MacPherson’s Lament


FREE MacPherson’s Lament Sheet Music!



“MacPherson’s Lament” is a 17th century Scottish Drinking Song composed by James MacPherson himself in Prison on the eve of his execution for cattle rustling. On the gallows he played this tune then offered his fiddle to anyone in his clan who would play it at his wake. When no one came forward to take the fiddle, he broke it then threw it into the crowd. The broken fiddle now lies in a folk museum near Newtonmore.

Lyrics

Farewell ye dungeons dark and strong
The wretch’s destiny
MacPherson’s life will no’ be long
On yonder gallows tree

Sae rantingly, sae wantonly
Sae dauntingly gaed he
He played a tune and he danced aroon
Below the gallows tree

Oh what is death but parting breath
On mony’s the blood plain
I’ve seen his face and in this place
I scorn him yet again

Sae rantingly, sae wantonly
Sae dauntingly gaed he
He played a tune and he danced aroon
Below the gallows tree

I’ve lived a life of grief and strife
I die by trechery
But it breaks my heart, I must depart
And not avengá¨d be

Gae take these bonds from off my hands
And bring tae me my sword
And there’s no’ a man in all Scotland
But I’d brave him at his word

So farewell strife and sunshine bright
And all beneath the sky
May coward shame disdain the name
O’ the wretch that dare not die

Sae rantingly, sae wantonly
Sae dauntingly gaed he
He played a tune and he danced aroon
Below the gallows trees

 

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