The Hielandmen Cam Doon The Hill

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Melody -
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From Jacobite Songs and Ballads

The Hielandmen cam doon the hill,
And owre the knowe wi' right gude will;
Now Geordie's men may brag their fill,
For wow but they were braw, man!
They had three gen'rals o' the best,
Wi' lairds, and lords, and a' the rest,
Chiels that were bred to stand the test,
And couldna rin awa, man.

2. The Hielandmen are savage loons,
Wi' barkit houghs and burly crowns;
They canna stand the thunder-stoun's
Of heroes bred wi' care, man-
Of men that are their country's stay,
These Whiggish braggarts of a day.
The Hielandmen cam down the brae,
The heroes were not there, man.

3. Says brave Lochiel, "Pray, have we won?
I see no troop, I hear no gun."
Says Drummond, "Faith, the battle's done,
I know not how or why, man.
But my good lords, this thing I crave,
Have we defeat these heroes brave?"
Says Murray, "I believe we have:
If not, we're here to try, man."

4. But tried they up, or tried they doon,
There was no foe in Falkirk town,
Nor yet in a' the country roun',
To break a sword at a', man.
They were sae bauld at break o' day,
When tow'rd the west they took their way;
But the Hielandmen came down the brae,
And made the dogs to blawe, man.

5. A tyke is but a tyke at best,
A coward ne'er will stand the test,
And Whigs at morn wha cocked the crest,
Or e'en had got a fa', man.
O wae befa' these northern lads,
Wi' their braidswords and white cockades!
They lend sic hard and heavy blads,
Our Whigs nae mair can craw, man.


This song refers to the Battle of Falkirk Muir, of 17 January, 1746. Hawley had vaunted that, with two troops of dragoons and no more, he would drive the Highlanders before him to the farthest corner of the country and into the sea, but behold, at the very first sight he got of them, a Jacobite storm sent him back with a jerk. The Highlandmen came boldly to the attack, but when their enemies wheeled and fled, they only took it for some sage manouvre, and expected to have the brunt of the battle to abide at the bottom of the descent. When they reached the camp, there was no enemy to be seen.

To hide his own cowardice, General Hawley wreaked his vengeance manfully on others. A number of private men were shot for cowardly behaviour, and a far greater number severely whipped for flinging down their arms and running off as soon as the Highlanders came in sight. - from Hogg's Jacobite Relics

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