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The Hills o Gallowa

[ Roud 5989 ; G/D 3:504 ; Ballad Index GrD3504 ; Mudcat 172855 ; Thomas Cunningham (1776-1834)]

Jim Reid sang The Hills o’ Gallowa on his 1996 album The Better o’ a Sang.

Jo Miller sang The Hills o Gallowa on her 2023 album A’ the Way to Galloway. She noted:

Learned from Robbie Murray. Local publisher Malcolm Harper called this “the great song of the day” in SW Scotland. It appeared in 19th century broadsides and collections, including the Greig-Duncan Song Collection from north-east Scotland.


Jo Miller sings The Hills o Gallowa

Among yon birks sae blythe an gay
I met my Julia homeward gaun
The linties chantit owre the spray
The lambies loupit on the lawn
On ilka holm the swaird wis mown
The braes wi gowans buskit braw
An gloamin’s plaid o grey wis thrown
Oot owre the hills o Gallowa

Wi music wild the wuidlands rang
An fragrance wing’t along the lea
As doon we sat the flooers among
Beside the banks o stately Dee
My Julia’s airms encircled me
An softly slade the oors awa
Till dawnin coost a glimmerin ee
Oot owre the hills o Gallowa

It isna owsen, sheep or kye
It isna gowd, it isna gear
This lifted ee wad hae, quo I
This world’s drumlie gloom tae cheer
Butgie tae me my Julia dear
Ye pooers wha rowe this yirthen ba
And o sae blythe thro life I’ll steer
Among the hills o Gallowa

When gloamin dauners up the hill
An oor guidman ca’s home the yowes
Wi her I’ll trace the mossy rill
That o’er the mair meand’rin rowes
Or tint among the scroggie knowes
My birken pipe I’ll sweetly blaw
An sing the streams, the straths an howes
The hills an dales o Gallowa

An when auld Scotia’s heathy hills
Her rural nymphs an jovial swains
Her flowery wiles an wimplin rills
Awake nae mair my cantie strains
Where freenship dwells an freedom reigns
Where heather blooms an maircocks craw
Gae dig my grave an lay my banes
Among the hills o Gallowa