Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Campbells Are Coming

Scottish Song

The Campbells Are Coming is a Scottish song associated with Clan Campbell. The song was definitely extant by 1745 and perhaps much earlier, the tune, a traditional Scottish air, is similar to "The Town Of Inveraray".

It may have been inspired by the war of the Jacobite rising of 1715 (John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll was the loyalist war leader and many Scottish loyalists were Campbells); According to Lewis Winstock the tune accompanied the Scottish loyalist vanguard in the Jacobite war, and Robert Wodrow ascribes that name to one of the bagpipe tunes that accompanied Argyle's Highlanders entrance into Perth and Dundee.

Or it may have been concerned with earlier events around the deposing of Mary Queen of Scots: "Lochleven" presumably refers to Lochleven Castle where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned in 1567, and "Great Argyl" may refer to Archibald Campbell, 5th Earl of Argyll who attempted to rescue her.

The song is commonly attributed to Robert Burns, like many Scottish songs which are actually traditional or of unknown origin. Burns did write a version with some different verses, which he published in the Scots Musical Museum, a collection of Scottish folk songs (and some new songs) published between 1787 and 1803.


Related Scottish Country Dances

The Campbells Are Coming

The Campbells Are Coming

Chorus
The Campbells are coming Ho-Ro, Ho-Ro!
The Campbells are coming Ho-Ro, Ho-Ro!
I lookit down to bonnie Lochleven
The Campbells are coming Ho-Ro, Ho-Ro!

Upon the Lomonds I lay, I lay,
Upon the Lomonds I lay, I lay,
I lookit down to bonnie Lochleven
And saw three perches play-hay-hay!

Chorus

The Great Argyll he goes before,
He makes the cannons and guns to roar,
With sound o'trumpet, pipe and drum,
The Campbells are coming, Ho-Ro, Ho-Ro!

Chorus

The Campbells they are a' in arms,
Their loyal faith and truth to show,
With banners rattling in the wind,
The Campbells are coming Ho-Ro, Ho-Ro!

Chorus


The Campbells Are Coming Song Video

The Campbells Are Coming Song - Information Video
The Campbells Original Seat Innis Chonnell Castle Image
Innis Chonnell, Loch Awe, Argyll
Small Island In Loch Awe With Excellent Castle Ruins - Formerly A Stronghold Of The Campbells


The Online Scots Dictionary Translate Scots To English.
Text from this original The Campbells Are Coming article on Wikisource.
Text from this original Clan Campbell article on Wikisource.
Image Copyright Brian D Osborne under this Creative Commons Licence.

Back to the top of this Scottish Country Dancing Instructions 'The Campbells Are Coming Song' page