Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Highland Laddie

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

HIGHLAND LADDIE (R8x32) 3C (4C set) RSCDS Book 4

1- 8 1s set, cast to 3rd place (3s step up), 2s+3s cross RH
9-16 1s lead up to top (2s+3s step down), set, cast down 1 place to face 3rd corner positions (2s step up)
17-24 1s set and turn 3rd corners, set and turn 4th corners 1s end facing out in 2nd place on own sides
25-32 2s+1s+3s Balance-in-Line twice and turn RH back to places (2s and 3s turn 1½ times)

(MINICRIB. Dance crib compiled by Charles Upton, Deeside Caledonian Society, and his successors)


Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams


Dance Instruction Videos

Highland Laddie - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

"Highland Laddie", also known as "Hielan' Laddie", is the name of a peom, sung to the Scottish popular folk tune "If Thou'lt Play Me Fair Play", but as with many old melodies various sets of words can be sung to it, of which Robert Burns's poem "Highland Laddie" is probably the best known.

Highland Laddie - Poem has been reworked several times since Burns set down his words, Donkey Riding being one variant.

The bonniest lad that e'er I saw,
Bonnie laddie, Highland laddie,
Wore a plaid, and was fu' braw,
Bonnie Highland laddie.
On his head a bonnet blue,
Bonnie laddie, Highland laddie;
His royal heart was firm and true,
Bonnie Highland laddie.

RSCDS uses the tune for this dance, "Cairney Mount" (Aird's Collection, 1788).

Burns also wrote words to the As I Cam O'er The Cairney Mount - Song, published in James Johnson's Scots Musical Museum in 1796.

As I came o'er the Cairney mount,
And down amang the blooming heather,
The Highland laddie drew his dirk
And sheath'd it in my wanton leather.

Highland Laddie Poem - Information Video

There is also a Scottish highland dance Highland Laddie - Highland Dance Video sometimes danced today at Highland games around the world, as part of Scottish National dances repertoire.

Robert Burns portrait by Alexander Nasmyth
"Portrait Of Burns" Alexander Nasmyth (1758-1840), c. 1787


Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Highland Laddie article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright Alexander Nasmyth [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

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