Hear it sung by Jean Redpath, with Alasdair Fraser, fiddle, Abby
Newton, cello, Jacqueline Schwab, piano.
A text of this song was printed in 1724, and it was given
with a tune in 1733. But not this tune. The Beers Family of Fox Hollow, New
York State, made the song popular in this form in the 1960s. The song has been
sung in their family for many years.
The name 'Dumbarton's Drums' is used by other Scottish tunes,
which are not recognisably related to the Beers Family song tune.
‘Dumbarton’s Drums’ is the name of an old Scottish dance
tune with its own Country Dance, a ‘longways reel-time dance for three
couples’. A version of that tune, ‘a Scottish Measure’, was printed in 1690.
And ‘Dumbarton's Drums’ is the name of the Regimental Quick
March of the Royal Scots. Their name for the tune recalls the last colonel of
their ancestor regiment when it was serving in France. He died in 1692.
For more information about the March see
This site is created and maintained by Ewan McVicar.
This site is to replace the Education Scotland Scotland's Songs site that was 'taken down' in January 2017.