Almost everyone is familiar with The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond and the chorus: ‘Oh, ye’ll tak’ the high road, and I'll tak’ 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 o’ Loch Lomond.’
First published in Vocal Melodies of Scotland in 1841, the song has been attributed to a Jacobite soldier heading back to Scotland just after the 1745 Rebellion. The ‘low road’ is a reference to the Celtic belief that if someone died away from home, then the fairies would provide a safe route for the soul to return.
Lying on the boundary between the Lowlands and Highlands, Loch Lomond is the largest loch (lake) in Scotland, being 24 miles long, and in places five miles wide. There are a number of islands in the loch, including Inchconnachan, which contains a colony of wallaby.
‘View of Loch Lomond from the South’. From John Parker Lawson’s Scotland Delineated. London: Day and Son, 1858.