by Robert Burns (1759 - 1796)
Translation © by Pierre Mathé

A Highland lad my love was born
Language: Scottish (Scots) 
Available translation(s): FRE
A Highland lad my love was born,
The Lalland 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 not a lad in a' the lan'
  Was match for my John Highlandman.

With his philibeg an' tartan plaid,
An' guid claymore down by his side,
The ladies' hearts he did trepan,
My gallant, braw John Highlandman.

We ranged a' from Tweed to Spey,
An' liv'd like lords an' ladies gay,
For a Lalland face he feared none,
My gallant, braw John Highlandman.

They banish'd him beyond the sea
But ere the bud was on the tree,
Adown my cheeks the pearls ran,
Embracing my John Highlandman.

But, och! they catch'd him at the last,
And bound him in a dungeon fast.
My curse upon them every one,
They've hang'd my braw John Highlandman!

And now a widow, I must mourn
[The pleasures that will]1 ne'er return ;
No comfort but a hearty can,
When I think on John Highlandman.

J. Haydn sets stanzas 1, 4, 6

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with The Complete Poetical Works of Robert Burns, Cambridge edition, Boston and New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1897, page 104.

Note: The white cockade was the emblem worn by the Jacobites on their blue bonnets
1 Haydn: "Departed joys that"
Glossary:
Braw = fine, handsome

Authorship

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

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Wilhelm Christoph Leonhard Gerhard (1780 - 1858) , "Hochland-Bursch" [an adaptation] ; composed by Robert Schumann.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Hermann Wichmann.

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Pierre Mathé [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2004-06-30
Line count: 29
Word count: 181

Mon amour était un gars des hautes...
Language: French (Français)  after the Scottish (Scots) 
Mon amour était un gars des hautes terres
Il tenait en dérision les lois des basses terres
Mais il était toujours fidèle à son clan,
Mon vaillant, beau John  des Highlands.
Chœur: 
  Ohé, chantez mon beau  John  des Highlands !
  Oh, chantez mon beau  John  des Highlands !
  Il n'y a pas un gars au pays
  Pour égaler mon John  des Highlands.

Avec son kilt et son plaid de tartan
Et sa bonne épée écossaise à son côté,
Il envoûtait le cœur des femmes,
Mon vaillant, beau John  des Highlands.

Nos terres s'étendaient de la Tweed à la Spey,
Et vivions joyeusement comme des seigneurs et des dames,
Car il ne craignait aucune figure des basses terres,
Mon vaillant, beau John  des Highlands.

Ils l'ont banni au-delà des mers
Mais avant que les arbres soient en bourgeons
Les perles coulèrent sur mes joues
Quand j'embrassai mon  John  des Highlands.

Mais hélas, ils finirent par l'attraper
Et le serrèrent dans un donjon.
Que ma malédiction soit sur chacun d'entre eux,
Ils ont pendu mon  beau John  des Highlands !

Et maintenant veuve, je dois porter le deuil
[Des plaisirs]1 qui jamais ne reviendront ;
Il n'y a pas de consolation pour un cœur sincère
Quand je pense à  John  des Highlands.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
Haydn a mis en musique les strophes 1,4,6 et le refrain
1 Haydn: "Des joies enfuies"

Authorship

  • Translation from Scottish (Scots) to French (Français) copyright © 2014 by Pierre Mathé, (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

 

This text was added to the website: 2014-11-09
Line count: 29
Word count: 210