Quiet Dreams: Loch Lomond, Composer Unknown

By yon bonnie banks an’ y yon bonnie braes
Whaur the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond
Whaur me an’ my true love will ne’er meet again
On the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomond.

O ye’ll tak’ the high road, and Ah’ll tak’ the low road
And Ah’ll be in Scotland afore ye
Fir me an’ 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
Whaur in purple hue, the hielan hills we view
An’ the moon comin’ out in the gloamin’

O ye’ll tak’ the high road, and Ah’ll tak’ the low road
And Ah’ll be in Scotland afore ye
Fir me and my true love will ne’er meet again
On the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomond.

The wee birdies sing an’ the wild flouers spring
An’ in sunshine the waters are sleeping
But the broken heart it kens, nae second spring again,
Tho’ the waeful may cease frae their weeping.

O ye’ll tak’ the high road, and Ah’ll tak’ the low road
And Ah’ll be in Scotland afore ye
Fir me an’ my true love will ne’er meet again
On the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomond.

I always thought it had started as a poem and later became a song, but apparently I was wrong. This is one of my favorite pieces of poetic expression and I feel it is self-explanatory, but perhaps I should point out the key concept. The low road is death and the singer will arrive in Scotland first, as their true love must take the longer route by living and making the journey alone.

Is there a truth to be had from the origin of the song? It’s hard to say. I had always heard that it was referencing two Jacobite brothers imprisoned in London. One day they were told that one would be set free in the morning while the other was to be executed. The singer is the brother volunteering to die so that his brother may live. A bit too pat, I know, but it is what it is. Steve McDonald recorded my favorite version of Loch Lomond and he is a wonderful singer, if you are so inclined to look him up.

See you soon, darlings.

3 thoughts on “Quiet Dreams: Loch Lomond, Composer Unknown

Add yours

  1. I knew that seemed familiar. That’s on the Steve McDonald CD I have. I’m pretty it’s one you gave me ages ago. I can’t find my cd case to confirm at the moment but I’m pretty sure.

    Liked by 1 person

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