Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Back O' Bennachie

Scottish Song By Robert Burns

The Back O' Bennachie or Where Gadie Rins, is a Scottish poem which has been put to song and rearranged very many times. The original author is unknown but is believed to date back to the early 1600s.

One prominent version of words to the song "Where Gadie Rins" were believed to be written by Dr. John Park (1805-1865) (but even this is questionable), a Presbyterian Minister at St. Andrews. He reportedly heard a girl singing them in the highlands around Aberdeen.

Another version Bennachie O, Gin I Were Where Gadie Rins! was written by John Imlah (1799-1846). Imlah's song first appeared in print in William Christie's A Collection of Strathspeys, Reels, Hornpipes, Waltzes. (c. 1820).


Related Scottish Country Dances

The Back O' Bennachie

The Back O' Bennachie (Author Unknown)

Believed to be the oldest version of O! Gin I War Whaur Gadie Rins.

O! gin I war whaur Gadie rins,
Whaur Gadie rins, whaur Gadie rins;
O! gin I war whaur Gadie rins
At the back o' Bennachie.

I never wad seek back again,
Seek back again, seek back again;
I never wad seek back again
To bide in the laigh countrie.

I never had but twa richt lads,
But twa richt lads, but twa richt lads;
I never had but twa richt lads,
An' it's dearly they loo'd me.

The tane was killed in Lowran Fair,
In Lowran Fair, in Lowran Fair;
The tane was killed in Lowran Fair,
An the ither was drooned in Dee.

O! wasna that twa dowie days,
Twa dowie days, twa dowie days?
O! wasna that twa dowie days,
Twa dowie days for me?

Instead o' buyin' my bridal dress,
My bridal dress, my bridal dress,
Instead o' buyin' my bridal dress,
I bocht linen to bury them wi'.

They crooded on sae thick on him,
Sae thick on him, sae thick on him,
They crooded on sae thick on him,
He could neither fecht nor flee.

But had he gotten man for man,
Man for man, man for man,
But had he gotten man for man,
Or yet a man for three;

He wadna lain sae low this day,
Sae low this day, sae low this day,
He wadna lain sae low this day,
Aneath yon arne tree.

'Twas bluidy han's an' cruel hairts,
An' cruel hairts, an' cruel hairts,
'Twas bluidy han's an' cruel hairts,
That gart my Jamie dee.

O! gin I war whaur Gadie rins,
Whaur Gadie rins, whaur Gadie rins;
O! gin I war whaur Gadie rins
At the back o' Bennachie.

I'll seek his grave on Gadie side,
On Gadie side, on Gadie side,
I'll seek his grave on Gadie side,
Syne lay me doon an' dee.


The Back O' Bennachie Song Video

The Back O' Bennachie Song - Information Video
Back O' Bennachie Image
The Back O' Bennachie Forest Trail


The Online Scots Dictionary Translate Scots To English.
Image Copyright Anne Burgess under this Creative Commons Licence.
Additional search terms: Back Of Bennachie, Duthrie.

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