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Updated 05/02/2013


Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond (Scottish Gaelic Loch Laomainn) is a Scottish loch, located in both the western lowlands of Central Scotland and the southern Highlands.

This freshwater loch is 24 miles long, and ¾ mile to 5 miles wide. It has an average depth of about 120 ft and a maximum depth of about 630 ft. It has the largest surface area of all the lochs, and is second biggest after Loch Ness in terms of water volume in Great Britain.

There are many theories about the meaning of the song. One interpretation is that it is (apocryphally) attributed to a Jacobite Highlander who was captured after the 1745 rising while he was fleeing near Carlisle and is sentenced to die. The verse is his mournful elegy to another rebel who will not be executed. He claims that he will follow the "low road" (the spirit path through the underworld) and arrive in Scotland before his still-living comrade. 

Another interpretation is that the song is sung by the lover of a captured rebel set to be to be executed in London following a show trial. The heads of the executed rebels were then set upon pikes and exhibited in all of the towns between London and Glasgow in a procession along the "high road" (the most important road), while the relatives of the rebels walked back along the "low road" (the ordinary road traveled by peasants and commoners).  It captures some of the romantic spirit of the lost cause of Bonnie Prince Charlie.


By yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes
Where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond
Where me and my true love will never meet again
(alternate: Where me and my true love were ever lak/wont to gae)
On the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomond.

O you’ll tak’ the high road and I’ll tak’ the low road
And I’ll be in Scotland afore ye
For me and my true love will never meet again

On the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomond.

‘Twas there that we parted in yon shady glen
On the steep, steep sides o’ Ben Lomond
Where deep in purple hue, the hieland hills we view
And the moon comin’ out in the gloamin’ 


The wee birdies sing and the wild flowers spring
And in sunshine the waters are sleeping
But the broken heart, it kens nae second spring again
Tho’ the waeful may cease frae their greeting.