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Clare: Music

Ae Fond Kiss

(Clare)
January 25, 2013
Lyrics : Robbie Burns, Melody Traditional

I first encountered a couple of lines of this song in a historical novel and was struck by the simple beauty of the lines. "Had we never loved sae kindly, Had we never loved sae blindly, Never met -or never parted, We had ne'er been broken-hearted." How poignant, how dear this was. It ripped my heart open because I had encountered it in the context of the pursuit of the Jacobites after the ousting and of Bonny Prince Charlie and the hounding of those who had supported him. There were so many needless deaths, so many families torn apart, so many lovers lost. In those days Scotland's biggest export was people, as the English lords cleared the crofters out to make way for sheep. It was a time we cannot begin to understand, as sheltered from the harsh realities of life as we are nowadays.  For anyone who has loved and lost, this song is one that will touch your heart. I hope it does as much for you to listen as it has for me to sing it.

Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;
Ae fareweel, and then for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.

Who shall say that Fortune grieves him
While the star of hope she leaves him?
Me, nae cheerful twinkle lights me,
Dark despair around benights me.

I'll ne'er blame my partial fancy;
Naething could resist my Nancy;
But to see her was to love her,
Love but her, and love for ever.

Had we never loved sae kindly,
Had we never loved sae blindly,
Never met -or never parted,
We had ne'er been broken-hearted.

Fare thee weel, thou first and fairest!
Fare thee weel, thou best and dearest!
Thine be ilka joy and treasure,
Peace, enjoyment, love, and pleasure!

Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;
Ae fareweel, alas, for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.

Robert Burns