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"Loch Lomond" Folklore From My Scottish Family

Loch Lomond  is the home of my big sister and her husband  and ther family, a beautiful countryside maybe an hour out of Glasgow.

When I was a child, I spent my Christmas vacations with them and on the drive from Manchester in England, a good seven hours, I would tonelessly croak the folk classic "Loch Lomond", slowly driving my family insane.

So I am pleased to inform you the tunelessness of my singing skipped two generations, as my Great-Niece, 10 year old Miriam, proves with her lovely version of the very same song I used to magically missed every note with.

Before I get to my great nieces version, , a couple of words about the seditious folk song. It was written in the 1750s, where Bonnie Prince Charles attempted breakaway from the English would end in disaster. Two Scottish soldiers are caught by the English. One to be set free, one killed. The one killed is telling his freed friend  that he will beat his friend back to their home, Loch Lomond.

But lines like "me and my true love will never meet again on the bonnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomand" give it the appearance of a lost love song. And the years have rid it of his sorrow. The  iterations of b make it a pleasure to sing and it is something of a county (Fiefdom?) National Anthemn.

When Miriam sings it the patriotism is distilled but the second part of the song, the sense of loss remains. . Miriam is a 10 year year old school girl who lives just off the Loch in question. She won a class competition with her rendition of "Loch Lomand". I love her voice, it is light and waivers a touch above  the melody line, and when she reaches for a high note, she hits it and can stay there for a couple of bars. It is a study in self control, as is performance on this video, Sung for a different Uncle after Miriam refused to give a live performance, my sister shared it with me.

Miriam seems torn between the sad lyric, and her sisters who must have been kidding her in the background, as the shadow of a laugh seem to be tracing itself on her cheeks.. She maintains her composure and holds true to the melody all the way through. A friend of mine dubbed Miriam "a bucket of cuteness". well, yes, quite.

She  is also a great dancer who once taught me to do-ce-do like Hannah Montana. But that's for another post…


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