Vaughan Williams created this setting of Burns’ later version of Ca’ The Yowes with its original tune in 1922. This is a particularly atmospheric setting, profiling lyrical solo male voices against very rich harmonies and varying this between the verses of the song. The Scottish folk song is arranged for Tenor solo and chorus of mixed voices with Piano accompaniment.
Ralph Vaughan Williams was an English composer of symphonies, chamber music, opera, choral music, and film scores; as well as a collector of English folk music and song. He was one of the leading figures of the 20th century revival of English music, and believed that restoring English music could only happen by studying and employing native resources, rather than looking at foreign models. Today Williams is largely remembered for his ‘musical nationalism’, although a greater complexity is attributed to it than in former times.