Traditional Scottish Songs
- Our Auld Scots Sangs

This song by Archibald MacKay (1801-1883) is sung to the tune Traveller's Return. Mackay was born in Kilmarnock and became an apprentice handloom weaver. He subsequently became a book binder and his poetry established him locally as a writer. In addition to verse, he wrote a "History of Kilmarnock". His best songs were published in 1855 under the title "Ingleside Lilts". In addition to contributing to local journals, MacKay established a circulating library for the townsfolk of Kilmarnock.

   Our Auld Scots Sangs

Oh, weel I lo'e our auld Scots sangs,
   The mournfu' and the gay;
They charm'd me by a mither's knee,
   In bairnhood's happy day:
And even yet, though owre my pow
   The snaws of age are flung,
The bluid loups joyfu' in ray veins
   Whene'er I hear them sung.

They bring the fond smile to the cheek,
   Or tear-drap to the ee;
They bring to mind auld cronies kind,
   Wha sung them aft wi' glee.
We seem again to hear the voice
   Of mony a lang-lost frien';
We seem again to grip the hand
   That lang in dust has been.

And, oh, how true our auld Scots sangs
   When nature they portray!
We think we hear the wee bit burn
   Gaun bickering doun the brae;
We see the spot, though far awa',
   Where first life's breath we drew,
And a' the gowden scenes 'of youth
   Seem rising to the view.

And dear I lo'e the wild war strains
   Our langsyne minstrels sung-
They rouse wi' patriotic fires
   The hearts of auld and young;
And even the dowie dirge that wails
   Some brave but ruin'd band,
Inspires us wi' a warmer love
   For hame and fatherland.

Yes, leese me on our auld Scots sangs-
   The sangs of love and glee,
The sangs that tell of glorious deeds
   That made auld Scotland free.
What though they sprung frae simple bards,
   Wha kent nae rules of art?
They ever, ever yield a charm
   That lingers round the heart.

Meaning of unusual words:
langsyne=long ago
dowie=sad, mournful

Return to the Index of Traditional Scottish Songs

Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

Separator line