Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Campbeltown Loch

Folk Song - Andy Stewart

Campbeltown Loch folk song was repopularized by Andy Stewart in the 1960s sung to a march written for the bagpipes, The Glendaruel Highlanders.

In the song the writer, Alan Cameron, expresses his desire that the loch be full of whisky. The basis of that ballad is that Campbeltown was originally a centre of whisky distilling but that the price of whisky in Campbeltown itself was too high. Andy Stewart also recounts an interesting story - see the information videos linked below.

Andy Stewart was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1933, the son of a teacher. When he was five years old, the family moved to Perth and then, six years later, to Arbroath. Even in early childhood, he loved imitating people and amazed his parents with impersonations of famous singers and actors. He attended Arbroath High School, where his father taught science.

In 1950, at the age of 16, he participated in the Arbroath Abbey Pageant, taking the part of "A Knight in Shining Armour". Up until this time, he had not thought seriously about a career in entertainment, as he had aspirations of becoming a veterinary surgeon. He then decided to train as an actor at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, where he studied until 1954. During his first year at the college, he obtained First Prize for Comedy.

Stewart's patriotic wearing of tartan and his use of stereotypical Scottish humour, throughout the 1960s, echoed the music hall style and songs of fellow Scot Sir Harry Lauder.

He had several international hit singles: "Come in-Come in", "Donald Where's Your Troosers?", "A Scottish Soldier" (which reached no. 1 in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, spent 36 weeks in the UK Singles Chart in 1961, charted in South Africa and India, and peaked at No.69 on the USA's Billboard Hot 100) "Campbeltown Loch", "The Muckin' O' Geordie's Byre", "The Road to Dundee", "The Battle's O'er" (No. 1 on the Australian charts in July 1961), "Take Me Back", "Tunes of Glory", and "Dr. Finlay" (1965).

He is also remembered for being the compère of The White Heather Club. This was a BBC Scotland television programme that existed as an annual New Year's Eve party (1957-1968), and also as a weekly early-evening series (1960-1968). At the height of its popularity, the show had a viewership of 10 million.

Related Scottish Country Dances

Campbeltown Loch

Campbeltown Loch - Andy Stewart

Oh! Campbeltown Loch, Ah wish ye were whisky!
Campbeltown Loch, Och Aye!
Campbeltown Loch, I wish ye were whisky!
Ah wid drink ye dry.

Now Campbeltown Loch is a beautiful place,
But the price of the whisky is grim.
How nice it would be if the whisky was free
And the Loch was filled up to the brim.

I'd buy a yacht with the money I've got
And I'd anchor it out in the bay.
If I wanted a nip I'd go in for a dip
I'd be swimmin' by night and by day.

We'd have a gathering of the clans
They'd come from near and far
I can see them grin as they're wading in
And shouting "Slàinte mhath!".

But what if the boat should overturn
And drowned in the whisky was I?
You'd hear me shout, you'd hear me call out
"What a wonderful way to die !"

But what's this I see, ochone for me
It's a vision to make your blood freeze.
It's the police afloat in a dirty great boat
And they're shouting: "Time, gentlemen, please!"

Campbeltown Loch Song Video

Campbeltown Loch Song - Information Video
Campbeltown Loch
Campbeltown Loch

Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Campbeltown Loch article on Wikipedia.
Text from this original Andy Stewart article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright Bob Jones under this Creative Commons Licence 2.0.

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