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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

Nathan Evans’ new release, Heather on the Hill, is a rich track filled with culture and romance that entices not only Scottish listeners, but various people’s around the world.

Nathan Evans Spotify cover for his latest song, “Heather on the Hill.”

If there’s one thing I’ve always yearned for, it’s a richer tapestry of folksongs and diverse voices to immerse myself in. Whether they echo from the hills of Ireland, the fjords of Scandinavia, or the moors of Scotland, the privilege of experiencing a singer from any heritage breathe life into their traditional culture through song is a true gift.

So, when I discovered that the uniquely talented Nathan Evans—renowned Scottish singer-songwriter, TikTok creator, and the soulful voice behind the unforgettable 2020 sea shanty, Wellermen—had unveiled his latest creation, Heather on The Hill, I was filled with anticipation to delve into this nostalgic and love-filled masterpiece.

The first verse starts with a snap—with the sharp sound of a fiddle and guitar/banjo mingling in the background—as Nathan Evans begins his storytelling.

It starts, “Oh, my love said to me, ‘Will you meet me by the sea? You can kiss me underneath the misty moon. She is stunning. She is pretty. She’s as warm as amber whiskey. And as bonny as a heather on the hill.” 

The singer draws us into a narrative of classical romance and longing. With an upbeat tune and percussion following, the song radiates a sense of jolly happiness. 

The singer draws us into a narrative of classical romance and longing. With an upbeat tune and percussion following, the song radiates a sense of jolly happiness. 

The second verse is more introductory as the song continues using a fast-paced tempo with the fiddle. It begins, “When I was a young boy, my mother said to me, ‘Find yourself a pretty lass, don’t take her love for free.’ From the fields of Aberfeldy to the shores of Loch Maree, I know that she’s the only one for me.”

In this verse, we get more context for the relationship we are hearing about. We know the singer is a romantic who was taught to cherish and share love, not just take it. 

We also get references in this portion. Aberfeldy is located in Highland Perthshire, a little ways from Perth. It is mentioned in popular culture from the poem The Birks of Aberfeldy and Ed Sheeran’s ‘The Hills of Aberfeldy.’ 

The song repeats itself for the third and fourth verses. However, the fifth verse is a new line that concludes the song’s story. It goes, “She was dancing by the fire as a piper played a tune. She wrapped her arms around me and asked, ‘Are you my groom?’ A dram of amber whiskey and a twinkle in her eye. We danced beneath the Caledonia sky.”

This song section shows us that the two partners are now grown. We can gather that they are still young yet love each other very much and are happy together. They dance, which could be a scene of a romance ending happily, and then the song repeats until it’s finished.

One thing to note about the song is the recurring mention of heather, which is more complex than a reference to a shrub. Heather, an evergreen flowering plant, has roots in both British and Scottish origins. 

In British history, Queen Victoria popularized the flower as good luck because she appreciated Scottish lore and culture. In Scottish folklore, heather is often associated with landscaping, especially on Scotland islands, and was a significant part of building construction.

Furthermore, the heather is known as a hearty flowering shrub that can thrive on the barren lands of Scotland, where other plants may have a more challenging time growing. Respected as both beautiful and robust, it is a perfect comparison for a lover, especially of Scottish heritage. 

And when compared with the word ‘bonney,’ which means fine, attractive, and pretty—also Scottish in origin—and used to describe a lover, you get a rich subtext filled with Scottish culture while still being simple enough in its message for foreigners to understand.

Heather on the Hill is a classic romance that entices the older audience with nostalgia and the younger generation’s chatty rhymes and romantic settings. It isn’t groundbreaking, but it holds much contemporary meaning about Scotland and its culture that any music-lover can appreciate.

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About the Contributor
Ava Tilley
Ava Tilley, Staff Writer
Ava is a senior entering her second year writing for the Central Trend. She strives to be a passionate writer, hopelessly curious about all topics, and this year her goal is to improve the quality of her writing to be more engaging and fulfilling to the audience and her readers. Favorite Snack: Frozen raspberries, surprisingly delicious. Favorite Time to Write: Early morning, around 7-9 am Favorite Pet: I have no favorite, I love all my children equally!...(my cat)

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