the song
title : The banks o’ Doon   also known as   Ye banks and braes o’ bonnie Doon
written by : traditional; arranged by Robert Burns, Eddi Reader, John McCusker, Boo Hewerdine, Roy Dodds, Alan Kelly, Colin Reid and Kevin McGuire
song copyright : none

the performance
musicians
Eddi Reader vocal, acoustic guitar
with :
Roy Dodds drums, percussion
Boo Hewerdine acoustic guitar
John McCusker fiddle
Michael McGoldrick flute
and guests :
Alan Kelly accordion
Kevin McGuire double bass
music
key : E major
time-signature : 6/8
tempo : MM 65
form : V V V V v V Vx
lyrics

provided for research and private study only:

Ye banks and braes o’ bonnie Doon

ye banks and braes of bonnie Doon
how can you bloom so fresh and fair?
how can you chant you little birds
while I sae weary, fu’ o’ care?
oh, you’ll break my heart, ye warbling birds
that wanton o’er the flowering thorn
you mind me o’ departed joys
departed never to return

oft hae I been by bonnie Doon
to see the rose and the woodbine twine
and ilka bird sang o’ all its joy
and fondly so did I wi’ mine
wi’ lithesome heart I pulled a rose
full sweet upon its flowering tree
and my false lover, he stole my rose
but ah! he left the thorn wi’ me

– fiddle and flute solo

ye banks and braes of bonnie Doon
how can you bloom so fresh and fair?
how can you chant you little birds
while I sae weary, fu’ o’ care?
oh, you’ll break my heart, you warbling birds
that wanton o’er the flowering thorn
you mind me o’ departed joy
departed never to return

you mind me o’ departed joy
departed never to return

– fiddle and flute solo
oh-ah-ee-ah, mm {etc.}

glossary
fu’ o’full of mindremind
haehave saeso
ilkaevery wantonfrolic
lithesomelight wi’with
explanations

This song was originally published in the 1792 volume of The Scots musical museum (editor James Johnson), which is the origin of the title. A different version, in four-line stanzas, was found in a letter from Burns to Alexander Cunningham, dated 1791-03-11, and published in 1808 (see Kinsley, 328A). The following text is from the Hastie manuscript, collated with the 1792 publication:

The banks o’ Doon

Ye banks and braes o’ bonnie Doon,
  How can ye bloom sae fresh and fair;
How can ye chant, ye little birds,
  While I sae weary, fu’ o’ care!
Thou’ll break my heart, thou warbling bird,
  That wantons thro’ the flowering thorn:
Thou minds me o’ departed joys,
  Departed, never to return.

Oft hae I rov’d by bonie Doon,
  To see the rose and woodbine twine;
And ilka bird sang o’ all its Luve,
  And fondly sae did I o’ mine.
Wi’ lightsome heart I pul’d a rose,
  Fu’ sweet upon its thorny tree;
And my fause Luver staw my rose,
  But, ah! he left the thorn wi’ me.

source : No. 328B in Poems and songs of Robert Burns / edited by James Kinsley. – Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1968

additional glossary
fausefalse
pul’dpulled
stawstole
The Doon is a river in the south of Ayrshire, flowing north-west from Loch Doon, through Patna and Dalrymple to the sea at Doonfoot, just south of Ayr.

the recording
personnel
produced by : John McCusker
recorded by : Andy Seward? at PawPaw Productions or Park Lane Studios, Glasgow;
additional engineering by Paul McGeechan and Keith Bird (at Park Lane?), or Iain Graham (at PawPaw?)
mixed by : Andy Seward assisted by John McCusker and Boo Hewerdine at Pure Records Studio, Yorkshire?
mastered by : Calum Malcolm in ?
technical
signal path : DDD
song timing : 3:33
released on
album : Peacetime track 7   timing : 3:36
album : The songs of Robert Burns (deluxe edition) track 14   timing : 3:38

commentary
From a figurative reading of the last four lines, I think we can take it that the (female) singer has been impregnated by her ‘fause luver’, who has presumably left her. Hence her sadness at the ‘departed joys’ even by the banks of the bonny Doon.
Adrian Dover