Ye Banks and Braes o' Bonnie Doon
Download Midi File
Barry Taylor

The melody to this is purported to have been written in 1788 by a Charles Miller, who expressed a desire to compose "an authentic Scots air," and was advised by a friend, partly in jest to "keep to the black keys of the harpsichord and maintain some kind of rhythm." The words are by Robert Burns. It first appeared in the Scots Musical Museum (1792 volume). A copy was given to Neil Gow, who printed it in Strathspey Reels (1788) as The Caledonian Hunts Delight - 4 years before it appeared with Burns's words in the Scots Musical Museum.

For a full list of Burns tunes at this site, search for Robert Burns in the search engine.

Ye banks and braes o' bonnie Doon,
How can ye bloom sae fresh and fair?
How can ye chatn, ye little birds,
And I'm sae weary, fu' o' care!
Ye'll break my heart, ye warbling bird,
That wantons through the flow'ring thron,
Ye mind me o' departed joys,
Departed never to return.

Oft ha'e I roved by bonnie Doon,
To see the rose and woodbine twine;
And ilka bird sang o' its luve,
And fondly sae did I o' mine.
Wi' lightsome heart I stretch'd my hand,
And pu'd a rosebud from the tree;
But my fause lover stole the rose,
And left, and left the thorn wi' me.
Related Links
Folk Songs of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales
See Bibliography for full information.