Loch Lomond (Red is the Rose)

This is an online fiddle lesson for the tune “The Bonnie, Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond.” BluegrassDaddy.com is your best source for Bluegrass, Old Time, Celtic, Gospel, and Country fiddle lessons!

Genre: Celtic
Skill Level: Beginner
Keys of C and D

You may download and use any of the MP3s and tablature for your personal use. However, please do not make them available online or otherwise distribute them.

NOTE: If multiple videos and MP3s are loading at once, this page will get slow! I recommend that you refresh the page each time you open a new video or MP3.

This popular fiddle tune is the basis of quite a few folk songs. Two of the oldest and most popular are “The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond” (Scottish) and “Red is the Rose.” (Irish).

Many musicians will modulate on the last verse. I teach this song in C going to D. To play the song in F going to G, simply play the tabbed version on the lower three strings (GDA) instead of the upper three strings (DAE).

Video #1: Here is a video of me performing the fiddle tune “The Bonnie, Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond.”

This is an online fiddle lesson for the tune "Loch Lomond." BluegrassDaddy.com is your best source for Bluegrass, Old-Time, Celtic, Gospel, and Country fiddle lessons!

This is an online fiddle lesson for the tune "Loch Lomond." BluegrassDaddy.com is your best source for Bluegrass, Old-Time, Celtic, Gospel, and Country fiddle lessons!

This is an online fiddle lesson for the tune "Loch Lomond." BluegrassDaddy.com is your best source for Bluegrass, Old-Time, Celtic, Gospel, and Country fiddle lessons!

 


From Wikipedia:

“The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond”, or simply “Loch Lomond” for short, is a well-known traditional Scottish song (Roud No. 9598) first published in 1841 in Vocal Melodies of Scotland. In Scotland, the song is often the final piece of music played during an evening of revelry (a dance party or dinner, etc). Loch Lomond is the largest Scottish loch, or lake, located between the counties of Dunbartonshire and Stirlingshire. Ben Lomand is a distinctive peak on the east shore of Loch Lomond.

Loch and Ben Lomond

Loch and Ben Lomond, Scotland

The original composer of the tune is unknown, as is definitive information on any traditional lyrics. There are many theories about the meaning of the song. Most are connected to the Jacobite Uprising of 1745, and alternate lyrics have been composed based on this battle. One interpretation of the ‘Low Road’ is that it refers to the traditional underground route taken by the fairies who transported the soul of a dead Scot who died in a foreign land – in this case, England – back to his homeland to rest in peace. The “High Road” is probably the high road that linked London and Edinburgh. In this case, a dying soldier is telling a friend that they will both return to Scotland, but he will go on the ‘low road’ or that of the dead, and be home first.


The Bonnie Banks o' Loch Lomon'

   C                       F          
By yon bonnie banks an' by yon bonnie braes
          C          Am             F C
Whaur the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond
      F         C              Dm            F       
Where me and my true love were ever wont tae gae
G      C              Am            G C
On the bonnie, bonnie banks o' Loch Lomon'.

Chorus:
O ye'll tak' the high road, and Ah'll tak' the low (road)
And Ah'll be in Scotlan' afore ye
Fir me an' my true love will ne'er meet again
By the bonnie, bonnie banks o' Loch Lomon'.

'Twas there that we perted in yon shady glen
On the steep, steep sides o' Ben Lomon'
Whaur in (soft) purple hue, the hielan hills we view
An' the moon comin' oot in the gloamin’.

Chorus

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 greetin'. (alternate: Tho' the woeful may cease from their grieving)
Chorus

The Irish variant of the song is called “Red Is the Rose” and is sung with the same melody but different (although similarly themed) lyrics. It was popularized by Irish folk musician Tommy Makem. Even though many people mistakenly believe that Makem wrote “Red is the Rose”, it is a traditional Irish folk song. The theme is the same as “Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond:” A soldier is leaving and fears he will never again see his loved ones.


Red is the Rose

     D                 G            
Come over the hill, my bonnie Irish lass
     D        Bm           G  A
Come over the hill to your darling
G           D             Bm          G
You chose a rose love and I'll made a vow
A    D           Bm           A D
That I'll be you true love forever

Chorus
Red is the Rose that in yonder garden grows
And fair is the lily of the valley
Clear is the water that flows from the Boyne
But my love is fairer than any.

T'was down by Killarney's green woods that we strayed
And the moon and the stars they were shining
The moon shone its rays on her locks of golden hair
And she swore she'd be my love forever.

chorus

It's not for the parting that my sister pains
It's not for the grief of my mother
It is all for the loss of my bonnie Irish lass
That my heart is breaking forever.

chorus

Killarney National Park, Ireland

Killarney National Park, Ireland



					
									
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