[Words by Mr James Shanks as printed in John Neill's
1812 book, "Reminiscences of Bonhill Parish."]
Oh, where is the land that can boast aught so fair,
As the Queen of Scotch Lakes, 'midst the our pure mountain air?
'Tis not the Rhine Valley that any could even
To the beautiful scenes of the Vale of the Leven.
Beautiful Vale, Beautiful Vale, Beautiful Vale of the Leven.
It is sheltered all round from the wild storm and gale,
While the old Rock and Castle point far up the Vale;
Ben Lomond in friendship nods back to the Clyde,
And the hills of Carman shade its Western side.
I have view'd it in sunshine, I have viewed it in shade,
I have view'd it in summer, with blossom arrayed;
I have seen it in winter, when clad o'er wi' snaw,
But to me it is lovely in the midst of them a'.
Its sons that are scatter'd far over the earth,
Oft remember the Vale that first gave them birth,
And the kind friends they left, when they bade it adieu -
Oft they long to look back just to see it anew.
When the cares and the toils of this life are near o'er.
And my bark is nearing yon beautiful shore,
My last wish is this, that to me it be given,
To be laid to my rest in the Vale of the Leven.
Oh weel dae I mind o’ ma earlier days
When mony’s a time I climbed the high braes.
A’ sat by the burnie that’s aye runnin still,
The wee burn that runs doon the braes o’ Bonull
[CHORUS: The braes o’Bonull are aye clad wi’ weans
Some pullin daisies and ithers chippin stanes,
The crying o’ the cuckoo and the roarin’ o’ the bull
And you’ll aye be contented on the braes o’ Bonull]
If ye want tae walk yer lass, I’ll tell you whaur tae gang,
Just go up the Slunger and as ye go alang
Ask her there to be your wife and kiss her at her will
And then gie her a dauner o’er the braes o’ Bonull.
Noo I’m getting auld and I’m sorry for to say,
My legs they are frail and my hair is turning gray
Noo I sit by the door on my three legit still
And watch the bairnies playing on the braes o’ Bonull
Noo I maun away, I hae bide’t rather lang,
And I hope you’re a’ content wi’ my wee bit humble sang,
But if we ever meet again and hae another gill
We’ll drink success to the days we spent on the braes o’ Bonull
Words & Music by Archibald McFarlane
There’s a valley nestles neatly ‘neath the shadow of the hills
To which my heart is dear
Its beauty and its splendour with a joy my bosom fills
Tho I be far or near
[CHORUS: It is the valley, the lovely valley where the Leven flows
In sun or showers, tis beauty’s bower
When the heather blows
With joy my heart is always dancing,
No other part is so entrancing
As in the valley, the lovely valley
Where the Leven flows}
If you ask the lonely exile who has left it for a while
And gone across the foam
To name the spot he loves the best , he’ll answer with a smile
“It is my home sweet home”