Thursday, October 27, 2016

Bonnie, Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond

We had fabulous CIE tour guides!  They each were a wealth of information and they shared that history with us.  For the majority of our Scotland portion our guide was Regina.  

We set out for the Bonnie, Bonnie Banks of Lock Lomond.  I've sung those words, but I didn't know what the song was about.  Regina explained it to us, in her beautiful accent - I can't remember the whole story, but, Wikipedia knows...


There are many theories about the meaning of the song, most of which are connected to the Jacobite Uprising of 1745. One interpretation based on the lyrics is that the song is sung by the lover of a captured Jacobite rebel set 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 Edinburgh 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 travelled by peasants and commoners).[3]
Another interpretation of the "Low Road" is that it refers to the traditional underground route taken by the "fairies" or "little people" who were reputed to transport the soul of a dead Scot who died in a foreign land—in this case, England—back to his homeland to rest in peace.[3][4]
Another similar interpretation also attributes it to a Jacobite Highlander captured after the 1745 rising. The Hanoverian British victors were known to play cruel games on the captured Jacobites, and would supposedly find a pair of either brothers or friends and tell them one could live and the other would be executed, and it was up to the pair to decide. Thus the interpretation here is that the song is sung by the brother or friend who chose or was chosen to die. He is therefore telling his friend that they will both go back to Scotland, but he will go on the "low road", his body being paraded along the main road controlled by the Duke of Cumberland's forces, whereas his friend will have to head for the hilltops, taking longer to get back. Another supporting feature of this is that he states he will never meet his love again in the temporal world, on Loch Lomond. Some believe that this version is written entirely to a lover who lived near the loch.

Scottish history is one of many uprisings and hardships.  Coming from a Native American background - I could relate.  More on that in an upcoming post.

Loch Lomond is a freshwater loch on the boundary between the highlands and lowlands.  We happen to arrive on a misty morning - I would expect nothing less.  It was breathtakingly beautiful!

The highlands of Scotland are amazing!  The colors of fall surrounded us, the grasses, the heather and the crisp air - made this experience all the more enjoyable.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconisn.  


  1. Glad to hear you had a great time on your travels! It looks as though Scotland was showing of its full atmospheric self to you!