composer's name unknown
There are a number of variations to this song, probably the most well known Scottish song after 'auld lang syne'.
The song was apparantly written by a young soldier to his sweetheart. Two of Bonnie Prince Charlies soldiers were captured in Carlisle after the abortive rising of 1745. One wrote the song, the other was released and took it back to Scotland to give to his colleagues sweetheart. The low road refers to the soldiers impending death and the path of his spirit, whilst the high road is either the sign of hope for which he sacrificed his life, or the actual road back to Scotland over the high rugged hills. Hence, his spirit would return via the low road and be back in Scotland first.
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 take the high road and I'll take the low road,
And I'll be in Scotland afore ye;
But me and my true love will never meet again
On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.
'Twas there that we parted in yon shady glen,
On the steep, steep side o' Ben Lomond,
Where in purple hue the Highland hills we view,
An' the moon comin' out in the gloamin'.
The wee birdies sing and the wild flowers spring,
And in sunshine the waters are sleepin';
But the broken heart it kens nae second spring,
Tho' the waefu' may cease frae their greetin'