Dumbarton's Drums

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Dumbarton's Drums is a traditional Scottish song.

There are three versions—the most popular is this one:

Dumbarton’s Drums


Dumbarton's drums they sound sae bonnie
And they remind me o' my Johnnie,
Such fond delight doth steal upon me
When Johnnie kneels and kisses me.

Across the fields o' boundin' heather
Dumbarton tolls the hour of pleasure,
A song of love that's without measure
When Johnnie sings his sangs tae me.


'Tis he alone that can delight me
His rovin' eye, it doth invite me,
And when his tender arms enfold me
The blackest night doth turn and flee.


My Johnnie is a handsome laddie
And though he is Dumbarton's caddie,
Some day I'll be a captain's lady
When Johnnie tends his vows tae me.


There is a male version, with "Johnnie" changed to "Jeannie" and the last verse omitted, which has been recorded by The Corries.

However the original version as collected and recorded by Burns is to a different tune, a brisk march which was recorded by the Glasgow Orpheus Choir. It also has different words which were the basis for the popular song.

"Dumbarton's Drums" is the march of The Royal Scots, but this is a quick march, a different tune from the folk song.

See also[edit]