Banks Of The Devon waltz

Also known as Bhanarach Dhonn A’ Chruidh, How Pleasant The Banks Of The Clear Winding Devon.

Banks Of The Devon has been added to 26 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Two settings

X: 1
T: Banks Of The Devon
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmin
Added by AB .
X: 2
T: Banks Of The Devon
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Amin
e|A>GB A2A|a>ge d<eg|G<BA G2B|d>eg e<dB|
B<AG A2A|a>ge d<eg|B<GB d>eg|B2A A2:|
g|a>ga a2e|a>ge d<eg|G<BA G2B|d>eg e<dB|
B<AG A2A|a>ge d<eg|B<GB d>eg|B2A A2:|
Added by AB .

Twenty-two comments

Nice tune and good job with the ABC

Just one wee question - Are they really meant to be C#s? They sound really wierd!


The Abc’s should be accurate (including C#’s)
My source is:
The Fiddle Music of the Scottish Highlands - CEOL NA FIDHLE - VOLUMES 1 AND 2 compiled by Christine Martin.
[The new version of this book includes a CD.]
The sheet music shows C# (accidental) in the melody
yet the chord is A minor.
I am a melody player & cannot say if that is right or wrong.
I play the C# & would guess that the chord is A5 (?)

Posted by .

Definitely C#

Keep the C#’s.
It does play more evenly with C naturals but it takes out an interesting effect. I will have to find out if our chord players play the A minor.

Posted by .

“The Fiddle Music of the Scottish Highlands: Ceol na Fidhle Volumes One and Two”

Compiled and arranged by Christine Martin
Published by Taigh na Teud, 1998 / 2002
ISBN: 1-871931-320

Fonn Mall / Slow Airs

Page 25: “The Hills of Lochiel”

:|! ~ what’s with the exclamation marks? It always makes me suspect a cut-and-paste job…

Sadly, and I mean that, this has been lifted note-for-note and chord-for-chord and exactly as arranged by Ms. Martin, who at least deserves full credits for the rip-off…

The chord should definately not be Am! There are many options for chords all the way through any tune and you will rarely see given chords in ABC notation on here but either way Am is just plain wrong!

You could make that bar just an A chord and then the following bar Am7. It matches the melody more closely although A followed by Am is not very “stand-outy” if you want to make the accidental stick out.


Thanks for giving credit where credit is due.

Posted by .

There is a problem with lifting something complete from printed sources, something called ‘copyright’. It isn’t on the traditional melody, but you have copied ‘everything’ from this book, chords and the ‘arrangment’. You have lifted from sources before, but this is a contemporary publication and could cause problems for this website and its webmaster, Jeremy…

I see you’ve now removed the chords ~ a good first step…

The Hill of Lochiel

You bring up an interesting point. The reference to the Hill(s) of Lochiel is obviously about the dispute over which one is the lengendary hill. Any more comments about the topic?

Posted by .

Well spotted C about the lifting.
But with regard to the exclamation marks ! , I put them into my transcriptions to force the line change in ABC2Win.


I loved this tune from the minute I played it. I have bought books from the publisher & I encourage others to do so. I think it is important to document sources. Is the melody not in the public domain? I lifted it, yes! I loved it! I play it. I want others to play it. I would like to know if anybody can comment on the tune, the history, the original source, the lyrics. I am starting to wish I never found that confounded songbook.

Posted by .

Chrissie Martin can be quite touchy about people copying straight from her books. She will not be impressed if she gets to be aware of this posting, and you may well hear from her.

Thanks Kenny

I appreciate your straightforward approach. What can I do?
I love all of Christine Martin’s books & I have no desire to compromise her rights.

Posted by .


I like bending the C#s here even higher. If you don’t like the Cs sharp, try replacing them with a D instead.

Good on two counts, you’ve removed some of the more identifiable material that is Ms. Martin’s, the chords are gone, and now the slurs. That is something, and we’ve given her some positive advertisement.

In future Muse, let it meld and change under your loving care and hands, so that it has something ‘different’ about it. You can then always credit your original source, a mate, a session or dance, a recording or something in print. Even lifting directly from the old public domain collections or from online souces, as is, is at least by me frowned on. I am interested in your way with it, proof that you actually play the thing and care about it. If you really do play it note for note as it is transcribed somewhere in dots or ABCs, then I worry and would suggest you get out more and give your ears more exercise, and learn more from living sources than those boneless, lifeless skeletons. Giving these things ‘life’ is in part about putting our life into them, and we are all unique, though sometimes we can lose track of that.

So, ideally, spend some time with the tune you’ve found draws your attention, and if you really like it, wear it for awhile until it softens like a comfortable well worn pair of jeans, or shoes. Then bring it back here with the scuff marks to prove you’re affection for it. Note-for-note hasn’t any of that proof of wear about it. It is even more clinical than just ABCs or dots are normally. I look for the humour in submissions, and when I find what I consider ‘rip-offs’, whatever the source, it feels a little sterile, no proof of real care or possession. I can get particularly grouchy when someone doesn’t bother to at least credit the piracy. Sometimes I just remain shtum, sometimes, like here, I comment.

It is a nice tune, but make it your own, in whatever little way, so that I know you really do like it and it isn’t just another Christmas pair of socks you’ve hidden away in the back of the drawer and never intend to wear… 😉

Whose song is it anyway?

A fine air with or without the scuff marks. Be true to the music. It will give you more life than you can ever hope to return. Are the lawyers happy yet?

Robert Burns Air

I just received this:
I think that possibly the musical score for “ Hill of Lochiel ”given on our Archives, is maybe not the correct tune (but not our fault).

I have had a look at “The Jacobite Relics of Scotland”, James Hogg (1821), from which it comes, and Hogg confirms that it was sent to him by a Captain John Steuart.

However, in a tiny wee erratta at the end of the book (which I came upon by chance), Hogg states that the air given for “Hill of Lochiel” is the wrong one. The air is, in fact, the popular tune to the Robert Burn’s song “The Banks of the Devon”. He says that the song with the correct air is apparently given in “The Airs and Melodies Peculiar to the Highlands of Scotland”, Captain Simon Fraser, 1816.

I’ll need to see if I can find that volume,and just find out exactly what is given for the song, and if there is a bit more background to it.


Chris Doak,

Posted by .

Whose song is it & which song is it?

Apparently the tune submitted is not the tune named.
It has various titles Bhanarach dhonn a’ chruidh, The Brown Milkmaid & The Dairymaid.
Robert Burns used this for his song The Banks of the Devon.

The Hill of Lochiel is different. It is available in various collections as The Braes of Lochiel (also Banks of Lochiel)
This is one version:

T:The Braes of Lochiel
Z:Jack Campin, 2006,
K:A Minor
e|A>GB A2A|a>ge d<eg|G<BA G2B |d>eg e<dB|
B<AG A2A|a>ge d<eg|B<GB d>eg|B2A A2 :|
g|a>ga a2e|a>ge d<eg|G<BA G2B |d>eg e<dB|
B<AG A2A|a>ge d<eg|B<GB d>eg|B2A A2 :|

Posted by .

Banks of the Devon

I have corrected the title. This old air is the tune Robert Burns
used for ‘The Banks of the Devon’
It is not the‘ Hill of Lochiel’ nor any other so named tune.
[neither Braes nor Banks of Lochirel]

Posted by .

Re: Sung by Karine Polwart

Lovely sung version by Karine Polwart, “Wae is my heart” / "The Banks Of The Devon”.
With the words to both, credited to the CD The Complete Songs Of Robert Burns Volume 8
(Ian Anderson, Ian Bruce, Mairi Campbell, John Morran, George Duff, Bobby Eaglesham, Karine Polwart).
Catalogue No: CKD143, Label: Linn. Series: The Complete Songs of Robert Burns.

BTW, this is the River Devon, Clackmannanshire (not that anyone would confuse it with the one in Nottinghamshire, or the county in England, but thesession does go all over the world so perhaps it’s worth pointing out),_Clackmannanshire