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YOUTUBE
BILL MILLIN



The Road To The Isles
(Kenneth MacLeod)

Sure by Tummel and Loch Rannoch and Lochaber I will go
By the heather tracks wi' heaven in their wiles
If it's thinkin' in your inner heart the braggart's in my step
You've never smelled the tangle o' the Isles
O the far Coolins are puttin' love on me
As step I wi' my cromack tae the Isles


It's by Shiel water the track is tae the west
By Aillort and by Morar to the sea
The cool cresses I am thinkin' o’ for pluck
And bracken for a wink on mother’s knee

Sure by Tummel and Loch Rannoch and Lochaber I will go
By the heather tracks wi' heaven in their wiles
If it's thinkin' in your inner heart the braggart's in my step
You've never smelled the tangle o' the Isles
Oh the far Coolins are puttin' love on me
As step I wi' my cromack tae the Isles


It’s the blue islands are pullin' me away
Their laughter puts the leap upon the lame
It’s the blue islands fae the Skerries to the Lews
Wi' heather honey taste upon each name

Sure by Tummel and Loch Rannoch and Lochaber I will go
By the heather tracks wi' heaven in their wiles
If it's thinkin' in your inner heart the braggart's in my step
You've never smelled the tangle o' the Isles

The Road To The Isles has been written by Pipe Major John McLellan DCM (1875-1949). He has spent a big part of his life in the army and is the author of many bagpipe tunes (see Lochanside here). He was used to name his melodies according to the place his regiment was located. Therefore, this tune, named at first The Bens Of Jura (1891), was successively called The 71st’s Farewell To Dover, The Highland Brigade’s March To Heilbron (*) and The Burning Sands Of Egypt… before the current title that is a return to the roots…

It has been played by Piper Bill (Bill Millin) during the D-Day (WWII).

The lyrics were published in 1917 in Songs Of The Hebrides : they are from Kenneth MacLeod who wrote them in memory of the soldiers who died during the Great War.

(*) South Africa

See also : David Murray « Music Of The Scottish Regiments » (ed. The Pentland Press - 1994)

The Road To The Isles

- score written by Éric Mac Lewis with CelticPipes

Scottish bagpipe tunes

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