“Nairn River Banks”


The singer wanders by Nairn River banks, where he sees a pretty girl herding her flock and lamenting her soldier. A boy brings her a letter from him, saying he is fighting the French in Spain with Wellington, but hopes to come back to her soon


Ord calls this a "real Bothy Song," though he admits that it is found in broadsides. But the texts generally seem to be in very exact, even flowery, English, with not a hint of dialect; I have to think it is in origin a broadside, and the traditional versions close to the original. - RBW

Historical references

  • 1809 - Wellington takes command in the Peninsula (to 1814)
  • 1815 - Battle of Waterloo


  1. Ord, pp. 314-315, "Nairn River Banks" (1 text)
  2. Roud #3780
  3. BI, Ord314


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1930 (Ord)
Found in: Britain(Scotland)