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Location: Glasgow Guide / Glasgow Songs & Scottish Music    

 Scottish Songs - Lyrics and Melodies 
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Blue Bells of Scotland

Melody - Seq. by Barry Taylor

Oh where, tell me where, is your Highland laddie gone?
He's gone wi' streaming banners where noble deeds are done
And it's oh, in my heart I wish him safe at home

2. Oh where, tell me where, did your Highland laddie dwell?
He dwelt in Bonnie Scotland, where blooms the sweet blue bell
And it's oh, in my heart I lo'ed my laddie well 3. Oh what, tell me what, does your Highland laddie wear?
A bonnet with a lofty plume, and on his breast a plaid
And it's oh, in my heart I lo'ed my Highland lad 4. Oh what, tell me what, if your Highland laddie is slain?
Oh no, true love will be his guard and bring him safe again
For it's oh, my heart would break if my Highland lad were slain


One of Scotland's favorite songs was introduced at Drury Lane Theatre in Edinburgh, just after 1800, by the famous actress, Dorothea Jordan née Bland, 1762-1816.

Dorothea lived with William IV, 1765-1837 for 20 years and had 10 of her 15 children by him before he went in search of a rich wife and finally got lucky becoming king for his last 6 years.

This song was published by George Thomson, 1757-1851, who paid F. J. Haydn in Vienna, 2 ducats each, for some 200 tunes, including Blue Bells of Scotland, to give the old folk tunes real class.

Thomson also talked a dozen or more English writers into writing new lyrics, cleaning up old ones or translating them out of dialect. Mrs. Anne Grant of Laggan has been mentioned as a possible editor/author/translator of Blue Bells.

 Scottish Songs - Lyrics and Melodies 
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