“The Campbells Are Coming”


"The Campbells are coming, o-ho, o-ho! (x2), The Campbells are coming from bonnie Loch Lomond...." Argyle leads the van; the pipes sound. The singer expects them to win honor and success

Supplemental text

Campbells Are Coming, The
  Complete text(s)

          *** A ***

The Campbells (sic.) are comin

From James Johnson, "The Scots Musical Museum," Volume III, #299, p.
309. As found in the 1853 edition (punctuation is somewhat uncertain,
given the state of the facsimile).

  The Campbells are comin Oho, Oho!
  The Campbells are comin Oho, Oho!
  The Campbells are comin to bonie Lochleven,
  The Campbells are comin Oho, Oho!

Upon the Lomons I lay, I lay,
Upon the Lomons I lay, I lay,
I looked down to bonie Lochleven
And saw three bonie perches play.

Great Argyle he goes before,
He maks his cannons and guns to raaoar,
We' sound o' trumpet, pipe and drum
The Campbells are comin Oho, Oho!

The Campbells they are a' in arms
Their loyal faith and truth to show,
Wi' banners rattling in the wind,
The Campbells are comin Oho, Oho!

Note: The Scots Musical Museum prints the chorus as the
first verse and then again as the chorus, but the tune is
the same; this is just a printing quirk.


Various theories have been offered about the historical significance of this song, which was certainly in existence by 1745. One has it that it concerns the suppression of the 1715 Jacobite rebellion; another, that it is concerned with the events around Mary Stewart's deposition. These theories and others like them are, at best, possible.

Robert Burns rewrote the song for the Scots Musical Museum (#299), keeping chorus and one verse. - RBW

Same tune

  • The Yankees Are Coming (File: Hud124)
  • The Camlachie Militia/The Russians are Coming (broadsides Murray, Mu23-y2:002, "The Camlachie Militia," ("The Russians are coming, oh dear, oh dear!"), Poet's Box (Glasgow), 1855; same broadside as NLScotland, L.C.Fol.70(49); [in broadside Murray, Mu23-y1:074, "The Russian in Glasgow," James Lindsay (Glasgow), 19C, this is given the tune "Joanne of Paris," but it's clearly this song; another Murray broadside, broadside Murray, Mu23-y1:075, "The Russians Are Coming," James Lindsay (Glasgow), probably c. 1855), does not appear to be the same piece]

Cross references


  1. Silber-FSWB, p. 281, "The Campbells Are Comin'" (1 text)
  2. Fuld, pp. 157-158, "The Campbells Are Coming"
  3. DT, (CAMPBLL* -- the Burns text)
  4. ST FSWB281B (Full)
  5. Roud #5784
  6. BI, FSWB281B


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1748 ("A Choice Collection of 200 Favorite Country Dances")
Found in: Britain(Scotland)