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The Bonny Banks of Loch Lomond
Album: The Flowers of Scotland
Album: Rob Roy and the MacGregors

 
Traditional
This song was written by a MacGregor of Glen Endrick, who was jailed, along with a friend, in Carlisle England in 1746. The author had been comdemned to death for his support of Bonnie Prince Charlie in the 1745 uprising, while his friend was going to be set free. The song tells of the old Celtic myth that the soul of a Scot who dies outside his homeland will find it's way back home by the spiritual road, or the low road. So he condemned man says to his friend: "You take the high road and I'll take the low road, and I'll be in Scotland afore ye..."
Alternate view:
Loch Lomond is an old Jacobite Air. It is based on an older folk tune Robin Cushie (Kind Robin Loves Me), in McGibbons Scots Tunes Book I, dated 1742. The words are attributed to Lady John Scott (1810-1900) who adapted a broadside by Sanderson of Edinburgh (1838). The version we are familiar with today is said to have first appreared in print in Poets and Poetry of Scotland (1876).  
 

 
By yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes
Where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond
Me and my true love were ever wont to gae
On the bonny, bonny banks of Loch Lomond

Chorus
Ye'll tak' the high road and I'll tak the low road
And I'll be in Scotland afore ye
But me and my true love will never meet again
On the bonny, bonny banks of Loch Lomond

'Twas there that we parted in yon shady glen
On the steep, steep side of Ben Lomond
Where in the purple hue the hieland hills we view
And the moon coming out in the gloaming

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
And the waefu' may cease frae their greetin'

 

Glossary
bonnie: beautiful
braes: hills
gae: go
gloaming: twilight, dusk
greeting: weeping
Hieland: Highland
kens: knows
nae: no
waeful': woeful
wee: little
wont: accustom
ye, ye'll: you, you'll
yon: yonder

 

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