The Bonawe Highlanders march

By David Bowman

There are 12 recordings of this tune.

This tune has been recorded together with

The Bonawe Highlanders appears in 1 other tune collection.

The Bonawe Highlanders has been added to 2 tune sets.

The Bonawe Highlanders has been added to 28 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: The Bonawe Highlanders
R: march
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
|:A>ce e>cA|e>dc c>Bc|A>ce e>cA|B>AB c2 A|
A>ce e>cA|c>BA a2 e|f<af ecA|B>AB c2 A:|
|:a3 a2 e|faf e>cA|a3 a2 e|f<ag f2 e|
f>ef fec|ABc a2 e|f<af e>cA|B>AB c2 A:|
|:cBc A>AA|e>cA c>BA|cBc A>AA|B>AB c2 A|
cBc A>AA|e>cA a2 e|f<af ecA|B>AB c2 A:|
a>ea =g>fe|f<af e>cA|a>ea =g>fe|f<ag f2 e|
f>ef f>ec|A>Bc a2 e|f<af e>cA|B>AB c2 A|
a>ea =g>fe|f<af e>cA|a>ea =g>fe|f<ag f2 e|
a>AA c>BA|A>Bc a2 e|f<Af e>cA|B>AB c2 A||

Eleven comments

THis transcription is by Session member Nigel Gatherer, just that he hasn’t put it up yet, and it’s such a grand tune.

I know it’s written by some Scots Pipe Major, and I don’t even know whether it’s technically a 6/8 pipe march, and not a jig.

But I heard it played as a jig decades ago by The Boys Of the Lough. I’d even forgotten how it went, so thanks NG for bringing it back to life for me.


Looking on his website, Nigel does give the composer as PM John McColl

Tune type

It is a 6/8 march and still gets played that way by most pipers but it wouldn’t be the first to get the jig treatment by other instrumentalists.

Re: The Bonawe Highlanders

This is certainly not a John MacColl composition (it’s not in Dale Brown’s book “the bagpipe music of John MaColl 1860 - 1943”).
I have it by one “D Bowman”.

Re: The Bonawe Highlanders

The attribution to MacColl was from an old LP (Fergie MacDonald) - never an accurate reference. In Scots Guards Standard Settings - a more accurate reference - the composer is given as D Bowman.

Re: The Bonawe Highlanders

Aye Nigel, generally true, but see my comment on “The Sleeping Tune”:

That’s almost as good as Sandy MacIntyre’s book which has a tune called “The Ferret” by one Andy Renwick.

Re: The Bonawe Highlanders

Well, oh well, indeed! 🙂

Re: The Bonawe Highlanders

The Sleeping Tune in Scots Guards III is a different tune to Gordon Duncans.

Re: The Bonawe Highlanders

The Seaforth Highlanders book also attributes this tune to D. Bowman.

Re: The Bonawe Highlanders

Having just played through the SG Sleeping Tune I see what you mean Donald K. Very peculiar from the Scots Guards book. Different enough to be another tune but surely influenced by Gordon Duncans tune. Sharing the same name though - very odd!

Re: The Bonawe Highlanders

Indeed. Very odd!
I was dumfounded when I came across it.