Traditional call and response song that seems to have 2 completely separate versions:

From 'Moby Dick'

From 'Assassin's Creed'

A.L. Lloyd wrote :

The song is a bit of a mystery. It has often been found in tradition in Britain and USA but always as a sailor shanty, usually sung while working at the pumps. Two distinct sets of words accompany the tune: one text tells the present story of the dead lover who returns; the other text concerns the work and pay of cotton-lumbers in the port of Mobile, Alabama. Deceived by the latter version, some specialists declare it to be a Negro song. More likely, it's a fragment of an Anglo-Scots ballad, full form forgotten, that lived on among British seamen who passed it on to longshoremen in the Gulf ports. The “Lowlands” refrain may be an echo from the old ballad of The Golden Vanity. Captain Whall, best of the pioneer shanty collectors, says that in Liverpool in the old days a crew of merchant seaman was often spoken of as “the Johns” so the term “my John” in the ballad is no more personal than “my lad”. Anne Briggs sings Lowlands not as a shanty but as a ballad, in what is probably something like its original form.

'Strange but true'... Susan Philpsz won the Turner Prize in 2010 with a sound installation featuring Lowlands Away.

Lowlands Away Downloads

Lowlands Away Lyrics

Lowlands Away Score

Lowlands Soprano

Lowlands Alto

Lowlands Tenor