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Robert Burns

Braw, braw lads on Yarrow braes,
   Ye wander thro’ the blooming heather;
But Yarrow braes, nor Ettric shaws,
   Can match the lads o’ Galla water.

But there is ane, a secret ane,
   Aboon them a’ I lo’e him better;
And I’ll be his, and he’ll be mine,
   The bonie lad o’ Galla water.

Altho’ his daddie was nae laird,
   And tho’ I hae na meikle tocher;
Yet rich in kindest, truest love,
   We’ll tent our flocks by Galla water.

It ne’er was wealth, it ne’er was wealth
   That coft contentment, peace or pleasure;
The bands and bliss o’ mutual love,
   O that’s the chiefest warld’s treasure!

Footnote:  Burns produced this song for George Thomson in January 1793, agreeing to alter the opening words to suit the verse! The song by Burns replaced in popularity an older song by the same title and we give below the traditional version as published in Chamber’s collection of Scottish songs in 1829.


Though barley rigs are gude to see,
   Yet flocks o’ sheep are mickle better;
And oats will shake on a windy day,
   When the lambs will play by Galla Water.

Braw lads o’ Galla water!
   Bonie lads o’ Galla Water!
Lothian lads will ne’er compare
   Wi’ the braw lads o’ Galla Water.

Lothian lads are black wi’ reek,
   And Teviotdale lads are little better;
Let them a’ say what they will,
   The gree gaes ay doun Galla Water.

There’s Blindylee and Torwoodlee,
   And Galashiels that rides the water;
But young Hawtree, he bears the gree
   Of a’ the Pringles o’ Galla Water.



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