Designed & produced by Éric McLewis


The Rowan Tree with its red winter berries is strongly associated with Scotland.
Called Ruadhan (Red One) in Gaelic, quite similary to Rowan in English, it's a magic tree in the Celtic tradition, providing protection against many sources of evil.

The tune - from unknown origin - attached to that symbolic tree is played as a regimental march.

Carolina Oliphant (Lady Nairne, 1766-1845) wrote the lyrics in 1822.

The Rowan Tree
(Carolina Oliphant)

Oh rowan tree, oh rowan tree
Thou’lt aye be dear to me
Entwined thou art wi’ mony ties
O’ hame and infancy
Thy leaves were aye the first of spring
Thy flowers the simmer’s pride
There wasna sich a bonnie tree
In a’ the country side
Oh! Rowan tree

How fair wert thou in simmer time
Wi’ a’ thy clusters white
How rich and gay thy autumn dress
Wi’ berries red and bright
On thy fair stem were mony names
Which now nae mair I see
But they’re engraven on my heart
Forgot they ne’er can be
Oh! Rowan tree

We sat aneath thy spreadin’ shade
The bairnies round thee ran
They pu’d thy bonnie berries red
And necklaces they strang
My mother, oh! I see her still
She smil’d our sports tae see
Wi’ little Jeannie on her lap
Wi’ Jamie at her knee
Oh! Rowan tree

And there arose my father’s pray’r
In holy ev’ning’s calm
How sweet was then my mother’s voice
In the Martyrs’ psalm
Now a’ are gone! We meet nae mair
Aneath the rowan tree
But hallow’d thoughts around thee twine
O’ hame and infancy
Oh! Rowan tree

The Rowan Tree

Scottish bagpipe tunes





- score written by Éric McLewis with CelticPipes