Music: Ernest Buck (1908-1975), arr. Michael Buck
. Words: William Soutar (1898-1943)
performance time approx 2m 00s
Range S: d' – e''♭ / A: a – a' / T: d – e'♭ / B: G – a♭
See a perusal copy (PDF format) of the music
This copy is not licensed for rehearsal, performance or recording.
Hear a MIDI
rendering of Ballad
William Soutar was one of the most talented of the 20th century Scottish Renaissance poets who worked in the Scots language, often incorporating echoes of traditional forms such as the ballad.
This piece is a simple strophic setting of a stark poem about a love lost at sea. The first two verses beseech the listener for news of the lost fisherman; the third and fourth lead to the shocking truth that his dead body has been found.
Two other William Soutar settings which could be used as companion pieces include Day is Düne and Sang.
Glossary and pronunciation guide included.
O! shairly ye hae seen my love [surely you have
Doun whaur the waters wind: [down where
He walks like ane wha fears nae man [one who fears no man
And yet his e'en are kind. [eyes
O! shairly ye hae seen my love
At the turnin o' the tide;
For then he gethers in the nets
Doun be the waterside. [down by the waterside
O! lassie I hae seen your love
At the turnin o' the tide;
And he was wi' the fisher folk [with
Doun be the waterside.
The fisher folk were at their trade
No far frae Walnut Grove; [not far from
They gether'd in their dreepin nets [hanging
And fund your ain true love. [found your own
William Soutar (1898-1943), from Collected Poems
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