Traditional Scottish Songs
- O Scotland's Hills for Me!

William Gardiner, the author of "Scotland's Hills," was born at Perth about 1800. While living in Dundee, he met the accomplished poet David Vedder (1790 - 1854). With his help, Gardiner wrote this popular song. It was first sung in the theatre in Dundee and later published in the Fife Herald newspaper and the Edinburgh Literary Gazette. In 1840, he published a volume of his compositions under the title of "Gardiner's Miscellany."

O Scotland's Hills for Me!

O these are not my country's hills,
      Though they seem bright and fair;
Though flow'rets deck their verdant sides,
      The heather blooms not there.
Let me behold the mountain steep,
      And wild deer roaming free
The heathy glen, the ravine deep
      O Scotland's hills for me!

The rose, through all this garden-land,
      May shed its rich perfume,
But I would rather wander 'mong
      My country's bonnie broom.
There sings the shepherd on the hill,
      The ploughman on the lea;
There lives my blithesome mountain maid,
      O Scotland's hills for me!

The throstle and the nightingale
      May warble sweeter strains
Than thrills at lovely gloaming hour
      O'er Scotland's daisied plains;
Give me the merle's mellow note,
      The linnet's liquid lay;
The laverocks on the roseate cloud
      O Scotland's hills for me!

And I would rather roam beneath
      Thy scowling winter skies,
Than listlessly attune my lyre
      Where sun-bright flowers arise.
The baron's hall, the peasant's cot
      Protect alike the free;
The tyrant dies who breathes thine air;
      O Scotland's hills for me!

Meaning of unusual words:
throstle = warbler
gloaming = twilight
merle = blackbird
linnet = a type of finch

Return to the Index of Traditional Scottish Songs

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