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Lyr Req: The Roving Dies Hard


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Lyr Req: Rovin' Dies Hard (3)

cathy 18 Dec 97 - 01:18 AM
Wolfgang 18 Dec 97 - 03:35 AM
Guy Hoyle ( 27 Mar 98 - 10:21 AM
Henrik 01 Apr 98 - 10:59 AM
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Subject: Lyrics Request: The Roving Dies Hard
From: cathy
Date: 18 Dec 97 - 01:18 AM

Im looking for lyrics to a song by The Battlefield Band called "The Roving Dies Hard"

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Subject: RE: Lyrics Request: The Roving Dies Hard
From: Wolfgang
Date: 18 Dec 97 - 03:35 AM

Hi Cathy, I've entered this song way back in June. Make a Forum search and enter "Rovin' dies hard" and you'll get it.

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Subject: For The Roving Dies Hard
From: Guy Hoyle (
Date: 27 Mar 98 - 10:21 AM

I'm looking for the lyrics to a song that I think is called "The Roving Dies Hard", though I may very well be mistaken about that. The only lines I know go something like this:

"And if ever I'm asked why the Scots are beguiled, I lift up my glass in a health, and I smile; For nature's the one who dealt Scotland the wildest of cards, And the roving dies hard."

Any help would be appreciated.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE ROVIN' DIES HARD (Brian McNeill)
From: Henrik
Date: 01 Apr 98 - 10:59 AM


The song is called "The Rovin' Dies Hard" and was written by Brian McNeill in his Battlefield Band days. It can be found on Battlefield Band's "Celtic Hotel" album. Lyrics and music can be found in their song book called "Forward with Scotland's Past" (all BB songs from 1976-88), but as a special treat :-) here are the words at least (I haven't got the time to write down the music in ABC notation, but if you're _really_ interested, drop me an e-mail on


My name's John Mackenzie, I'm a master-at-arms,
I carry my sword and my shield on my shoulder.
I've fought every fight from the Don to the Danube,
None braver, none better, none bolder.
I've stood wi' Montrose and aginst him.
I've battled with Swedes and with Danes.
And I've carried the standard o' many's the army,
Through many's the bloody campaign.
But now as I sit in the firelight it seems
There's a distant horizon to the sword buckler's gleam.
Till a pull at the wine brings an old soldier's dreams from afar
- For the rovin' dies hard.

I'm Calum MacLean; I'm a trapper to trade.
And it's forty long years since I saw Tobermory.
Through Canada's forests I've carried my plaid,
And its pine trees could tell you my story.
Now my wandering days they are over,
But I'm thankful to still be alive
For I've many's the kinsman who died in the hulks
At the end of the bold forty-five.
I've an Indian lass now; I'll never deceive her,
But there's nights when I'd up with my gun and I'd leave her
For the land where the bear and the fox and the beaver are lord
- For the rovin' dies hard

My name's Robert Johnston, I'm a man of the cloth
And I'll carry my Bible as long as I'm breathing.
I've preached the Lord's gospel from Shanghai to Glasgow,
Where e'er He saw fit to make heathens.
But now the Kirk's calling me homewards
It's the manse and the elders for me,
But the sins o' the Session'll no be so far
From the sins of the South China Sea
And perhaps it's the voice of the Devil I've heard
For it speaks of the clipper ships flying like birds,
Till a man's only comfort is Scripture and the words of the Lord
For the rovin' dies hard

My name's Willie Campbell, I'm a ship's engineer
And I know every berth between Lisbon and Largo
I've sweated more diesel in thirty-five years
Than a big tanker takes for cargo
O' the good time I've had plenty
Where the whisky and women were wild
And there's many the wean wi' the red locks o' the Campbells
Who's ne'er seen the coast of Argyll
But now as the freighters unload on the quay
The sound of the engine is calling to me
And it sings me a song of the sun and the sea and the stars
For the rovin' dies hard

I've tuned up me fiddle and rosined my bow
And I've sung o' the clans and the clear crystal fountains
I can tell you the road and the miles from Dundee
To the back of Alaska's wild mountains
And when all of my travelling is over
The next of the rovers will come
And he'll take all the songs and he'll sing them again
To the beat from a different drum
And if ever I'm asked why the Scots are beguiled
I'll lift up my glass in a health and I'll smile
And tell them that fortune dealt Scotland the wildest of cards
For the rovin' dies hard



P.S. In '86 this song finished 2nd in the Legal and General Songsearch competition - in '87 Brian McNeill topped that by winning the competition with "The Devil's Only Daughter"...

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 11-Jan-02.

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