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Lyr Add: The Auld House / Auld Hoose (Lady Nairne

Jim Dixon 26 Oct 18 - 09:27 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: THE AULD HOUSE (Lady Nairne)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 26 Oct 18 - 09:27 PM

Lyrics below are from Life and Songs of the Baroness Nairne... edited by Rev. Charles Rogers, Second Edition (London: Charles Griffin and Co., 1869), page 182.


Oh, the auld house, the auld house,
  What tho’ the rooms were wee!
Oh! kind hearts were dwelling there,
  And bairnies fu’ o’ glee;
The wild rose and the jessamine
  Still hang upon the wa’,
How mony cherish’d memories
  Do they, sweet flowers, reca’!

Oh, the auld laird, the auld laird,
  Sae canty, kind, and crouse,
How mony did he welcome to
  His ain wee dear auld house!
And the leddy too, sae genty,
  There shelter’d Scotland’s heir,
And clipt a lock wi’ her ain hand
  Frae his lang yellow hair.

The mavis still doth sweetly sing,
  The bluebells sweetly blaw,
The bonny Earn’s clear winding still,
  But the auld house is awa’.
The auld house, the auld house,
  Deserted tho’ ye be,
There ne’er can be a new house
  Will seem sae fair to me.

Still flourishes the auld pear tree
  The bairnies liked to see,
And oh, how often did they speir
  When ripe they a’ wad be!
The voices sweet, the wee bit feet
  Aye rinnin’ here and there,
The merry shout—oh! whiles we greet,
  To think we’ll hear nae mair!

For they are a’ wide scattered now,
  Some to the Indies gane,
And ane, alas! to her lang hame;
  Not here we’ll meet again.
The kirkyaird, the kirkyaird!
  Wi’ flowers o’ every hue,
Shelter’d by the holly’s shade
  An’ the dark sombre yew.

The setting sun, the setting sun,
  How glorious it gaed down!
The cloudy splendour raised our hearts,
  To cloudless skies aboon!
The auld dial, the auld dial,
  It tauld how time did pass;
The wintry winds hae dung it down,
  Now hid ’mang weeds and grass.

Sheet music can be seen at The Hathi Trust, titled THE AULD HOUSE: A SCOTCH BALLAD from M. S. S. Lays of Strathearne by Caroline Baroness Nairne, Arranged and sung by Miss [Elizabeth] Rainforth, Introduced with great success in Miss Rainforth’s Illustrations of the Lyrical & Romantic Poetry of Scotland. (Edinburgh: Paterson & Son, n.d.)

I have reproduced the spelling exactly as it appears in the book. Modern singers tend to use even more Scots pronunciations than Lady Nairne did: hoose for house, hairt for heart, hoo for how, flooers for flowers, etc.--and accordingly, their recordings are called THE AULD HOOSE.

Spotify has several recordings. I especially like the one by Jean Redpath, from her album “Will Ye No Come Back Again?” (1986), which you can also hear on YouTube. Thee are other vocal recordings by Anne Lorne Gillies, Kenneth McKellar, and Plaidsong. There are yet more instrumental recordings, including some where it is medleyed with other waltzes.

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Mudcat time: 16 November 7:27 PM EST

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