The song is a lament for a lost love killed in battle. He will now take the "high road" (in heaven) while Moira (his love) stays on the "low road." They will never meet again in this life but they will some day meet again far above the bonnie banks of Loch lomond.
O wither away my bonnie May (which direction)
Sae late an' sae far in the gloamin' (so far in the dusk)
The mist gather grey o'er moorland and brae (hill)
O wither sae far are ye roamin'?
O ye'll tak the high road an' I'll tak the low
I'll be in Scotland afore ye
For me and my true love will never meet again
By the bonnie bonnie banks o' Loch Lomond
O well may I weep for yestreen in my sleep (well) (yesterday)
we stood bride and bridegroom together
But his arms and his breath were as cold as the death
And his heart's blood ran red in the heather
I trusted my ain love last night in the broom (own) (bush)
My Donald wha' loves me sae dearly
For the morrow he will march for Edinburgh toon (town)
Tae fecht for his King and Prince Charlie (to fight)
As dauntless in battle as tender in love
He'd yield ne'er a foot toe the foeman (enemy)
But never again frae the field o' the slain (from)
Tae his Moira will he come by Loch Lomond
The thistle may bloom, the King hae his ain (have his own)
And fond lovers may meet in the gloamin'
And me and my true love will yet meet again
Far above the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond
I can't believe I've never actually been exposed to this musical before. newsboyhat changed all that and I must confess to being rather impressed. The music was splendid, the lyrics cleverly crafted, and the performances (albeit only in a concert rather than a dramatic setting) were top notch. I can quite see why Lea Salonga garners so much praise - the clarity of her anunciation would have left Henry Higgins reaching for the kleenex. Couple those qualities with a not-overdone-pathos that raised more than a couple of tears to these unwilling eyes and I must confess to being impressed. Next step: get the soundtrack on CD for in-car overuse.