Also known as 'The Banks O'Doon', Ye Banks And Braes is a Scottish song written in 1791 by Robert Burns.
In this song, a young woman wanders the banks of the Doon river in Ayrshire. She is surrounded by the beauty of nature, yet laments the cruelty that the world has shown to her - she can no longer take delight, as she once did, in the plants and flowers as they remind her of happier times spent by the 'bonnie' banks with her lover. The man that she cared for stole her innocence and left her, and now she feels as if even the birds are mocking her with their chants.
This setting for SA choir by Chris Hutchings breathes new life into the traditional tune. The poignant lyrics are complemented by a beautiful, gently rolling melody.
Burns wrote three versions of Ye Banks And Braes, all published the same year. This setting uses the lyrics that are currently known as the third version:
'Ye banks and braes o' bonnie Doon,
How can ye bloom sae fresh and fair;
How can ye chant, ye little birds,
And I sae weary, fu' o' care!'