Oh Rowan Tree
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Lesley Nelson-Burns

Lady Carolina Nairne (1766-1845) wrote these lyrics for the tune whose origin is unknown. Rowan Tree appeared in R. A. Smith's Scottish Minstrel (1822).

The rowan is a European mountain ash.

For a complete list of Lady Nairne tunes at this site, enter Lady Nairne in the search engine.

Oh rowan tree, oh rowan tree,
Thoul't aye be dear to me.
Entwin'd thou art wi' mony ties,
O' hame and infancy.
Thy leaves were aye the first o spring,
Thy flowr's the simmer's pride:
There was na sic a bonnie tree,
In all the country side.
Oh rowan tree.

How fair wert thou in simmer time,
Wi' all thy clusters white.
How rich and gay thy autumn dress,
Wi' berries red and bright.
Oh thy fair stem were mony names
Which now nae mair I see,
But there engraven on my heart,
Forgot they ne'er can be.
Oh rowan tree.

We sat aneath thy spreading shade,
The bairnies round thee ran,
They pu'd thy bonnie berries red
And necklaces they strang.
My mither oh, I see her still,
She smil'd our sports to see,
Wi' little Jeannie on her lap,
Wi' Jamie at her knee.
Oh rowan tree.

Oh, there arose my father's pray'r
In holly evening's calm,
How sweet was then my mither's voice
In the martyr's psalm;
Now a' are gan! We meet nae mair
Aneath the rowan tree,
But hallowed thoughts around tee twine
O' hame and infancy.
Oh rowan tree.
Related Links
From Folk Songs of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales
See Bibliography for full information.