Colonel Robertson jig

Also known as Colonel Robertson’s March.

There are 3 recordings of this tune.

Colonel Robertson has been added to 2 tune sets.

Colonel Robertson has been added to 38 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: Colonel Robertson
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
a|:fed A2d|BGB A2a|fed A2d|c2e e2a|
fed A2d|BGB A2d|BGd cAe|d3 d2a|
fed A2d|BGB A2a|fed afd|c2e e2a|
fed A2d|BGB A2d|BGd cAe|d3 d2g||
|:afd f2a|fef def|gfg ecA|1 gfg e2g|
afd f2a|fef d2A|BGd cAe|d3 d2g:|
[2gfg e2A|dfd ege|faf d2A|BGd cAe|d3 d2A||
|:dfA egA|faf d2f|eac B2A|faf e2A|
dfA egA|faf d2A|BGd cAe|1 d3 d2A:|2 d3 d2||
X: 2
T: Colonel Robertson
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
fed A2 d|BG/A/B A2 a|fed A2 d|cee e2 a|
fed A2 d|BGB A2 d|B*Gd c*Ae|d3 d2:|
afd f2 a|f>ef def|g>fg ecA|1 gfg e2 g|
afd f2 a|f>ef d2 A|B*Gd c*Ae|d3 d2:|
dfA egA|faf d2 A|B*Gd c*Ae|d3 d2||

Eleven comments

Colonel Robertson - a pipe tune?

Hello there,

the jig Colonel Robertson is a tune I originally learned as a tune for the highland bagpipe. I don’t know the origin of it and must make some research… I’ll be back.


Hi Maarten.Colonel Roberton was written by L. Beaton,and dedicated to a colonel in the Toronto Highlanders,a battalion in the Canadian army.I learned it from The Boys Of The Loughs’ album,“The Piper’s Broken Finger”,released in 1976.The piper on the album was Finlay MacNeill.They play it in a set with The Atholl Highlanders.They’re marches really,although the Atholl Highlanders is often played at supersonic speed.The tune became a session tune because of this album.

Col. Robertson

Hi Dafydd,

thanks a lot for the information! We used to play (in the pipe band) Col Robertson in a set together with Rab’s Wedding, another great 6/8 march.

Submit it Marten!

“Colonel Robertson” ~ R: march

|: a |
fed A2 d | BG/A/B A2 a | fed A2 d | cee e2 a |
fed A2 d | BGB A2 d | B*Gd c*Ae | d3 d2 :|
|: f/g/ |
afd f2 a | f>ef def | g>fg ecA |1 gfg e2 g |
afd f2 a | f>ef d2 A | B*Gd c*Ae | d3 d2 :|
[2 gfg e2 A |
dfA egA | faf d2 A | B*Gd c*Ae | d3 d2 ||

Colonel Robertson

Hi !
From one source that I know, “ Colonel Robertson “ was
originally known as “ Colonel D.M. Robertson “ . It was
composed by my great -grandfather Pipe Major Farquhar
Beaton [ 1900 - 1913 ] of the 48th Highlanders of Canada .

Robert Beaton


My great-grandfather Pipe Major Farquhar Beaton was part of
the 48th Battalion [ Highlanders ], which came into being in the
Canadian Militia in 1891.The 48th Battalion was later renamed
The 48th Highlanders of Canada in 1930 .

Robert Beaton

Colonel Robertson

The tune is the basis of the air to a song, “The Massacre of Glencoe” written by Jim MacLean in the 1960s. It became very popular and has been recorded many times since.

Oh cruel is the snow that sweeps Glencoe,
And covers the grave o’ Donald;
And cruel was the foe that raped Glencoe
And murdered the house o’ MacDonald.

The song air can be found in the database at

Canadian Anthem

A Standard of most Canadian Military Pipers, “Glencoe” Slow; “Colonel Robertson” Quick; Pipe Major Beaton’s great work named after Regimental benefactor Colonel Robertson. No Allied Regiment saw harder, longer or better service in both of World Wars 1 & 2 than Beaton’s 48th. Glencoe quickly became a favourite lament; Colonel Robertson a Quick March to Rest Billets after Battle. Pipes the 48th Highlanders home after each annual Remembrance Parade to the Monument every November 11th.

Canadian Anthem

I wrote the “Glencoe” slow version in 1963. My song is correctly called The Massacre of Glencoe and I based it on Col. Robertson but slowed the tempo right down to suit my lyrics. There are also a couple of note changes again to suit the mood.
Jim McLean

Re: Colonel Robertson

In which year was P/M Farquhar Beaton born?