Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Ca' The Ewes Tae The Knowes

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

CA' THE EWES TAE THE KNOWES (S8x32) 2C (4C set) Thomas Wilson RSCDS Book 16

1- 8 1s cast and dance down own sides for 4 bars and turning out dance back to the top
9-16 1s turn RH, cast 1 place, dance ½ Fig of 8 round 2s and cross to top for...
17-24 1s+2s dance Allemande
25-32 2s+1s dance R&L

(MINICRIB. Dance crib compiled by Charles Upton, Deeside Caledonian Society, and his successors)

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Instruction Videos

Ca' The Ewes Tae The Knowes - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

The title of this dance, Ca' The Ewes Tae The Knowes, comes from the Ca' the Yowes to the Knowes - Poem collected by Robert Burns in 1789.

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

This was the title of a traditional song collected by Robert Burns. He adapted it with minor alterations and two new stanzas. This 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". The chorus is as follows:

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

Ca' the Yowes to the Knowes Song - Information Video

Ca' The Ewes Tae The Knowes
Ca' The Ewes Tae The Knowes
Flock Of Sheep To The South Of Bengairn Summit, Scotland

Image copyright Colin Kinnear under this Creative Commons Licence 2.0.

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