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Ye banks and braes o' bonnie Doon

Language: Scottish (Scots)

Ye banks and braes o' bonnie Doon,
  How can ye bloom sae fresh and fair;
How can ye [chant]1, ye little birds,
  And I sae weary, fu' o' care!
Thou'lt break my heart, thou warbling bird,
  That [wantons]2 thro' the [flowering]3 thorn: 
Thou minds me o' departed joys,
  Departed -- never to return!

[Aft]4 hae I rov'd by bonnie Doon,
  To see the rose and woodbine twine;
And ilka bird sang o' its [luve]5,
  And fondly sae did I o' mine.
Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose,
  Fu' sweet upon its thorny tree;
[And my fause luver]6 [stole the]7 rose,
  [But, ah! he]8 left the thorn wi' me.

Translation(s): FRE GER IRI

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Confirmed with The Complete Works of Robert Burns: Containing His Poems, Songs and Correspondence. With a New Life of the Poet, and Notices, Critical and Biographical, by Allan Cunningham. Elegantly illustrated, Boston: Phillips, Sampson, and Company, 1859, page 257.

1 Grainger, Quilter: "chaunt"
2 Grainger: "warbles"
3 Quilter: "flower"; Grainger: "flow'ring"
4 Quilter: "Oft"
5 Quilter: "love"
6 Grainger, Quilter: "But my fause lover"
7 Grainger: "staw my"
8 Quilter: "And oh, he"

Submitted by John Versmoren


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Set in a modified version by Amy Marcy Cheney Beach, Maurice Ravel.

Set in a modified version by David Arditti.

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • IRI Irish (Gaelic) [singable] (Gabriel Rosenstock) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2004-07-11.
Last modified: 2018-08-29 18:04:48
Line count: 16
Word count: 108

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Vous, rives escarpées de la belle Doon

Language: French (Français) after the Scottish (Scots)

Vous, rives escarpées de la belle Doon,
Comment pouvez-vous fleurir si fraîches et si jolies ?
Comment pouvez-vous chanter, vous, petits oiseaux,
Quand je suis si triste et plein de soucis ?
Tu veux briser mon cœur, oiseau qui gazouille,
Qui chante sur les épines en fleurs,
Tu me rappelles les joies disparues.
Disparues pour ne jamais revenir.

Souvent j'ai erré au bord de la belle Doon,
Dans l'éclat du matin ou du soir
Pour entendre les oiseaux chanter leurs amours
Aussi tendrement que je chantais jadis le mien.
Avec un cœur léger j'ai tendu ma main
Et j'ai cueilli un bouton de rose de l'arbre.
Mais mon fourbe amour a volé la rose
Et m'a laissé les épines.

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About the headline (FAQ)

Translations of title(s):
"Scottish Song" = "Chant écossais"
"Ye banks and braes o' bonnie doon" = "Vous, rives escarpées de la belle Doon"


  • Translation from Scottish (Scots) to French (Français) copyright © 2017 by Guy Laffaille, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.


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Based on
  • a text in Scottish (Scots) by Robert Burns (1759 - 1796), "The Banks o' Doon", subtitle: "[Second version]" GER IRI SCO SCO
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Percy Aldridge Grainger, Roger Quilter. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2017-02-06.
Last modified: 2018-08-29 18:06:44
Line count: 16
Word count: 119