From the recording Six Strings and Coffee Beans
Mark Clavey – vocals, guitar
Mary Hanover – vocals, hammered dulcimer
Rachel Gaither – lead vocals, fiddle
Mark’s first exposure to Celtic music came in the form of the only two records the Mid-Continent Public Library had of Scottish music, both by Ewan MacColl, "Songs from Robert Burns' Merry Muses of Caledonia" and "Bothy Ballads of Scotland". The Robert Burns album contained MacColl’s performance of “The Lea Rig” which he titled “My Ain Kind Dearie”. An endearing and compelling song, it would remain with Mark, untouched, for 25 years before an arrangement stirred and took form. There is no story in the song to speak of. It is, rather, a series of sketches, each one artfully drawn, in which the poet reflects upon his true-love… and the depth of his love is measured in the simple yet profound beauty his words create in each sketch. Ironically, Burns thought poorly of his attempt, lamenting to George Thomson ("Select Scottish Airs", 1793) upon sending him the first two verses, “On reading over 'The Lea-Rig,' I immediately set about trying my hand on it, and, after all, I could make nothing more of it than the following, which, heaven knows, is poor enough." The melody likely dates back to the seventeenth century, and appears in print as early as the mid-1700s in James Oswald’s "Caledonian Pocket Companion". The song is a dear favorite of Rachel’s.
When o'er the hill the eastern star tells bughtin time is near, my jo, and owsen frae the furrow'd field return sae dowf and weary, O. Down by the burn, where birken buds wi' dew are hangin clear, my jo, I'll meet thee on the lea-rig, my ain kind dearie, O.
At midnight hour in mirkest glen I'd rove, and ne'er be eerie, O, if thro' that glen I gaed to thee, my ain kind dearie, O. Altho' the night were ne'er sae wild, and I were ne'er sae weary, O, I'll meet thee on the lea-rig, my ain kind dearie, O.
The hunter lo'es the morning sun to rouse the mountain deer, my jo. At noon the fisher takes the glen adown the burn to steer, my jo. Gie me the hour o' gloamin grey - it maks my heart sae cheery, O, to meet thee on the lea-rig, my ain kind dearie, O.
But gie tae me the gloamin grey - it maks my heart sae cheery, O, to meet thee on the lea-rig, my ain kind dearie, O.