Sweet Afton (6:02)

Cover of Nickel Creek

From Nickel Creek and 1 other release

Sweet Afton is a lyrical poem describing the Afton Water in Ayrshire, Scotland. It was written by Robert Burns in 1791 and set to music by Jonathan E. Spilman in 1837, under the title Flow gently, sweet Afton. Many artists have performed it over the years since it was written, including Nickel Creek in 2000.

Sweet Afton contains a lot of monosyllables, which contribute to a gentle, soothing rhythm. It can be seen as a hymn for peace. The poem is in the metre 11 - 11 - 11- 11, and is often sung to the tune of the popular Christmas carol Away in a Manger called Cradle Song.

In the town of New Cumnock in East Ayrshire there is a bridge across Afton Water on the A76 upon which there is a plaque commemorating Robert Burns and this great poem. The Afton of New Cumnock gives its name to the Glen of Afton, which has connections with William Wallace, Robert Bruce, Mary Queen of Scots (1568), and Robert Burns. The Wallace seal attached to the Lubeck Letter of 1297 gives substance to the theory that Wallace’s father was from Kyle Regis (this area) and a rock formation “up the glen” is named Castle William, supposedly after the Scottish patriot’s fortification.

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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

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics

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  • xmissemmax

    Beautiful! :)

    16 Dec 2011 Reply
  • MyxxxxxDSMBR

    This will always make me think of the summer of 2007... saw them live with my girlfriend. They played in an outdoor pavilion for maybe 3,000 people. It really was an amazing performance. This song in particular stuck out for some reason... so beautiful.

    29 Aug 2010 Reply
  • LadyLaurelin

    Love.

    7 May 2010 Reply
  • onefeistygirl

    Completely stunning

    4 Apr 2010 Reply
  • oceanofmilk

    Isn't it? I never get tired of it.

    26 Oct 2009 Reply
  • Fipps

    Absolutely stunning song.

    16 Nov 2008 Reply

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