Catalogue no. 1051

Both sides the Tweed

Music: Dick Gaughan, arr. Frances Cockburn, Words: Dick Gaughan (based on tradition)

Voicing: SSAA

Performance time approx: 2m 40s

Range S1: c'–f'' / S2: c'–B♭' / A1: a–g' / A2: d–f'

Price code: B


This is a stirring song about the value of friendship and honour, based on traditional words from Scotland’s Border country, which used to be home to bitter feuds between rival families as well as tensions between the Scots and the English.

Frances Cockburn’s lilting arrangement uses the same harmony for each verse. The texture can be varied through use of soloists.

You can hear a recording of the SATB version, performed by Rudsambee company of singers, here.

What's the spring, breathing jessmine and rose,
What's the summer, with all its gay train,
Or the splendour of autumn, to those
Who've barter'd their freedom for gain?

Let the love of our land's sacred rights
To the love of our people succeed;
Let friendship and honour unite
And flourish on both sides the Tweed.

No sweetness the senses can cheer
Which corruption and bribery blind.
No brightness that gloom can e'er clear,
For honour's the sun of the mind.

Let virtue distinguish the brave,
Place riches in lowest degree.
Think them poorest who can be a slave,
Them richest who dare to be free.

words traditional, adapted by Dick Gaughan
The words and tune of this arrangement are used courtesy of Topic Records Ltd (

Card ImageScottish

Both sides the Tweed

Frances Cockburn


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