The melody for Oh! I Hae Seen the Roses Blaw is
attributed to Gustav Holst (1874-1934) - shown above -
Op.46. No.2. Holst was an English composer, arranger and
teacher. Best known for his orchestral suite The
Planets, he composed many other works across a range
of genres, although none achieved comparable success.
His distinctive compositional style was the product of
many influences, Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss
being most crucial early in his development. The
subsequent inspiration of the English folksong revival
of the early 20th century, and the example of such
rising modern composers as Maurice Ravel, led Holst to
develop and refine an individual style.
Oh! I Hae Seen the Roses Blaw is one of two tunes
identified as being from Northumberland.
Oh! I hae seen the roses blaw
The heather bloom, the broom an a’
The lilly spring as white as snaw
With all their native splendor,
Yet Mary’s sweeter on the green,
As fresh as fair as Flora’s queen,
Mair stately then the branching bean,
Or live the ivy slender.