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  1. #1
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    Default Traditional Scottish Songs - One Tune A Day...

    Traditional Scottish Songs... One Tune A Day... August 6th...

    These tunes are as important to the people of Nova Scotia - especially my paternal grandparents who hail from Glasgow and Edinburgh respectively - as they are to the people of Scotland... although my French-Canadian Parti Québécois-voting mother and wife would dispute that contention quite vigorously to say the least so don't tell 'em about this thread, eh? - Thanks!

    I've included the lyrics (which are in the public domain) in case you want to sing along...

    23rd. Psalm in Scots

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkm45HqNMEU

    "The Lord is my Shepherd in nocht am I wantin'
    In the haugh's green girse does He mak me lie doon
    While mony puir straiglers are bleatin' and pantin'
    By saft-flowin' burnies He leads me at noon.

    When aince I had strayed far awa in the bracken,
    And daidled till gloamin' cam ower a' the hills,
    Nae dribble o' water my sair drooth to slacken,
    And dark grow'd the nicht wi' its haars and its chills.

    Awa frae the fauld, strayin' fit-sair and weary,
    I thocht I had naethin' tae dae but tae dee.
    He socht me and fand me in mountain hechts dreary,
    He gangs by fell paths which He kens best for me.

    And noo, for His name's sake, I'm dune wi' a' fearin'
    Though cloods may aft gaither and soughin' win's blaw.
    "Hoo this?" or "Hoo that?" -- oh, prevent me frae spearin'
    His will is aye best, and I daurna say "Na".

    The valley o' death winna fleg me to thread it,
    Through awfu' the darkness, I weel can foresee.
    Wi' His rod and His staff He wull help me to tread it,
    Then wull its shadows, sae gruesome, a' flee.

    Forfochen in presence o' foes that surround me,
    My Shepherd a table wi' denties has spread.
    The Thyme and the Myrtle blaw fragrant aroond me,
    He brims a fu' cup and poors oil on my head.

    Surely guidness an' mercy, despite a' my roamin'
    Wull gang wi' me doon tae the brink o' the river.
    Ayont it nae mair o' the eerie an' gloamin'
    I wull bide in the Hame o' my Faither for ever."
    Last edited by Sydney Nova Scotia; Aug-06-2018 at 14:02.

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  3. #2
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    Traditional Scottish Songs... One Tune A Day... August 7th...

    "100 Pipers"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l286QgBHP5o

    "Wi' a hundred pipers, an' a', an' a',
    Wi' a hundred pipers, an' a', an' a',
    We'll up an' gie them a blaw, a blaw,
    Wi' a hundred pipers, an' a', an' a'.
    O it's owre the border awa', awa'
    It's owre the border awa', awa',
    We'll on an' we'll march to Carlisle ha'
    Wi' its yetts, its castle an' a', an a'.

    Chorus:

    Wi' a hundred pipers, an' a', an' a',
    Wi' a hundred pipers, an' a', an' a',
    We'll up an' gie them a blaw, a blaw
    Wi' a hundred pipers, an' a', an' a'.

    O! our sodger lads looked braw, looked braw,
    Wi' their tartan kilts an' a', an' a',
    Wi' their bonnets an' feathers an' glitt'rin' gear,
    An' pibrochs sounding loud and clear.
    Will they a' return to their ain dear glen?
    Will they a' return oor Heilan' men?
    Second sichted Sandy looked fu' wae.
    An' mithers grat when they march'd away.

    Chorus:

    O! wha' is foremos o' a', o' a',
    Oh wha' is foremost o' a', o' a',
    Bonnie Charlie the King o' us a', hurrah!
    Wi' his hundred pipers an' a', an ' a'.
    His bonnet and feathers he's waving high,
    His prancing steed maist seems to fly,
    The nor' win' plays wi' his curly hair,
    While the pipers play wi'an unco flare.

    Chorus:

    The Esk was swollen sae red an' sae deep,
    But shouther to shouther the brave lads keep;
    Twa thousand swam owre to fell English ground
    An' danced themselves dry to the pibroch's sound.
    Dumfoun'er'd the English saw, they saw,
    Dumfoun'er'd they heard the blaw, the blaw,
    Dumfoun'er'd they a' ran awa', awa',
    Frae the hundred pipers an' a', an' a'.

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Here's a traditional Glaswegian children's song that I sing with the kids in my class. The version I use incorporates a 3rd verse (optional)which goes...

    I know a teddy bear
    Blue eyes and curly hair
    Roly-poly through the toon
    Knockin aw the people doon
    I know a teddy bear

    It's a lovely, silly song and the kids love it.
    Last edited by Merl; Aug-07-2018 at 11:26.

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  7. #4
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    Traditional Scottish Songs... One Tune A Day... August 8th

    "Aikendrum" - Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmp7TPslLfU

    "Ken ye how a Whig can fight, Aikendrum, Aikendrum
    Ken ye how a Whig can fight, Aikendrum
    He can fight the hero bright, with his heels and armour tight
    And the wind of heavenly night, Aikendrum, Aikendrum

    Is not Rowley in the right, Aikendrum!

    Did ye hear of Sunderland, Aikendrum, Aikendrum
    Did ye hear of Sunderland, Aikendrum
    That man of high command, who has sworn to clear the land
    He has vanished from our strand, Aikendrum, Aikendrum,
    Or the eel has ta'en the sand, Aikendrum.

    Donald's running 'round and 'round, Aikendrum, Aikendrum,
    Donald's running 'round and 'round, Aikendrum
    But the Chief cannot be found, and the Dutchmen they are drowned
    And King Jaime he is crowned, Aikendrum, Aikendrum
    But the dogs will get a stound, Aikendrum.

    We have heard of Whigs galore, Aikendrum, Aikendrum
    We have heard of Whigs galore, Aikendrum
    But we've sought the country o'er, with cannon and claymore,
    And still they are before, Aikendrum, Aikendrum
    We may seek forevermore, Aikendrum!

    Ken ye how to gain a Whig, Aikendrum, Aikendrum
    Ken ye how to gain a Whig, Aikendrum
    Look Jolly, blythe and big, take his ain blest side and prig,
    And the poor, worm-eaten Whig, Aikendrum, Aikendrum
    For opposition's sake you will win!"


    The rhyme was first printed by James Hogg in Jacobite Reliques in 1820, as a Jacobite song about the Battle of Sheriffmuir (1715).
    Last edited by Sydney Nova Scotia; Aug-08-2018 at 02:54.

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    Traditional Scottish Songs... One Tune A Day... August 9th

    "A man's a man for a' that" - Sheena Wellington

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCHRUU3fHMw

    "Is there for honest poverty
    That hings his head, an' a' that?
    The coward slave, we pass him by -
    We dare be poor for a' that!
    For a' that, an' a' that!
    Our toils obscure, an' a' that,
    The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
    The man's the gowd for a' that.

    What though on hamely fare we dine,
    Wear hoddin grey an' a' that?
    Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine
    A man's a man for a' that.
    For a' that, an' a' that,
    Their tinsel show, an' a' that,
    The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor,
    Is king o' men for a' that.

    Ye see yon birkie ca'd 'a lord',
    Wha struts, an' stares, an' a' that?
    Tho' hundreds worship at his word,
    He's but a cuif for a' that,
    For a' that, an' a' that,
    His ribband, star, an' a' that,
    The man o' independent mind,
    He looks an' laughs at a' that.

    A prince can mak a belted knight,
    A marquis, duke, an' a' that!
    But an honest man's aboon his might -
    Guid faith, he mauna fa' that!
    For a' that, an' a' that,
    Their dignities, an' a' that,
    The pith o' sense an' pride o' worth
    Are higher rank than a' that.

    Then let us pray that come it may
    (As come it will for a' that)
    That Sense and Worth o'er a' the earth,
    Shall bear the gree an' a' that,
    For a' that, an' a' that,
    It's comin yet for a' that,
    That man to man the world oe'r
    Shall brithers be for a' that."


    "Is There for Honest Poverty", commonly known as "A Man's a Man for A' That" or "For a' That and a' That", is a 1795 song by Robert Burns, written in Scots and English, famous for its expression of egalitarian ideas of society, which may be seen as expressing the ideas of liberalism that arose in the 18th century.

    Scottish folksinger Sheena Wellington sang the song at the opening of the Scottish Parliament in May, 1999.
    Last edited by Sydney Nova Scotia; Aug-09-2018 at 04:20.

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    Traditional Scottish Songs... One Tune A Day... August 10th

    "Ae Fond Kiss" - Robyn Stapleton

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ax021N4iaFU

    "Ae fond kiss, and then we sever!
    Ae farewell, and then forever!
    Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
    Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.
    Who shall say that Fortune grieves him,
    While the star of hope she leaves him?
    Me, nae cheerfu twinkle lights me,
    Dark despair around benights me.

    I'll ne'er blame my partial fancy:
    Naething could resist my Nancy!
    But to see her was to love her
    Love but her and love for ever.
    Had we never lov'd sae kindly.
    Had we never lov'd sae blindly,
    Never met - or never parted
    We had ne'er been broken-hearted.

    Fare-thee-weel, thou first and fairest!
    Fare-thee-weel, thou best and dearest!
    Thine be ilka. joy and treasure.
    Peace, Enjoyment, Love and Pleasure!
    Ae fond kiss, and then we sever!
    Ae farewell, alas, for ever!
    Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee.
    Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee."



    "The Scots song "Ae fond kiss and then we sever" by the poet Robert Burns is more commonly known as "Ae fond kiss". It is Burns' most recorded love song.

    After the publication of his collected poems, the Kilmarnock volume, Burns regularly travelled and stayed at Edinburgh. While there he established a platonic relationship with Mrs Agnes Maclehose and they began a regular correspondence using the pseudonyms 'Clarinda' and 'Sylvander'. Burns wrote 'Ae fond kiss' after their final meeting and sent it to Mclehose on 27 December 1791 before she departed Edinburgh for Jamaica to be with her estranged husband."

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Here's another I sing with the kids I teach.


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    Traditional Scottish Songs... One Tune A Day... August 11th

    "Annie Laurie" - The Corries

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COJ0PyALHI8

    "Maxwellton braes are bonnie,
    Where early fa's the dew,
    And 'twas there that Annie Laurie
    Gave me her promise true.
    Gave me her promise true,
    Which ne'er forgot will be,
    And for bonnie Annie Laurie,
    I lay me doon and dee.

    Her brow is like the snowdrift,
    Her throat is like a swan,
    Her face it is the fairest
    That e'er the sun shone on.
    That e'er the sun shone on,
    And dark blue is her ee,
    And for bonnie Annie Laurie
    I lay me doon and dee.

    Like dew on th' gowan lying,
    Is the fa' o' her fairy feet,
    And like winds in summer sighing
    Her voice is low and sweet.
    Her voice is low and sweet,
    And she's a' the world to me,
    And for bonnie Annie Laurie,
    I lay me doon and dee."


    ""Annie Laurie" is an old Scottish song based on a poem said to have been written by William Douglas (1682?–1748) of Dumfries and Galloway, about his romance with Annie Laurie (1682—1764). The words were modified and the tune was added by Alicia Scott in 1834/5. The song is also known as "Maxwelton Braes".

    Traditionally it is said that Douglas had a romance with Annie Laurie, but that her father opposed a marriage. This may have been because Anna was very young; she was only in her mid-teens when her father died. It may also have been because of Douglas's aggressive temperament or more likely because of his Jacobite allegiances. It is known for certain that they knew of each because in a later letter by Anna she says in reply to news about Douglas, "I trust that he has forsaken his treasonable opinions, and that he is content."

    There has been some doubt that Douglas composed the poem. The words of the second verse of the song may be based on an old version of John Anderson My Jo, to the tune of which song Annie Laurie was sometimes sung. The words were first recorded in 1823 in Sharpe's "Ballad Book", quite a long time after 1700. The song therefore may have been written by Allan Cunningham, who invented contributions to Sharpe's book. However Douglas is known to have written other verses and he also knew an Anna Laurie of Maxwelton. This seems to indicate he was the originator of some of the first verse at least."

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    Traditional Scottish Songs... One Tune A Day... August 12th…

    "The Auld Hoose" - Anne Lorne Gillies

    "Oh! the auld hoose, the auld hoose,
    What tho' the rooms were wee,
    Oh, kind hearts were dwelling there,
    And bairnies fu' o' glee.
    And wild rose and the jassamine
    Still hang upon the wa'
    Hoo mony cherished memories
    Do they sweet flow'rs reca'.

    Oh, the auld Laird, the auld Laird
    Sae canty, kind and crouse.
    Hoo mony did he welcome there,
    His ain wee dear auld hoose.
    And the leddy, too, sae genty,
    There shelter'd Scoltand's heir,
    An' clipt a lock wi' her ain han'
    Frae his long yellow hair

    The mavis still doth sweetly sing,
    The bluebells sweetly blaw.
    The bonnie Earn's clear, winding still
    But the auld hoose is awa'.
    The auld hoose, the auld hoose
    Deserted tho' ye be,
    There ne'er can be a new hoose,
    Will seem sae fair to me.

    Still flourishing the auld pear tree
    The bairnies liked to see.
    And oh hoo often did they speir
    When ripe they a' wad be?
    The voices sweet, the wee bit feet
    Aye runnin' here and there.
    The merry shouts oh, whiles we greet
    To think we'll hear nae mair."


    "The Auld Hoose" was written by Carilina Oliphant (Lady Nairne) about her birthplace in Gask, Perthshire.

    Carolina Oliphant, Lady Nairne (16 August 1766 – 26 October 1845) – also known as Carolina Baroness Nairn in the peerage of Scotland and Baroness Keith in that of the United Kingdom – was a Scottish songwriter. Many of her songs, such as "Will ye no' come back again?" and "Charlie is my Darling", remain popular today, almost two hundred years after they were written. She usually set her words to traditional Scottish folk melodies, but sometimes contributed her own music.

    Carolina Nairne and her contemporary Robert Burns were influenced by the Jacobite heritage in their establishment of a distinct Scottish identity, through what they both called national song.
    Although both working in the same genre of what might today be called traditional Scottish folksongs, Nairne and Burns display rather different attitudes in their compositions. Nairne tends to focus on an earlier romanticised version of the Scottish way of life, tinged with sadness for what is gone forever, whereas Burns displays an optimism about a better future to come.
    Last edited by Sydney Nova Scotia; Aug-12-2018 at 02:59.

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    Traditional Scottish Songs... One Tune A Day... August 13th

    "The Auld Scotch Sangs" - Moira Anderson

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffcRng-TTQE

    "O sing to me the auld Scotch sangs
    I' the braid Scottish tongue.
    The sangs my father loved to hear,
    The sangs my mither sung,
    When she sat beside my cradle,
    Or croon'd me on her knee.
    And I wadna sleep, she sang sae sweet,
    The auld Scotch sangs to me.
    And I wadna sleep, she sang sae sweet
    The auld Scotch sangs to me.

    Sing ony o' the auld Scotch sangs,
    The blithesome or the sad,
    They mak' me smile when I am wae,
    And greet when I am glad.
    My heart goes back to auld Scotland,
    The saut tear dims my e'e,
    And the Scotch blood leaps in a' my veins,
    As ye sing the sangs to me.
    And the Scotch blood leaps in a' my veins,
    As ye sing the sangs to me.

    Sing on, sing mair o' thae auld sangs,
    For ilka ane can tell
    0' joy or sorrow i' the past
    Where mem'ry lo'es to dwell,
    Tho' hair grows grey and limbs grow auld,
    Until the day I dee,
    I'll bless the Scottish tongue that sings
    The auld Scotch sangs to me.
    I'll bless the Scottish tongue that sings
    The auld Scotch sangs to me."
    Last edited by Sydney Nova Scotia; Aug-13-2018 at 03:13.

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    Traditional Scottish Songs... One Tune A Day... August 14th…

    "Band o' Shearers" - Long Lankin

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvi2rZ5Az6w

    "Oh summer days and heather bells
    Come blooming owre yon high hill,
    There's yellow corn in a' the fields,
    And autumn brings the shearin'.

    Chorus:

    Bonnie lassie will ye gang
    And shear wi' me the hale day lang?
    And love will cheer us as we gang
    Tae join yon band o' shearers.

    Chorus:

    Bonnie lassie will ye gang
    And shear wi' me the hale day lang?
    And love will cheer us as we gang
    Tae join yon band o' shearers.

    Chorus:

    Oh, if the weather be owre hot
    I'll cast my cravat and my coat
    And shear wi' ye amang the lot,
    When we join yon band o' shearers.

    Chorus:

    And if the thistle is owre strang,
    And pierce your lily milk-white hand,
    It's wi' my hook I'll cut them down,
    When we gang tae the shearin'.

    Chorus:

    And if the weather be owre dry,
    They'll say there's love twixt you and I
    But we will proudly pass them by,
    When we join the band o' Shearers.

    Chorus:

    And when the shearin' it is done
    And slowly sets the evening sun,
    We'll have some rantin' roarin' fun,
    And gang nae mair tae the shearin'.

    Final Chorus:

    So bonnie lassie bricht and fair
    Will ye be mine for evermair?
    If ye'll be mine, then I'll be thine,
    And we gang nae mair tae the shearin'."
    Last edited by Sydney Nova Scotia; Aug-14-2018 at 03:22.

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    Traditional Scottish Songs... One Tune A Day... August 15th

    "Barnyards of Delgaty" - Old Blind Dogs

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgXW-ExAJXI

    "As I cam' in by Turra Market,
    Turra Market for to fee,
    I fell in wi' a mairket fairmer,
    The Barnyards of Delgaty.

    Chorus

    Lintin addie toorin addie,
    Lintin addie toorin ee,
    Lintin lowrin, lowrin, lowrin,
    The barnyards of Delgaty.

    Chorus

    He promised me the twa best horse
    That ever were in Scotland seen,
    But when I gaed doon tae the Barren Yairds,
    There was naething there but skin and bean.

    Chorus

    The auld black horse sat on its rump,
    The auld white mare lay on her wime.
    And for all that I could "Hup" and crack,
    They wouldna rise at yokin' time.

    Chorus

    When I gae to the kirk on Sunday,
    Mony's the bonnie lass I see,
    Sitting by her faither's side
    And winkin o'er the pews at me.

    Chorus

    I can drink and no be drunk,
    I can fecht and no be slain,
    I can lie wi another man's lass,
    And aye be welcome to my ain.

    Chorus

    Noo my candle is brunt oot,
    My snotter's fairly on the wane.
    Sae fare ye weel ye Barnyards
    Ye'll never catch me here again.

    Chorus "


    Bothy ballads are songs sung by farm labourers in the northeast region of Scotland.

    Bothies are farm outbuildings, where unmarried labourers used to sleep, often in harsh conditions. In the evening, to entertain themselves they sang. Several Child Ballads that had died out elsewhere in the UK survived until the 1920s, sung by these workers. It was a male-only environment and some songs are obscene. They celebrated ploughmen as lovers ("The Plooman Laddies", "My Darling Ploughman Boy").

    The farmlands around Aberdeen produced satirical songs, critical of working conditions. The best known is "The Barnyards of Delgaty", (a pun on "The Barren Yirds o Delgaty" meaning "The Barren Soils of Delgaty"). Real names of farmers, supervisors and farms are given, and mocked.

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    Traditional Scottish Songs... One Tune A Day... August 16th

    "The Birks of Aberfeldie" - Susan Rode Morris

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-Gb45p2324

    Chorus:

    "Bonie lassie, will ye go,
    Will ye go, will ye go,
    Bonie lassie, will ye go
    To the birks of Aberfeldie

    Now simmer blinks on flowery braes,
    And o'er the crystal streamlet plays;
    Come, let us spend the lightsome days,
    In the birks of Aberfeldie!

    Chorus:

    The little birdies blithely sing,
    While o'er their heads the hazels hing;
    Or lightly flit on wanton wing
    In the birks of Aberfeldie!

    Chorus:

    The braes ascend like lofty wa's,
    The foaming stream, deep-roaring, fa's,
    O'er-hung wi' fragrant spreading shaws,
    The birks of Aberfeldie.

    Chorus:

    The hoary cliffs are crown'd wi' flowers,
    White o'er the linns the burnie pours,
    And, rising, weets wi' misty showers
    The birks of Aberfeldie.

    Chorus:

    Let Fortune's gifts at random flee,
    They ne'er shall draw a wish frae me;
    Supremely blest wi' love and thee
    In the birks of Aberfeldie.


    The Birks of Aberfeldy" is a song lyric written for a pre-existing melody in 1787 by Robert Burns. He was inspired to write it by the Falls of Moness and the birch trees of Aberfeldy during a tour of the Scottish Highlands with his friend William Nicol.

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    Traditional Scottish Songs... One Tune A Day... August 17th

    "Black is the Colour of My True Love's Hair" - Hamish Imlach

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-cfyTs6neM

    "But Black is the colour of my true love's hair.
    His face is like some rosy fair,
    The prettiest face and the neatest hands,
    I love the ground whereon he stands.

    I love my love and well he knows,
    I love the ground whereon he goes,
    If you no more on earth I see,
    I can't serve you as you have me.

    The winter's passed and the leaves are green,
    The time is passed that we have seen,
    But still I hope the time will come
    When you and I shall be as one.

    I go to the Clyde for to mourn and weep,
    But satisfied I never could sleep.
    I'll write to you a few short lines,
    I'll suffer death ten thousand times.

    So fare you well, my own true love
    The time has passed, but I wish you well.
    But still I hope the time will come
    When you and I will be as one.

    I love my love and well he knows,
    I love the ground whereon he goes.
    The prettiest face, the neatest hands,
    I love the ground whereon he stands."


    "Black Is the Colour (of My True Love's Hair)" (Roud 3103) is a traditional folk song first known in the USA in the Appalachian Mountains but originating from Scotland, as attributed to the reference to the Clyde in the song's lyrics. The musicologist Alan Lomax supported this Scottish origin, saying that the song was an American "re-make of British materials".

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    Traditional Scottish Songs... One Tune A Day... August 18th

    "Blue Bonnets Over the Border" - The Corries

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IN61UrW5qUo

    "March, march, Ettrick and Teviotdale,
    Why the deil dinna ye march forward in order?
    March, march, Eskdale and Liddesdale,
    All the Blue Bonnets are bound for the Border.
    Many a banner spread
    Flutters above your.head,
    Many a crest that is famous in story.
    Mount and make ready then,
    Sons of the mountain glen,
    Fight for the Queen and the old Scottish glory.

    Come from the hills where your hirsels are grazing,
    Come from the glen of the buck and the roe;
    Come to the crag where the beacon is blazing,
    Come with the buckler, the lance, and the bow.
    Trumpets are sounding,
    War-steeds are bounding,
    Stand to your arms then, and march in good order;
    England shall many a day
    Tell of the bloody fray,
    When the Blue Bonnets came over the Border."


    Sir Walter Scott was steeped in the history of the Scottish Border country where he lived for a large part of his life. Here is one of his rousing, Border marching songs.

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