|One of several legends has it, that this song is about two of Bonnie Prince Charlie's men, captured and left behind in Carlisle after the failed rising of 1745. The song appears to be written by one young soldier to his sweetheart. He was to be executed, the other released. The Spirit of the dead soldier travelling by the 'low road' would reach Scotland before his comrade, struggling along the actual road over high, rugged country.
By yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes,
Where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond.
Where me and my true love were ever wont to gae
On the bonnie, bonnie banks O'Loch Lomond.
O ye'll tak' the high road and I'll tak' the low road,
An' I'll be in Scotland afore ye;
But 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 side o' Ben Lomon',
Where in purple heather hue the Hieland hills we view,
An' the moon comin' out in the gloamin'
The wee birdies sing and the wild flow'rs spring,
And in sunshine the waters are sleepin';
But the broken heart ye ken nae second spring again,
Tho' the waefu' may cease frae their greetin'