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Choral ~ General ~ A Cappella



“Afton Water”  (“Sweet Afton”)

(An arrangement of the Scottish folk song)



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SCORING:  SATB a cappella (some divisi) with an optional tenor solo

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This is one of three folk songs from Scotland that I've arranged (the other two are “Loch Lomond” and “My Love Is Like a Red, Red Rose”). Scotland has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to their gorgeous folk melodies!

My arrangement of “Afton Water” is simple, but quite effective and moving. It seeks to enhance the sense of a gently flowing river that is already inherent in the melody.

Listeners will be lulled as they're serenely swept along in the flow of the piece, which ends calmly with the phrase “My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream, Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.”

 

Afton Water  (Sweet Afton)

Scottish folk song

Complete text:

Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes,
Flow gently, I'll sing thee a song in thy praise.
My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream,
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.

Thou stock-dove, whose echo resounds through the glen,
Ye wild whistling blackbirds in yon thorny den,
Thou green-crested lapwing, thy screaming forbear,
I charge you disturb not my slumbering fair.

How pleasant thy banks and green valleys below,
Where wild in the woodlands the primroses grow.
There oft, as mild evening sweeps over the lea,
The sweet-scented birk shades my Mary and me.

Thy crystal stream, Afton, how lovely it glides,
And winds by the cot where my Mary resides.
How wanton thy waters her snowy feet lave,
As gath'ring sweet flow'rets she stems thy clear wave.

Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes,
Flow gently, sweet river, the theme of my days.
My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream,
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.

Watch video below!