Dumbarton's Drums (traditional)
version by Jim Brannigan - Audio

Dumbarton's drums, they sound so bonnie
When they remind me of my Jeannie
Such fond delight can steal upon me
When Jeannie kneels and sings to me.

Across the fields o’ bounding heather
Dumbarton tolls the hour of pleasure
A song of love which has no measure
When Jeannie kneels and sings to me.

My love she is a bonnie lassie
And I a poor Dumbarton caddie
Some day she’ll be a captains lady
When Jeannie kneels and sings to me.

'Tis she alone who can delight me
As gracefully she doth invite me
And when her tender arms enfold me
The blackest night can turn and flee

... When Jeannie kneels and kisses me

Traditional Version

Mudcat Discussion:

DUMBARTON'S DRUMS. AKA and see "Scotch Tune." Scottish, Scottish Measure and Air. F Major/D Minor. Standard. AABB. Emmerson (1972) characterizes this (and other Scottish Measure tunes) as a "slightly different style of Scottish double hornpipe air." The melody was first published in England as a generically-titled "Scotch Tune" in John Playford's Apollo's Banquet (Sixth Ed., 1690). In its native Scotland the song and tune proved durable and popular; it earliest appears in the Skene Manuscript from the early seventeenth century (c. 1615-1630) and subsequently was published in over 20 sources before 1793. The Gow's printed it in their Repository, Part Second, 1802. Robert Burns referred to it as a "West Highland" air in his manuscript notes. It appears in O'Farrell's Vol. III (1810/20) pg. 55.
"Dumbarton's Drums" is the oldest tune played for a march-past in the British army, i.e. when a regiment passed in review in front of an inspecting officer on formal occasions. In 1881 all the British army infantry regiments were ordered to submit for appraisal by the Horse Guards (the headquarters of the army) all the tunes used for such occasions. The Royal Scots Regiment (who used "Dumbarton's Drums") did not obey, and to this day the march, which continues to be used, has never been officially approved.
It was the Celtic population of Scotland that gave the name Dun Breattan (now Dumbarton), 'the fort of the Britons', to the stronghold of that people on the Clyde (Matthews, 1972). In more modern times Dumbarton has long been a county town on the north side of the Forth of Clyde, about fifteen miles from Glasgow, and is the principle town of the county of Dunbartonshire. It featurs a castle on the drumlin known locally as Dumbarton Rock. See note for "Dumbarton Castle" for more information on Dumbarton.
An early version of the song begins:
Dumbarton's drums beat bonnie, O
When they mind me of my dear Johnie, O;
How happie am I
When my soldier is by,
While he kisses and blesses his Annie, O!
'Tis a soldier alone can delight me, O,
For his graceful looks do invite me, O;
While guarded in his arms,
I'll fear no war's alarms,
Neither danger nor death shall e'er fright me, O.
Emmerson (Rantin' Pipe and Tremblin' String), 1971; No. 19, pg. 125