Ailie Robertson's song cycle Three Love Poems by Marion Angus is the 2022 McEwen commision and will be premiered in the University Concert Hall on Thursday March 24th 2022.  The piece sets work by the renowned Scots poet Marion Angus to music and will be performed at the premiere by Shuna Scott Sendall (mezzo-soprano), Sharron Griffiths (harp) and Ruth Morley (flute).

Decorative design element

Please check back soon for a recording of Three Love Poems

Programme note
Ailie Robertson - Three Love Poems by Marion Angus

Marion Angus (1865–1946) spent her in Arbroath, where her father was a minister of the United Presbyterian Kirk. After his death, Angus moved to Aberdeen, living much of her adult life there with her sister. Her first collection of poetry, 'The Lilt and other poems' was published in 1922, at the age of 56. Heavily influenced by the Scottish ballad tradition and folk song, her work is mainly in Angus Scots, coloured by the voices and music of the region where she lived. (Biographical information from Katherine Gordon, ‘Introduction’ in
Voices From Their Ain Countrie: the poems of Marion Angus and Violet Jacob (Glasgow: Association for Scottish Literary Studies, 2006)

These three poems address love in different forms. Imagery of the North East landscape acts as backdrop for love and loss.

   1. Mary’s Song

   I wad ha’e gi’en him my lips tae kiss,
   Had I been his, had I been his;
   Barley breid and elder wine,
   Had I been his as he is mine.

   The wanderin’ bee it seeks the rose;
   Tae the lochan’s bosom the burnie goes;
   The grey bird cries at evenin’s fa’,
   ‘My luve, my fair one, come awa’.’

   My beloved sall ha’e this he’rt tae break,
   Reid, reid wine and the barley cake,
   A he’rt tae break, and a mou’ tae kiss,
   Tho’ he be nae mine, as I am his.

   2. Invitation

   Lad, come kiss me
   Whaur the twa burns rin.
   Am I no’ sweet as honey,
   Wild as gouden whin,

   Slim as the rowan,
   Lips like berries reid,
   Fey as siller mune-floo’er
   That sprang frae fairy seed?

   Luve, come clasp me
   Whaur the twa burns rin, –
   A’ but the white soul o’ me
   That ye can never win

   3. Huntlie Hill

   When I am deid an’ gane
   An’ ye suld crave me still
   Gae seek me in a bonnie birk
   Grouin’ on Huntlie Hill.

   Clasp my sweet body slim
   Syne lie an’ tak’ your ease,
   My droosy kisses on yir hair,
   Yir heid upon my knees.

   Yon’s but a pipin’ bird
   Gangs moontin’ ower the plain
   Or but the liltin’ hert o’ me
   Ye never socht tae gain.

   Farrer an farrer yet,
   Aye soarin’ as she sings,
   Wi’ glint o’ rain upon her breist,
   Wi’ sunlicht in her wings.

   Sae turn ye tae yir sleep,
   Yir heid upon my knee,
   Anaith the droosy kisses
   O’ yir bonnie birkin tree.

Ailie Robertson 2022

Performer biographies & full details of the 2022 premiere can be found in the McEwen concert programme 2022 which will be available shortly.