Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Ca' The Yowes To The Knowes

Scottish Poem By Robert Burns

Ca' The Yowes To The Knowes is a traditional song collected by Robert Burns in 1789.

This was a traditional song collected by Robert Burns which he adapted with minor alterations and two new stanzas. The first version was published in the "Scots Musical Museum" (a collection of Scottish folk songs) in 1790.
Burns further modified the song in 1794 and it was published by George Thomson. The later version contained what Burns referred to as "a few pastoral lines following up the idea of the chorus".

Ca' The Yowes (Ewes) Tae The Knowes means 'drive the ewes to the knolls' (ewes are female sheep, knolls are small hills or mounds).


Related Scottish Country Dances

Ca' The Ewes Tae The Knowes

Ca' The Yowes To The Knowes By Robert Burns (1st version 1789)

Chorus
Ca' the yowes to the knowes,
Ca' them where the heather grows,
Ca' them where the burnie rowes,
My bonie dearie

As I gaed down the water-side,
There I met my shepherd lad:
He row'd me sweetly in his plaid,
And he ca'd me his dearie.

Chorus

Will ye gang down the water-side,
And see the waves sae sweetly glide
Beneath the hazels spreading wide,
The moon it shines fu' clearly.

Chorus

Ye sall get gowns and ribbons meet,
Cauf-leather shoon upon your feet,
And in my arms ye'se lie and sleep,
An' ye sall be my dearie.

Chorus

If ye'll but stand to what ye've said,
I'se gang wi' thee, my shepherd lad,
And ye may row me in your plaid,
And I sall be your dearie.

Chorus

While waters wimple to the sea,
While day blinks in the lift sae hie,
Till clay-cauld death sall blin' my e'e,
Ye sall be my dearie.

Chorus


Ca' The Yowes To The Knowes By Robert Burns (2nd version 1794)

Chorus
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.

Chorus

We'll gae down by Clouden side,
Thro' the hazels, spreading wide,
O'er the waves that sweetly glide,
To the moon sae clearly.

Chorus

Yonder Clouden's silent towers,^1
Where, at moonshine's midnight hours,
O'er the dewy-bending flowers,
Fairies dance sae cheery.

Chorus

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.

Chorus

Fair and lovely as thou art,
Thou hast stown my very heart;
I can die-but canna part,
My bonie Dearie.

Chorus


Ca' The Yowes To The Knowes Song Video

Ca' The Yowes To The Knowes Song - Information Video
Ca' The Ewes Tae The Knowes Image
Ca' The Ewes Tae The Knowes
Flock Of Sheep To The South Of Bengairn Summit, Scotland


The Online Scots Dictionary Translate Scots To English.
Published in http://www.robertburns.org/works/282.shtml
Published in http://www.robertburns.org/works/466.shtml
Dance Information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence.
Text from this original Ca' The Yowes To The Knowes article on Wikisource.
Image Copyright Colin Kinnear under this Creative Commons Licence.

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