Minerva Scientifica Birthday Celebrations: Carolina Nairne
16th August 2021
Composer, Poet, Musician
BORN 16th August 1766, ‘Auld Hoose’ of Gask, Perthshire, Scotland
“Oh! Rowan Tree!” by Carolina Nairne (1766-1845)
The unaccompanied voices are Margaret Cameron, Frances M Lynch with Priscilla Adebambo, Ellie Brammer and Nicole Laidlaw from Clovenstone Primary School, Edinburgh. This arrangement was used as part of a larger work which reference the lives of two Aberdonian zoologists. The slight change in words was to include the family names of siblings.
click the blue arrow to listen
A Traditional Air from Grieg’s Minstrelsy for which Nairne wrote words. This arrangement is for voice and piano and is performed by Frances M Lynch.
Portrait by John Watson Gordon
Carolina Oliphant, Baroness Nairne c. 1818 Public Domain
Carolina Nairne (1766-1845) wrote and collected songs and poems from the Scottish folk tradition – probably about 100 in total – preserving them for the future after cleaning up some of the more baudy texts! Her songs have often been wrongly attributed (even during her lifetime) to others – particularly Robert Burns, a source of much annoyance to her. She was very secretive about her work, and it wasn’t until after her death, when her sister published a collection of her poetry and songs entitled Lays of Strathearn that people realised she was the author of some of their favourite songs.