Farewell to Lochaber
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Lesley Nelson-Burns

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This ballad was first published in Tea Table Miscellany (1724). The words are by the poet Allan Ramsay (1686-1757).

The tune is usually attributed to the Irish Harper, Thomas Connellan (c.1640-45 - 1698). Connellan apparently spent time in Scotland, and adapted the tune Limerick's Lamentation to Farewell to Lochaber. According to Donal O'Sullivan's biography of Turlough O'Carolan, Limerick's Lamentation was generally attributed to Irish harper Myles O'Reilly (b. 1635). However, O'Sullivan believes the tune was Highland in origin and O'Reilly only "refashioned" it.

Although Ramsay did not participate in the Jacobite Uprisings, he had strong Jacobite leanings, so the "dangers of weir (war)" are probably those of the Jacobite Uprisings.

Farewell to Lochaber, farewell to my Jean,
Where heartsome wi' thee.. I ha'e mony days been;
For Lochaber no more, Lochaber no more,
We'll may be return to Lochaber no more.
These tears that I shed, they are a' for my dear,
And no for the dangers attending on weir,
Tho' borne on rough seas to a far distant shore,
Maybe to return to Lochaber no more.

Though hurricanes rise, though rise ev'ry wind,
No tempest can equal the storm in my mind;
Though loudest of thunders, on louder waves roar,
There's naething like leavin' my love on the shore.
To leave thee behind me, my heart is sair pain'd;
But by ease that's inglorious no fame can be gain'd;
And beauty and love's the reward of the brave;
And I maun deserve it before I can crave.

Then glory, my Jeanie, maun plead my excuse;
Since honour commands me, how can I refuse?
Without it, I ne'er can have merit for thee;
And losing thy favour, I'd better not be.
I gae then, my lass, to win honour and fame:
And if I should chance to come glorious hame,
I'll bring a heart to thee with love running o'er.
And then I'll leave thee and Lochaber no more.
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