Ca' the Yowes

by Sarah DeShields

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Ca' The Yowes first appeared in the Scots Musical Museum in 1790. The song has been attributed to Robert Burns, however it is not clear exactly who wrote the full song. It is thought he wrote part of it, specifically the last stanza.

From we read:
"The author of the original stanzas was said to have been Tibbie Pagan, an eccentric old woman who sold whisky without a license, and accompanied its dispensation to her customers with a fund of broad stories. However, a collection of her pieces was published in Glasgow in 1805, and 'Ca' the Yowes' was not of the number."

I'd like to think this is a story written by a Scottish woman, and Tibbie Pagan has my heart for it.

You may download this song for free, and any voluntary contributions will go directly towards the recording of a full length album of Scottish-Appalachian songs beginning in the new year! Thank you always, dear ones, for listening and following along with me.


CA' the yowes to the knowes,
Ca' them where the heather grows,
Ca' them where the burnie rows,
My bonnie 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.

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.

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

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


Vocals, Guitar, Harmonium - Sarah DeShields
Cello - Everett Hardin

Arranged by Sarah DeShields and Everett Hardin
Engineered by Everett Hardin
Artwork by Sarah DeShields


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Sarah DeShields Boone, North Carolina

From the green rugged lands of Scotland, Sarah DeShields is a seasoned singer songwriter now living in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina

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