My names John McKenzie I’m a master at arms I’d carry my sword and my shield on my shoulder I’ve fought every fight Fra the Don to the Danube none braver none better none bolder I’ve stood with Montrose and against him I’ve battled with Swedes and with Danes and I’ve carried the standard of 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 buckle’s gleam till a pull at ma' wine brings an old soldiers dream from afar for the Rovin’ dies hard.
I’m Callum McLean I’m a trapper by trade and its forty long years since I saw Tobemory through Canada’s forests I’ve carried my blade and her pine trees can tell you my story but my wondering days they are over and 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 and 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 laird for the rovin’ dies hard.
My names Robert Johnson I’m a man of the cloth I’ll carry my bible as long as I’m breathing I’ve preached the lords gospel from shanghai to Glasgow wherever he saw fit to make heathens but now the kirks calling me homeward it’s the Manse and the elders for me but the sins o the session will no be so far fa the sins of the south china sea perhaps it’s the voice of the devil I’ve heard for it speaks of the clipper ships flying like birds till a mans only comfort is scripture and the word of the lord for the rovin’ dies hard.
My names Willie Campbell I’m a ships engineer and I know every berth between Lisbon and Largo I’ve sweated mare diesel in thirty five year than a big tanker takes for a cargo of the good times I’ve always had plenty where the whisky and the lassies were wild and there’s many the wean wi’ the red locks and the Campbell’s
That’s na’re seen the coast or Argyll but now as the freighters unload on the quay the sound of the engines 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 my fiddle I’ve rosined my bow I’ve sung of the clans and the clear crystal fountains I can tell you the road and the miles frae Dundee to the back of Alaska’s wild mountains when my travelling days they are over and the next of the rovers has come he’ll take all the songs and he’ll sing them again to the beat of a different drum and if ever I’m asked why the Scots are beguiled I’ll lift up my glass in her health and I’ll smile and I’ll tell them that fortune dealt Scotland the wildest of cards for the rovin’ dies hard.