leaves were aye the first o' spring, thy flow'rs the summer pride
There wasnae sic a bonny tree in a' the countryside
Oh! rowan tree !

How fair wert thou in summer time, wi' a' thy clusters white
How rich and gay thy autumn dress, wi’ berries red and bright
We sat aneath thy spreading shade, the bairnies round thee ran
They pu’d thy bonnie berries red and necklaces they strang
Oh! rowan tree!

On thy fair stem were mony names, which now nae mair I see
But they’re engraven on my heart, forgot they ne’er can be
My mother! Oh! I see her still, she smil'd our sports to see
Wi’ little Jemnie on her lap, and Jamie at her knee!
Oh! rowan treel

Oh! 'Twas arose my father’s prayer, in holy evenings calm
How sweet was then my mother’s voice, in the Martyr’s psalm
Now a' are gane! We meet nae mair aneath the rowan tree
But hallowed thoughts around thee twine o’ hame and infancy
Oh! rowan tree!






Notes:

1. Thou'lt: Contraction of thou wilt.
2. aye: said to express consent; yes.
3. tae: to
4. wi': with
5. mony: many
6. hame: home
7. o': of
8. wasnae sic: was no such
9. a': all
10. aneath: beneath
11. bairnies: children
12. pu'd: to pluck fruit from the trees, or to gather or collect
13. nae mair: no more
14. gane: gone 

English transcribe:

Oh, rowan tree! Oh, rowan tree ! You'll really be dear to me
Entwined you are with many ties of home and infancy
Your leaves are indeed the first of spring, your flowers the summer's pride
There was no such a bonny tree in all the countryside
Oh! rowan tree !

How fair are you in summer time, with all your clusters white
How rich and gay your autumn dress, with berries red and bright
We sat beneath your spreading shade, the children round you ran
They gathered your bonny berries red and necklaces they strang
Oh! rowan tree!

On your fair stem were many names, which now no more I see
But they’re engraven on my heart, forgot they never can be
My mother! Oh! I see her still, she smiled our sports to see
With little Jemnie on her lap, and Jamie at her knee!
Oh! rowan tree!

Oh! There arose my father’s prayer, in holy evenings calm
How sweet was then my mother’s voice, in the Martyr’s psalm
Now all are gone! We meet no more beneath the rowan tree
But hallowed thoughts around you twine of home and infancy
Oh! rowan tree!

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