Now Winter is Gane

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Melody - Irish Air: "The fair-haired Child"
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John Hamilton, v.1; Robert Tannahill, v. 2

Now winter is gane and the clouds flee away,
Yon bonny blue sky how delightfu' to see,
Now linties and blackbirds sing on ilka spray
That flourishes round Woodhouselee:
The hawthorn is blooming,
The soft breeze perfuming,
O come, toy dear lassie, the season is gay,
And naething mair lovely can be:
The primrose and lily,
We'll pu' in the valley,
And lean when we like on some gowany brae,
That rises beside Woodhouselee.
2. Ye mind when the snaw lay sae deep on the hill,
When cauld icy cranreuch hung white on the tree,
When bushes were leafless, and mournfully still
Were the wee birds o' sweet Woodhouselee:
When snaw show'rs were fa'ing,
And wintry winds blawing,
Loud whistling o'er mountain and meadow sae chil
We mark'd it wi' sorrowing e'e:
But now since the flowers
Again busk the bowers,
O come, my dear lassie, wi' smiling good will,
And wander around Woodhouselee.


Mr. Hamilton wrote the first stanza for an ancient Irish melody, 'The fair-haired Child,' but after several unavailing attempts to proceed further, he applied to Tannahill, through the medium of a friend, (Clark,) for a second verse. In a short time the request was complied with, and Tannahill sent it to his friend with the following note :-- 'Mr Hamilton's stanza is admirably suited to the air. In my opinion his lines possess, in an eminent degree, that beautiful, natural simplicity which characterises our best Scottish songs. I have attempted to add a verse to it, but I fear you will think it but a frigid production ; the original one is so complete in itself, that he who tries another to it, labours under the disadvantage of not knowing what to say farther on the subject. However, I give you all that I could make of it.'"

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