LOCH LOMOND - chords and comments


I remember this song from early childhood: my father brought a small, filthy book "The Liberated Norway's Singing" back home from the second world war, and it included two verses which I sang even before I learned english. The same verses vere printed in the bloody school songbook, and appeared as a plague to teenagers with cracking voices. Shit, I refused to sing a note until my baritone was stable.
The last of these "verses" was in fact a refrain. The song has various verses from various unknown writers. I practise the three most common, added two from a paraphrase by Andrew Lang, written hundred years after the original saw the sunrise.
The tune may have been hummed around the celtics' campfires way back in the stone ages, and is the same as the irish folk song "Red Is the Rose". The lyrics date probably back to the Jacobine Uprise of 1746, where Charles Stewart attempted to reestablish The House of Stewart for England, Ireland and Scotland. The rebellion reached Carlisle, failed, and no further attempts were made. There are several interpretations and several versions, but I tend to believe it is not only a hymn to the highlands, but has a tragic background: sung by a man on the scaffold with his head in the nooze or on the block, to a fellow rebel who managed to escape. "The high road" is the main road linking London and Edinburgh, and "The low road" refers to the mythic underground fairy road, leading straight through mountains and above valleys, and thus is faster.
G              Em           C           G
by yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes
           G   G/Gb    Em            C  D
where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond
       C          Em           Am             C
where me and my true love were ever won't to gae
        G             C             D  G
on the bonnie bonnie banks o' Loch Lomond

[alternate chords]

G                Em7           C+9            G
o ye'll tak' the high road and I'll tak' the low
    G    G/Gb   Em7      C+9  Dsus4
and I'll be in Scotland afore ye
     C        Em7             Am7         C+9
but me and my true love will never meet again
        G              C+9         Dsus4 G
on the bonnie, bonnie banks o' Loch Lomond
To give the chords a more "celtic" sound: keep the G-note on sixth string througout the verse, also the D-note on fifth string where it's possible, tweaking some chords a bit weird.
And please: leave the bagpipe.
G major
G
E minor
Em
E minor seventh
Em7
C major
C
C added nineth
C+9
D major
D
D suspended fourth
Dsus4
A minor
Am
A minor seventh
Am7