There Was A Lad Born In Kyle march

Also known as The Lad O’ Kyle March, The Lad O’ Kyle, O Gin Ye Were Dead, Gudeman, Rantin’ Rovin’ Robin, Ranting Roving Robin, Ranting, Roving Robin, There Was A Lad, There Was A Lad Was Born In Kyle.

There are 3 recordings of this tune.

There Was A Lad Born In Kyle has been added to 1 tune set.

There Was A Lad Born In Kyle has been added to 19 tunebooks.

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Three settings

X: 1
T: There Was A Lad Born In Kyle
R: march
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
A|"D"DD AD/E/ "A7"FE EF/E/|"D"DD AD/E/ FdA2|
"G"B/c/d/A/ "D"F/G/A/F/ "Em"B/A/G/F/ "A7"EF/E/|"D"Dd "A7"A/B/A/G/ "D"F2D>A|
dd d/e/f/d/ "Em"e/d/e/f/ "A7"ed/B/|"D"Ad d/e/f/e/ dA BA|
"G"B/c/d/A/ "D"F/G/A/F/ "Em"B/A/G/F/ "A7"EF/E/|"D"Dd "A7"A/B/A/G/ "D"F2D||
X: 2
T: There Was A Lad Born In Kyle
R: march
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
A2|D2 D2 AB/A/ D>E|F2- FE E2 FE|D2 D2 A2 D>E|F2 d2 A2- AA|
B>G dA FG AF|BA GF EF/E/ GF/E/|D2 d2 A>B AG|F2 E2 D2||
A>F|d2- dA d>e fd|e2 d/e/f e2 dB|AB de de g/f/e|d2 A2 F2- FA|
B>G dA F2 A/G/F|BA GF E2 G/F/E|D2 d2 A>B AG|F2- FE D2||
X: 3
T: There Was A Lad Born In Kyle
R: march
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Cmaj
G2|"C"c3 de2 f2|g2 g2 "F"f2 f2|"C"e2 dc "G"d2 ed|"F"c2 B2 "G"G2 G2|
"C"cB cd ed ef|g2 a2 "F"f2 f2|"C"e2 dc "G"d2 fe|d4 "C"c4||
"F"a3 fg2 e2|"C"f2 d2 e4|"F"f2 d2 e2 c2|"G"de dc BA G2|
"C"c3 de2 f2|g2 a2 "F"f4|"C"ed ec "G"de fe|d4 "C"c4||

Eight comments

There was a lad borne in Kyle

I think this is a great tune, and I play it myself a lot on the tin whistle. I´ve transcribed it from the 1965 LP "I love Scotland" with Rob Gordon. This transcription is very close to Gordons own playing. He plays There was a lad borne in Kyle in a session with two other tunes. (He calles the whole session General Stuart´s reel)

"General Stuart´s reel"
1. The Stuart´s rant
2. There was a lad born in Kyle
3. Duncan gray
(4. The Stuart´s rant - da capo ad lib)

This is a scottish reel, which is generally not played as fast as the traditional irish reel.

This is also played as a march…

"There was a Lad was Born in Kyle"

M: 4/4
R: march
K: D Major
A2 |
D2 D2 AB/A/ D>E | F3 E E2 FE | D2 D2 A2 D>E | F2 d2 A3 A |
B>GdA FGAF | BAGF EF/E/ GF/E/ | D2 d2 A>BAG | F2 E2 D2 ||
A>F |
d3 A d>efd | e2 d/e/f e2 dB | ABde de g/f/e | d2 A2 F3 A |
B>GdA F2 A/G/F | BAGF E2 G/F/E | D2 d2 A>BAG | F3 E D2 |]

Here are the words.

Robert Burns, 1785

There was a lad was born in Kyle,
But whatna day o’whatna style,
I doubt it’s hardly worth the while
To be sae nice wi’ Robin.

Robin was a rovin’ Boy,
Rantin’, rovin’, rantin’, rovin’;
Robin was a rovin’ Boy,
Rantin’, rovin’, Robin!

2. Our monarch’s hindmost year but ane
Was five-and-twenty days begun,
‘Twas then a blast o’Janwar’Win’
Blew hansel in on Robin.

3. The Gossip keekit in his loof,
Quo’scho wha lives will see the proof,
This waly boy will be nae coof,
I think we’ll ca’him Robin.

4. He’ll hae misfortunes great and sma’,
But ay a heart aboon them a’;
He’ll be a credit till us a’,
We’ll a’be proud o’Robin.

5. But sure as three times three mak nine,
I see by ilka score and line,
This chap will dearly like our kin’,
So leeze me on thee, Robin.

6. "Guid faith," quo’scho, "I doubt you Stir,
Ye gar the lasses lie aspar;
But twenty fauts ye may hae waur-
So blessins on thee, Robin."

There Was a Lad Was Born in Kyle

The original tune was called "O Gin Ye Were Dead, Gudeman", although it consisted of only the half the tune we have now. The second half is a variation found in James Oswald’s Caledonian Pocket Companion, of which Robert Burns had a cherished copy, and from which he used several tunes for his songs.

There is also a belief - reported by G Farquhar Graham in Popular Songs & Melodies of Scotland (1893) - that the tune was used during the Reformation in Scotland as a spiritual hymn, suggesting that it’s at least mid-16th century.

Thanks Nigel, always added value, or on the whole anyway… 😉

There was a lad borne in Kyle

In the piping books, the A part is often listed as Neil Gow’s Farewell to Whisky and played as a 2/4 march.