Abernyte Kirk
Abernyte Kirk
Ann in the Kirkyard at Abernyte Ann in the Kirkyard at Abernyte

Ann Geraldine

I am a farmer's daughter,
And now a ploughman's wife,
Ann - Geraldine is my name
And I was born to this rural life.
I was nurtured and raised at Abernyte
At yonder farm, up on the hill
My father ploughed Tullybaccart's fields
While my brothers toiled the mill.

Robbie was my first love,
At Abernyte school we met
Just children, dressed in hand-me-downs,
A tinkers son, and yet,
He pledged to love and protect me
Like Ivanhoe in our book, a knight
In home-spun armour, we were the raven
And the rook.

Stories, the old folk told us,
As we sat around the fire,
Of when old mother Angus saw Jesus
And the Devil destroyed the byre.
They said that terrible times were coming
For the world, and Abernyte.
I remembered those words so clearly
When Robbie went off to fight.

My heart belonged to another, then
But Robbie was always a friend,
Willie Cormack spoke to him,
In Normandy, just before the end.
They remembered that night at the dancing
When Robbie's hopes were dashed,
Sleep in peace now, tinker laddie,
Sleep in peace, at last.

At the dawn of peace I was married
In the church, at Abernyte
Both of us, together, determined to make it right.
Our honeymoon, we spent a'walking
By the water at Lochearnhead,
The night-sky was our ceiling
And the heather, our marriage bed.
We promised to meet at the end of time
In our glade, at Abernyte, and sealed our
Pact with a tender kiss, and love
On our wedding night.

The fields and the seasons change, slowly
As a lassie's hair turns grey,
Our family we raised, together, and now
They are far away.
The ploughman
Who was a laddie, has seen the season's change
The world far away, beyond the hill
Now seems so very strange.
Yet still I see the young man,
Silhouetted on yon hill
A secret garden of the heart,
Where the flowers are blooming, still.

Last night, I rose from slumber, heard the music
From the lade, thought of the promises I had kept
And the pact that we had made.
That night, I saw the children play
At Abernyte school, long ago, saw too
The field of lillies, where we lay
And the lights, of the village
Far below.

They had gathered by the old kirk-yard
Those people, I had known.
They were the harvest of the seeds of love
Which as one, they had sown.
The kirk-bell rang out, loudly, in the night
Though only they could hear,
Tinker Robbie stood, so proudly,
With his father and his mother, near.

They gathered round, this spirit host
To embrace me, one and all.
Old mother Angus smiled in greeting
And covered me with her shawl.
I said, I must go to my man, now
At the cottage, by the burn,
But mother Angus shook her head,
And whispered, child, you never can return.

You never can return, ever,
To the life you once have known,
Look up into the sky, Ann,
See the Ploughman, high above.
He stands sentinel, tonight, Ann
By his starry plough of love.

Distant thunder rumbled, then
Over the Sidlaw range,
White lightning struck the old kirk-bell
To ring the coming of change,
Change, for the world, and for us all
As the seasons come and go,
As the seeds lie, dormant
Waiting for spring, Beneath the winter snow.

Wait here, with us, child
See the valley, down below
We shall sing a hymn of peace, Ann
Until it's time to go, we shall sing a hymn
Of hope, Ann, at the tolling of the bell,
Until the Ploughman calls us,
For only he can tell.