Attention! Some of this material is not in the public domain.
It is illegal to copy and distribute our copyright-protected material without permission. It is also illegal to reprint copyright texts or translations without the name of the author or translator.
To inquire about permissions and rates, contact Emily Ezust at
If you wish to reprint translations, please make sure you include the names of the translators in your email. They are below each translation.
Note: You must use the copyright symbol © when you reprint copyright-protected material.
Hee Balou, my sweet wee Donald, Picture o' the great Clanronald! Brawlie kens our wanton Chief What gat my young Highland thief. (Hee Balou!) Leeze me on thy bonnie craigie! And thou live, thou'll steal a naigie, Travel the country thro' and thro' , and bring hame a Carlisle cow! Thro' the Lawlands, o'er the Border, Weel, my babie, may thou furder! Herry the louns o' the laigh Countrie, Syne to the Highlands hame to me!
- by Robert Burns (1759 - 1796) [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by (Edward) Benjamin Britten (1913 - 1976), "The Highland Balou", op. 41 no. 2, from A Charm of Lullabies, no. 2 [sung text checked 1 time]
Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:
- Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Wilhelm Christoph Leonhard Gerhard (1780 - 1858) , "Hochländisches Wiegenlied" ; composed by Heinrich von Sahr, Robert Schumann.
Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- CZE Czech (Čeština) (Josef Václav Sládek) , "Ukolébavka"
- ENG English (David K. Smythe) , "The Highland lullaby", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- FRE French (Français) (David K. Smythe) , copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , "Wiegenlied aus den schottischen Highlands", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Researcher for this text: David K. Smythe
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 13
Word count: 76
O hush! My sweet little Donald Image of the great Clan Ronald! Excellently teaches our wanton Chief That fathered my young Highland thief. (O hush!) Dear to me is thy pretty neck! If thou live, thou'll steal a horse, Travel the country through and through, and bring home a Carlisle cow! Through the Lowlands, over the Border, Well, my baby, may thou thrive! Harry the lads of the low Country, Afterwards to the Highlands home to me!
- Translation from Scottish (Scots) to English copyright © 2005 by David K. Smythe, (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.
This text was added to the website: 2005-04-27
Line count: 13
Word count: 77