Thursday, March 03, 2011

Now Westlin' Winds

I'm sure I've written about this before. This is Burns at his finest, and the last stanza is the finest love poetry I've ever read. It is simple, of the people, and it combines love and nature in a way that is totally natural and unforced. I would kill to be able to write like that.

Here, it is sung by Dick Gaughan in his pomp. Dick is the finest traditional singer I've had the privilege to see, and this is one of his best songs. He has an extraordinary knack of taking songs and making them his own. And not just traditional material - his version of Hamish Henderson's 51st Highland Division's Farewell To Sicily is unforgettable. Here, his voice seems to match the song perfectly - slightly gruff, but with a soulful undertow.

We'll gently walk and sweetly talk
Till the silent moon shine clearly.
I'll grab thy waist and, fondly pressed,
Swear how I love thee dearly.
Not vernal showers to budding flowers
Nor autumn to the farmer
So dear can be as thou to me,
My fair, my lovely charmer.

And this is another piece of Burns, this time sung by the great Davy Steele. I can't believe it's nearly ten years since Davy died. What a singer.

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