“For my heart’s a boat in tow…”

December 21, 2011 @ 8:32 pm | Filed under: ,

I’ve posted this song before, I think, or mentioned it, at least. “The Broom of the Cowdenknowes”—one of those good old Scottish folk songs that makes something well up within me. This intense emotional response seldom has to do with lyrics; it’s something in the Celtic melodies, the yearning, the slurred notes melting into each other and reaching for something never quite graspable. That sea-swaying cadence at 22 seconds undoes me every time. I remember in dance classes when they told us (coaching better posture) to imagine a string pulling upward from the top of our head: the effect this music has on me is as if there’s a string attached to my heart and the notes are pulling.

A song that pulls me with both melody and lyrics is one I know I’ve shared here before, The Loch Tay Boat Song. Oh, it devastates me. In a good way.

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7 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Kelly says:

    I LOVE the Corries!! The Loch Tay Boat Song is an especial favorite, too. *sigh* It just takes you away to another place, another time. <3

  2. Harmony says:

    You said it! The version of “The Broom of the Cowdenknowes” that I know is by Silly Wizard, and it has the same effect on me. I will have to listen to this one when I get access to the speakers…

  3. Harmony says:

    Here’s the Silly Wizard version that I love:

  4. Penny says:


    Thanks for the awesomeness 🙂

  5. Helen says:

    I love these songs, especially “Loch Tay Boat Song” – it’s a waltz! And look at this guitar – OMG 🙂

  6. Lindsay says:

    Yes! Both songs I also knew from Silly Wizard. We listened to the tape (!) over and over while we drove over the hills in Scotland.

  7. Melissa Wiley says:

    Oh! That Silly Wizard version is breathtaking, isn’t it! Thanks for the link!