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Logan Braes

[ Roud 6842 ; G/D 6:1123 ; Ballad Index GrD61123 ; Bodleian Roud 6842 ; Mudcat 23658 ; trad.]

Deaf Shepherd sang Logan Braes in 1996 on their Greentrax album Ae Spark o’ Nature’s Fire. They noted:

A mournful and sensitive anti-war song by Robert Burns which juxtaposes in typical Burns’ fashion his observations on nature and human existence. The melody is usually referred to as Logan Water, after the waterway of the same name in Wigtonshire, and was passed to us by tremendous fiddle player Gavin Pennycook. It would appear that Burns used some lines from a popular and contemporary song entitled Logan Water by one John Mayne.

Wendy Weatherby sang Logan Braes on the 1997 Linn anthology The Complete Songs of Robert Burns Volume 3.

Judy Dunlop sang Logan Braes in 1999 on her album My Arms Are a Cradle.

Jim Malcolm sang Logan Braes on his 2007 album of songs of Robert Burns, Acquaintance. He noted:

I was knocked out when I first heard John Morran of Deaf Shepherd sing this song. As an eighteenth century anti-war song it is quite rare and strangely powerful. I didn’t really appreciate the imagery of the song until I had the good fortune to travel through Burns country in the merry month of May and see the beauty of the ‘milk white’ hawthorn hedges. It is no wonder that Burns was so inspired by the landscape around him, the uninterrupted extent of which we can now only imagine.

Dallahan sang Logan Braes on their 2016 album Matter of Time.


Wendy Weatherby sings Logan Braes

Logan, sweetly didst thou glide
The day I was my Willie’s bride,
And years sin syne hae o’er us run
Like Logan to the simmer sun.
But now thy flowery banks appear
Like drumlie Winter, dark and drear,
While my dear lad maun face his faes
Far, far frae me and Logan braes.

Again the merry month o’ May
Has made our hills and vallies gay;
The birds rejoice in leafy bowers,
The bees hum round the breathing flowers;
Blythe Morning lifts his rosy eye,
And Evening’s tears are tears of joy:
My soul delightless, a’ surveys,
While Willie’s far frae Logan braes.

Within yon milkwhite hawthorn bush,
Amang her nestlings sits the thrush:
Her faithfu’ Mate will share her toil,
Or wi’ his song her cares beguile.
But I wi’ my sweet nurslings here,
Nae Mate to help, nae Mate to cheer,
Pass widowed nights and joyless days,
While Willie’s far frae Logan braes.

O, wae upon you, Men o’ State,
But what will I do wi’ Tam Glen?
That brethren rouse in deadly hate!
As ye make mony a fond heart mourn,
Sae may it on your heads return!
How can your flinty hearts enjoy
The widow’s tears, the orphan’s cry:
But soon may Peace bring happy days.
And Willie, hame to Logan braes!