The Rovin' Dies Hard Lyrics

My name’s John McKenzie, I’m a master at arms
I carry my sword and my shield on my shoulder
I’ve fought every fight from 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 the wine brings an old soldier’s dream from afar
For the rovin’ dies hard

I’m Callum McLean, I’m a trapper by trade
And it’s forty long years since I saw Tobermory
Through Canada’s forests I’ve carried my blade
And it’s pine trees could tell you my story
Now my wandering days they are over
But 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 with my gun when I’d up and I’d leave her
For the land where the bear and the fox and the beaver are lord
For the rovin’ dies hard

My name’s Willie Campbell, I’m a ship’s engineer
And I know every berth between Lisbon and Largo
I’ve sweated more diesel in thirty-five years
Than a big tanker takes for a cargo
Of the good times I’ve always had plenty
When the whiskey and the women were wild
And there’s many’s the wean wi’ the red lock o’ the Campbells
Who’s never seen the coast of 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, rosined my bow
And I’ve sung of the clans and the clear crystal fountains
I can tell you the road and the miles to Dundee
To the back of Alaska’s wild mountains
And my traveling days they are over
And the next of the rovers has come
He’ll take all my 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 a health, and I’ll smile
And I’ll tell them that fortune’s dealt Scotland the wildest of cards
For the rovin’ dies hard

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