MacAlister Dances Before the King
Clansmen, the peats are burning bright, sit round then in a ring,
And I will tell of that great night I danced before the King.
For as a dancer in my youth, so great was my renown
The King himself invited me to visit London town.
My brand new presentation kilt and ornaments I wore,
As with my skean-dhu I rapped upon the Palace door.
And soon I heard a lord or duke come running down the stairs,
Who to the keyhole put his mouth demanding who was there.
"Open the door, " I sternly cried, "as quickly as you can,
Is this the way that you receive a Highland gentleman?"
The door was opened, word went round, "MacAlister is here"
And at this news the Palace rang with one tremendous cheer.
The King was sitting on his throne but down the steps he came,
Immediately the waiting lord pronounced my magic name.
The lovely ladies of the court with pearls and jewels decked,
All blushed, and trembled as I bowed to them with great respect.
Slowly at first with hands on hips I danced with ease and grace,
Then raised me airms above me head and swifter grew the pace.
At last no human eye could see my steps so light and quick,
And from the floor great clouds of dust came rising fast and thick.
The King was deeply moved and shook me by the hand in friends true
"Alas," he cried," although a King, l canna dance like you. "
And then the gracious Queen herself came smiling up to me,
She pinned a medal on my breast for everyone to see.
Her whisper I shall not forget nor how her eyes grew dim,
"Ah, where were you MacAlister the day I married HIM?"
From singing of Willie Scott