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Robert Burns

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As well as a prolific songwriter and poet, Robert Burns was a collector of songs, and some have the distinct air of "non-Burns" about them. In my opinion, this is one of the collected ones. It is very similar to the "White Cockade" itself, listed later, but both carry slightly different themes. The White Cockade deals with the brave highlander running off to the '15 or '45 rebellions, while this song deals with the aftermath of such a decision.

A Highland Lad My Love Was Born
By Robert Burns
Tune: The White Cockade

A highland lad my love was born
The lawland laws he held in scorn,
But he still was faithfu’ to his clan,
My gallant, braw John highlandman.

Chorus:  Sing hey, my braw John highlandman.
Sing ho, my braw John highlandman.
There’s no a lad in a’ the lan’
Was match for my John Highlandman.

Wi’ his philabeg an’ tartan plaid,
An’ guid claymore down by his side,
The ladies’ hearts he did trepan,
My gallant, braw John highlandman.

They banish’d him beyond the sea;
But, ere the bud was on the tree,
A’ down my cheeks the pearls ran,
Embracing my John highlandman.

But, oh! they catch’d him at the last,
An’ bound him in a dungeon fast:
My curse upon them every one,
They’ve hang’d my braw John highlandman.

Music; traditional. Content copyright © 2000 held by the author; Ian Hall.