The Bonnie Banks o' Loch Lomond

The Bonnie Banks o' Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond is a traditional Scottish song (Roud # 9598). It was first published in 1841 in "Vocal Melodies of Scotland" [ [ Vocal Melodies of Scotland] ] .

Loch Lomond is a large Scottish loch located between the traditional counties of Dunbartonshire and Stirlingshire.


There are many theories about the meaning of the song. One interpretation is that it is attributed to a Jacobite Highlander who was captured after the 1745 rising while he was fleeing near Carlisle and is sentenced to die. The verse is his mournful elegy to another rebel who will not be executed. He claims that he will follow the "low road" (the spirit path through the underworld) and arrive in Scotland before his still-living comrade.

Another interpretation is that the song is sung by the lover of a captured rebel set to be to be executed in London following a show trial. The heads of the executed rebels were then set upon pikes and exhibited in all of the towns between London and Glasgow in a procession along the "high road" (the most important road), while the relatives of the rebels walked back along the "low road" (the ordinary road traveled by peasants and commoners).

It captures some of the romantic spirit of the lost cause of Bonnie Prince Charlie [ [ Loch Lomond] ] .

Andrew Lang

About 1876, the Scottish poet and folklorist Andrew Lang wrote a poem based on the song titled "The Bonnie Banks o' Loch Lomond". The title sometimes has the date "1746" appended [ [ Andrew Lang : Poems of Andrew Lang : THE BONNIE BANKS O' LOCH LOMOND ] ] --the year of the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie's rebellion and the hanging of some of his captured supporters. Lang's poem begins:

:There's an ending o' the dance, and fair Morag's safe in France,:And the Clans they hae paid the lawing,

Morag--"great one" in Gaelic--referred to Bonnie Prince Charlie, who fled to France after his forces were defeated [ [ Am Baile - The Songs and Hymns of the Scottish Highlands. Part II Song 5 ] ] "Lawing" means "reckoning" in Scottish dialect. The poem continues:

:And the wuddy has her ain, and we twa are left alane,:Free o' Carlisle gaol in the dawing.

"Wuddy" means "gallows", according to Lang's own notes on the poem; "dawing" is "dawn" [ [ RPO - Andrew Lang : The Bonnie Banks o' Loch Lomond ] ] . The poem continues with the song's well-known chorus, then explains why the narrator and his true love will never meet again:

:For my love's heart brake in twa, when she kenned the Cause's fa',:And she sleeps where there's never nane shall waken

The poem's narrator vows to take violent revenge on the English:

:While there's heather on the hill shall my vengeance ne'er be still,:While a bush hides the glint o' a gun, lad;:Wi' the men o' Sergeant Mòr shall I work to pay the score,:Till I wither on the wuddy in the sun, lad!

"Sergeant Môr" is John Du Cameron, a supporter of Bonnie Prince Charlie who continued fighting as an outlaw until he was hanged in 1753 [ [ RPO - Andrew Lang : The Bonnie Banks o' Loch Lomond ] ] .

Arrangements and recordings

"Loch Lomond" has been arranged and recorded by many composers and performers over the years, in styles ranging from traditional Scottish folk to barbershop to rock and roll.

In 1921, the English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, a keen collector and arranger of folk music from around the British Isles, arranged "Loch Lomond" as a part song for an unaccompanied four-part male voice choir with baritone solo. [cite book|last=Kennedy|first=Michael |title=A Catalogue of the Works of Ralph Vaughan Williams|publisher=Oxford University Press|date=1996|pages=85|isbn=0198165846|accessdate=2008-09-16]

In 1957, Bill Haley & His Comets recorded a popular rock and roll version retitled "Rock Lomond". Noted concert band composer Frank Ticheli composed a song called "Loch Lomond," based on the original, in 2002.

Paul Robeson, who would sing many Irish and Scottish folk songs, recorded the song with Harriet Wingreen on piano in what has long been recognized as the definitive version.Who|date=September 2008

The song is featured in the 1946 film, "The Green Years", based on the novel of the same title by Scots author, A. J. Cronin.

The Australian hard rock group AC/DC performed it as "Bonny", in which the band plays the music while the crowd sings the verse.

The progressive rock band Marillion played the song with their former singer "Fish" in the 80's, under the title 'Margaret' (usually played as a special song at Scottish shows). A live version can be found on B'Sides Themselves, recorded at Edinburgh Payhouse in December 1983.

Scottish folk-rock band Runrig have made the song their unofficial anthem, closing their concerts with a rendition for over 25 years. And had a top ten hit with a re-recorded version in 2007, Released for BBC Children in Need , hitting #9 in the whole of the UK and #1 in Scotland.

The lyrics are parodied by Tenacious D at the end of their song "Wonderboy".

Canadian punk band Real McKenzies recorded their own version of "Loch Lomond" on their 1995 debut album "The Real McKenzies" in their own Scottish-influenced Celtic punk styling.

John Barrowman sang it as well.When

A version was recorded by the Scottish folk duo, The Corries.When

The lead singer of American group The Fray has also been known to do the chorus at gigs in Edinburgh while supporting The Feeling, and most recently their gig in Glasgow in October 2007.The reason for this appears to beOr|date=September 2008 as his Grandfather is Scottish.

Dan Zanes' album "Catch That Train" features a version of the song in which he splits the vocal credits with the Natalie Merchant.

The film " the Last King of Scotland", features the song sung by an African choir and drummers.

Serbian band "Orthodox Celts" recorded a version of Loch Lomond, featured by a Serbian actress Ana Sofrenovic.

The song is featured in the track "A Very British Tribute" on the "Royal Celebration" Album of the Band of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and the Band of the Coldstream Guards

Also the King's Singers recorded a version of Loch Lomond.


:By yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes:Where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond:Where me and my true love will ne-er meet again (alternate: Where me and my true love were ever lak/wont to gae):On the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomond.

:"Chorus:" :O you’ll tak’ the high road and I’ll tak’ the low road:And I’ll be in Scotland afore ye:For me and my true love will ne-er meet again:On the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomond.

:‘Twas there that we parted in yon shady glen:On the steep, steep sides o’ Ben Lomond:Where deep in purple hue, the hieland hills we view:And the moon comin’ out in the gloamin’.


:The wee birdies sing and the wild flowers spring:And in sunshine the waters are sleeping:But the broken heart, it kens nae second spring again:Tho’ the waeful may cease frae their greeting. (alternate: Tho' the world knows not how we are grieving)



Red is the Rose

The Irish variant of the song is called "Red is the Rose, [] " and is sung with the same melody but different (although similarly themed) lyrics. It was rewritten and popularized by Irish folk legend Tommy Makem.

The chorus of "Red is the Rose" is:

:Red is the rose that in yonder garden grows:And fair is the lily of the valley:Clear are the waters that flow from the Boyne:But my love is fairer than any


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  • The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond — Liedtext [1] By yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes, Where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond. Where me and my true love were ever wont to gae, On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond. Refrain: Oh ye ll take the high road and I ll take… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • The Bonnie Banks O' Loch Lomond — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Loch Lomond. Le Loch Lomond. The Bonnie Banks O Loch Lomond ou simplement Loch Lomond est une chanson tradit …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Loch Lomond — Geographische Lage Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, Schottland Zuflüsse …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Loch Lomond (disambiguation) — Loch Lomond may refer to:*Loch Lomond in Scotland **The Scottish poem and folk song The Bonnie Banks O Loch Lomond **The Loch Lomond Single Malt Scotch Whisky produced by the Loch Lomond Distillery in Alexandria, Scotland, near Loch Lomond.*in… …   Wikipedia

  • Loch Lomond — Países  Reino Unido Región …   Wikipedia Español

  • Loch Lomond (Lied) — Liedtext [1] By yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes, Where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond. Where me and my true love were ever wont to gae, On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond. Refrain: Oh ye ll take the high road and I ll take… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Loch Lomond — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Loch Lomond (homonymie). Loch Lomond Administration …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Loch Lomond (Begriffsklärung) — Mit dem Begriff Loch Lomond werden bezeichnet: ein See in Schottland, siehe Loch Lomond ein schottisches Volkslied, siehe Loch Lomond (Lied) ein Gedicht von Andrew Lang, The Bonnie Banks o Loch Lomond eine Whiskymarke, siehe Loch Lomond… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Loch Lomond — [Loch Lomond] a traditional Scottish song. Loch Lomond is a lake surrounded by mountains in west Scotland. The song contains the famous lines: Oh, you’ll take the high road, and I’ll take the low road, and I’ll be in Scotland before you; But me… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Loch Lomond — Infobox lake lake name = Loch Lomond image lake = View of loch lomond.jpg caption lake = image bathymetry = caption bathymetry = coords = coord|56|05|N|4|34|W|display=title|region:GB scale:300000 source:GNS enwiki type = Loch, Ribbon lake inflow …   Wikipedia

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