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Lochaber No More

[ Roud 8497 ; Bodleian Roud 8497 ; Mudcat 17806 ; words Allan Ramsay (1686-1757); music Thomas Connellan (1640-1698)]

Davie Herd: Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs, Heroic Ballads, etc.

Gerry Fox sang Lochaber No More in 1972 on Martyn Wyndham-Read et al’s Argo album of the war music of the British Army 1642-1902, Songs and Music of the Redcoats. The sleeve notes commented:

A Scottish air guaranteed, during the Napoleonic Wars, to reduce even the dourest Highlanders into a nostalgic condition.

The Gaugers sang Lochaber No More in 1976 on their Topic album Beware of the Aberdonian. Duncan MacLennan noted:

This magnificent tune vies in popularity with The Floo’ers o’ the Forest as a pipe lament at funerals. The noted Gaelic collector, Calum MacLean, has said: “Without Lochaber there would be no Highlands” and this is true, for historically and geographically, it is the very heart of the area. The Gaugers do tune and background full justice with a beautiful arrangement. It is taken from John Glen’s Ancient Music of Scotland, and is based on an old Gaelic tune that became well known after Alan Ramsay set his Lochaber poem to it, c.1726.

Bob Hobkirk played Lochaber No More in 2000 on the Borders Traditions album Borders Fiddles.

Breabach sang Lochaber No More in 2007 on their first album, The Big Spree. They noted:

The original melody to this song was titled King James’ March to Ireland or Limerick’s Lament from 17th Century. Poet Allan Ramsey set the words in 1724.

Jim Malcolm sang Lochaber No More at Goodlyburn Theatre, Perth College, Perth, Scotland, in August 2015. This recording was included in the same year on his CD Live in Perth.

Lyrics

Jim Malcolm sings Lochaber No More

Farewell to Lochaber farewell to my Jean
Where heartsome wi’ thee I hae mony days been
For Lochaber no more, Lochaber no more
Maybe to return to Lochaber no more.

These tears that I shed they are a’ for my dear
And not for the dangers attending the weir
Though borne on rough seas to a far distant shore
Maybe to return to Lochaber no more.

Though hurricanes rise though rise ev’ry wind
No tempest can equal the storm in my mind;
Though loudest of thunders on louder waves roar
There’s nothing like leaving my love on the shore.

To leave thee behind me my heart is sair pain’d
But by ease that’s inglorious no fame can be gained
And beauty and love’s the reward of the brave
And I maun deserve it before I can crave.

Then glory my Jeanie maun plead my excuse
Since honour commands me how can I refuse?
For without it, I ne’er can have merit for thee
And losing thy favour, I’d better not be.

I gae then, my lass, to win honour and fame
And if I should chance to come glorious hame
I’ll bring a heart to thee with love running o’er
And then I’ll leave thee and Lochaber no more.