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The Gallowa' Hills

[ Roud 3358 ; Ballad Index DTGallwa ; trad.]

Jeannie Robertson sang The Gallowa' Hills to Hamish Henderson in London on October 13, 1958. This recording was released a year later as the title track of her Collector EP The Gallowa' Hills and on her 1984 Lismor album Up the Dee and Doon the Don. Hamish Henderson commented in the latter album's sleeve notes:

Now world famous, because Jeannie's singing carried it far and wide, this song is a variant of one composed by Willie Nicholson, a gangrel musician who roamed the Galloway braes in the early years of the 19th century, blowing the Lowland (or “caul' wind”) pipes. Willie's composition has in it the elements of an older Jacobite song.

Nigel Denver sang Gallowa' Hills in 1964 on his eponymous Decca album Nigel Denver. He noted:

A story of a young man leaving or being evicted from his native land asking his lass if she will follow him. Learned from the singing of Jeannie Robertson.

Ray Fisher sang The Gallowa' Hills, accompanied by her husband Colin Ross on Scottish small-pipes and fiddle, in 1991 on her Saydisc CD Traditional Songs of Scotland. Ray commented in her liner notes:

This popular chorus song comes from the singing of Jeannie Robertson, the renowned ballad-singer from Aberdeen. Jeannie was of ‘traveller’ stock and spent much of her life ‘on the road’, as did her forebears who were members of the outlawed clans of Scotland. She is regarded as the finest source singer within the Scottish tradition.

Louis Killen sang The Gallawa' Hills on his 1993 CD A Bonny Bunch. He noted:

The Gallawa' Hills (Jeannie Robertson) concern love and faith, both necessary when beginning something new.

Ed Miller sang The Gallowa' Hills in 2006 on his CD Never Frae My Mind.

Lyrics

Jeannie Robertson sings The Gallowa' Hills Ray Fisher sings The Gallowa' Hills

For I'll tak' my plaidie, contentit tae be,
A wee bit kiltit abuin my knee,
An' I'll gie my pipes anither blaw
An' I'll gang oot o'er the hills tae Gallowa'.

I will tak my plaidie, contented tae be,
A wee bittie kiltie abune my knee,
And I'll gi'e ma pipes anither blaw
And I'll gang oot ower the hills tae Gallowa'.

Chorus (repeated after each verse):
Oh the Gallowa' Hills are covered wi' broom,
Wi' heather bells an' bonny doon;
Wi' heather bells an' riveries a',
An' I'll gang oot o'er the hills tae Gallowa'.

Chorus (repeated after each verse):
For the Gallowa' hills are covered wi' broom,
Wi' heather bells and bonnie doon;
Wi' heather bells and rivers a',
And we'll gang oot ower the hills tae Gallowa'.

For say bonnie lassie, it's will ye come wi' me
Tae share your lot in a strange country,
For tae share your lot when doon fa's a',
An' I'll gang oot o'er the hills tae Gallowa'.

For it's, “Hi, bonnie lassie, will ye gang wi' me,
Tae share your lot in a strange country,
For tae share your lot whan doon fa's a',
And tae gang oot ower the hills tae Gallowa'.“

For I will sell my rock, I'll sell my reel,
I'll sell my Grannie's spinnin' wheel,
I will sell them a' when doon fa's a',
An' I'll gang oot o'er the hills tae Gallowa'.

For I will sell my rock, I'll sell my reel,
I'll sell my grannie's spinnin' wheel,
I will sell them a' when doon fa's a',
An' I'll gang oot ower the hills tae Gallowa'.

Links

See also the Mudcat Café thread Origins: The Gallowa Hills/The Braes of Galloway.