It's a far croonin' that is pullin' me a-way
As take I with my cromak to the road.
The far Coolins are puttin' love on me
As step I with the sunlight for my load.
Sure by Tummel and Lock Rannock and Lockaber I will go,
By heather tracks with heaven in their wiles;
If its thinkin' in your inner heart braggart's in my step,
You've never smelt the tangle of the Isles.
It's the blue Islands are pullin' me away,
Their laughter puts the leap upon the lame.
The blue Islands from the Skerries to the Lews
With heather honey taste upon each name.
Singing Together, Spring 1975, BBC Publications
'Lochaber' appears as 'Lockaber' in the song as printed.
The song was written Kenneth MacLeod. It appeared in his book The Road to the Isles (Edinburgh: Grant & Murray, 1927), with the comment "Written for the lads in France during the Great War."
The poem was set by Marjorie Kennedy-Fraser, and was first printed (perhaps worded slightly differently) in Songs of the Hebrides vol II, 1917.
According to The Fiddler's Companion, the tune was written as "The Burning Sands of Egypt by John McClellan, D.C.M., a poet and painter from Dunoon, Scotland, who was Pipe Major of the 8th Battalion, Argyl and Sutherland Highlanders, during World War I." Somewhere along the way it apparently also picked up the name The Bens of Jura along with the title it acquired from MacLeod's poem.