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Also known as Loch Lomond, it is an old traditional Scottish tune, first published in 1841.
The lyrics were written circa 1876 by Andrew Lang under the title The Bonnie Banks O' Loch Lomond and gave the final name to that melody. They refer to the last Jacobite rebellion  - Tae fecht (to fight) for his King and Prince Charlie - and its tragical epilogue at Culloden (1746).
Another version exists in the Irish repertoire - based on the same tune - by the name Red Is The Rose.

It has been sung or played by many artists, particularly by AC/DC as Fling Thing or Bonny.

Talking about the bagpipe repertoire, Loch Lomond is most of the time played as a march (Slow March) by pipe-bands and as a  slow air by soloists. I've chosen that last version to classify the tune and also to play it, but at a quite bright tempo in order to keep the patriotic side of the tune.

NB : the score I've written for Highland bagpipe follows only the chorus; pipe-bands often try to play the whole melody but as far as it contains some notes out of the bagpipe scale, they have to make some choices I don't really like.



The Bonnie Banks O' Loch Lomond
- The Corries version -
(Andrew Lang)

O wither away my bonnie May
Sae late an’ sae far in the gloamin’
The mist gathers grey o’er moorland and brae
O wither sae far are ye roamin’?

O ye’ll tak the high road an’ I’ll tak the low
I’ll be in Scotland before ye
For me and my true love will never meet again
By the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomond


O will may I weep for yestreen in my sleep
We stood bride and bridegroom together
But his arms and his breath were as cold as the death
And his heart’s blood ran red on the heather

I trusted my ain love last night in the broom
My Donald wha’ loves me sae dearly
For the morrow he will march for Edinburgh toon
Tae fecht for his King and Prince Charlie

(chorus)

As dauntless in battle as tender in love
He’d yield ne’er a foot tae the foeman
But never again frae the field o’ the slain
To his Moira will he come by Loch Lomond

The thistle may bloom, the King hae his ain
And fond lovers will meet in the gloamin’
And me and my true love will yet meet again
Far above the bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomond

O ye’ll tak the high road an’ I’ll tak the low
I’ll be in Scotland before ye
For me and my true love will never meet again
By the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomond

The Bonnie Banks O' Loch Lomond

- score written by Éric Mac Lewis with CelticPipes

Scottish bagpipe tunes

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