Music: Ernest Buck (1908-1975), arr. Michael Buck. Words: William Soutar (1898-1943)
performance time approx 2m 00s
Range S: d' – e''♭ / A: a – a' / T: d – e'♭ / B: G – a♭
Price code: B
Complexity: *

See a perusal copy of the music.
Hear a synthesized realisation
William Soutar was one of the most talented of the 20th century Scottish Renaissance poets who worked in the Scots language, often incorporating echoes of traditional forms such as the ballad.

This piece is a simple strophic setting of a stark poem about a love lost at sea. The first two verses beseech the listener for news of the lost fisherman; the third and fourth lead to the shocking truth that his dead body has been found.

Two other William Soutar settings which could be used as companion pieces include Day is Düne and Sang.

Glossary and pronunciation guide included.


O! shairly ye hae seen my love [surely you have]
Doun whaur the waters wind: [down where]
He walks like ane wha fears nae man [one who fears no man]
And yet his e'en are kind. [eyes]

O! shairly ye hae seen my love
At the turnin o' the tide;
For then he gethers in the nets
Doun be the waterside. [down by the waterside]

O! lassie I hae seen your love
At the turnin o' the tide;
And he was wi' the fisher folk [with]
Doun be the waterside.

The fisher folk were at their trade
No far frae Walnut Grove; [not far from]
They gether'd in their dreepin nets [hanging]
And fund your ain true love. [found your own]

William Soutar (1898-1943), from Collected Poems (1948)

Purchase – 1004: Ballad

Before you click the "buy" button, please enter the name of your group and select the appropriate size.
Name of group
Size of group
The price depends on the number of singers in your group. This is a single payment for a licence to make as many copies as you need for your group to rehearse and perform the song. You can also re-print - for instance, to replace copies that get lost or worn out.

Copies must not be given, lent, hired or sold to any other group.

Orders are normally despatched within 24 hours - not instantly, because each PDF file is created specially for the purchaser.

Canasg sales are processed via Paypal. Paypal lets you pay with a simple credit or debit card if you don’t have a Paypal account. Your Paypal transaction will be in sterling and it will be converted automatically if your credit card draws on a different currency. Paypal passes none of your secure information to Canasg.

If you would like us to send an invoice before you pay, or if you would like your order priced in $US or Euros, then please e-mail your order to us instead of using the form above.
Canasg Choral Music Publishing
Canasg Music
16 Morningside Park,
Edinburgh EH10 5HB, Scotland
Contact us