Traditional Scottish Folk Music

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MacPherson's Lament

TML # 006409
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Legends about MacPherson's death are many. The basic one has it that he played this tune before his death and offered the fiddle to anyone who could play it back for him. None could, so he broke the fiddle rather than leave it in incompetent hands. The (ruins of) the instrument are now said to be in the MacPherson clan museum in Inverness-shire.
Farewell, ye dungeons dark and strong
Farewell, farewell to thee.
Macpherson's rant will ne'er be lang
On yonder gallows tree.

Chor: Sae rantingly, sae wontonly
Sae dauntingly gaed he
He played a tune an' he danced aroon
Beneath the gallows tree.

It was by a woman's treacherous hand
That I was condemned to dee
Beneath a ledge at a window she stood
And a blanket she threw o'er me.

Well the laird o' Grant, that highlan' sa'nt
That first laid hands on me
He played the cause on Peter Broon
To let Macpherson dee.

Untie these bands from off my hands
And gie to me my sword
There's nae a man in a' Scotland
But I'll brave him at a word.
There's some come here to see me hanged
And some to buy my fiddle
But before that I do part wi' her
I'll brak her thro' the middle.

He took the fiddle into both his hands
And he broke it o'er a stone
Says there's nae other hand shall play on thee
When I am dead and gone.

O, little did my mother think
When she first cradled me
That I would turn a rovin' boy
And die on the gallows tree.

The reprive was comin' o'er the brig o' Banff
To let Macpherson free
But they pit the clock a quarter afore
And hanged him to a tree.
This royalty free score was generated by the Traditional Music Library On Line Tunebook (Shareware Version). As-is copies of this score may be freely distributed. Further info from WWW.TRADITIONALMUSIC.CO.UK