by Robert Burns (1759 - 1796)

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.
  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 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 text with 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
Braw = fine, handsome


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