Braveheart actress composes song for local school

Published: 31 Jul 2009 14:110 comments

AN award-winning actress has penned a song to celebrate her local primary school's centenary.

Gerda Stevenson, who starred alongside Mel Gibson in Braveheart, has written 'Come Wander By The Winding Lyne' for her old school, West Linton Primary.

A former pupil of the school, Gerda, who is also an accomplished poet, was approached by the centenary committee to write the commemorative composition.

And she now hopes that it may ring out in the school's classrooms for the next century.

She said: "I'm delighted to have written a song for my old school, in this its centenary year. My brother, my sister, and my son Rob were all educated there, and my daughter Galina is currently in Primary 6.

"I've written the melody in a pentatonic scale, so that you can play it all on the black keys of the piano, because I remember my father, the composer Ronald Stevenson, telling me that children sing naturally in the pentatonic mode.

"It would be nice to think that the song may be sung regularly by the school at different events, and passed on from generation to generation.

"I hope it will be a perennial song, one which can be sung at the school assembly on a regular basis rather than a bicentennial one dragged out again in hundred years!"

The song is based upon the school's four houses, each one relating to the local geography, and its history: the Lyne and West Water being two rivers, Mendick and Castle Law two nearby hills.

Gerda, who now lives in nearby Carlops, added:"I was born and brought up in West Linton, and have happy memories of all these places. Mendick was my house when I was a pupil at West Linton PS, and I have climbed that lovely hill many times.

"I have fished for minnows in the Lyne, picked primroses and fried sausages on the banks of the West Water, and have sledged down Castle Law."

She also delighted in telling how the entire songwriting process has somewhat awoken her hidden musical talent.

She said: "I never thought of myself as musical as such, although I do sing. However, I've enjoyed this whole process so much that I've now written a further three songs, which has been quite surprising."

Come Wander By The Winding Lyne

There are four houses in our school,

we praise them now in song,

West Water, Mendick, Castlelaw,

and Lyne, all good and strong.


Come wander by the winding Lyne,

and up to bright West Water,

climb Mendick Hill and Castlelaw -

sing, every son and daughter!

Beneath West Water's glistening pools

great treasures have been found:

an ancient child with metal beads

lay buried in the ground.


While marching Eastward to the Forth

the Romans crossed the Lyne;

they drank its water, clear and sweet

in the shade of old Scots pine.


Young Mary Queen of Scots once passed

by Mendick's bonnie braes,

where peewits chime their lonely cry

to the laverock's lilting phrase.


In time of war, the brave Home Guard

kept watch on Castlelaw,

year in, year out, in darkest night,

through winters, cold and raw.


Note: the laverock is the Scots word for a skylark.

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