Henry's Songbook

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The Highlander's Farewell

  • (Ian McCalman / James Hogg)

    Oh where shall I gae seek my bread
    Oh where shall I gae wander
    Or where shall I gae hide my head
    For here I'll bide nae langer
    The seas may rowe, the winds may blow
    And swathe me round in danger
    But Scotland I may now forego
    And roam a lonely stranger

    The glen that was my father's own
    Maun be by his forsaken
    The house that was my father's home
    Is levelled with the bracken
    Ochone! ochone! our glory's name
    Stole by a ruthless reiver
    Our hands are on the broad claymore
    But the might is broke forever

    And thou, my prince, my injured prince
    Thy people have disowned thee
    Have hunted and have driven thee hence
    With ruined chiefs around thee
    Though hard beset, when I forgot
    Thy fate, young hapless rover
    This broken heart shall cease to beat
    And all its griefs be over

    Farewell, farewell, dear Caledon
    Land of the Gael no longer
    Strangers have trod thy glory on
    In guile and treachery stronger
    The brave and just sink in the dust
    On ruin's brink they quiver
    Heaven's pitying eye is closed on thee
    Adieu, adieu for ever

    (as sung by The McCalmans)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1970:] Born in Ettrick Forest, [James Hogg (1770-1835)] spent his early days as a shepherd, but he was discovered by [Sir Walter] Scott while collecting material for his 'Border Minstrelsy', and taken under that ample wing. He had almost no formal education, [...] but he soon became famous among the famous of his time - helped by his magnificent personality. He farmed most of his life and left a variety of notable works [...]. (Penguin Book of Scottish Verse 15f)

  • [1988:] Just as songs celebrating the gallantry of the clans gained added point from the recent triumphs of the Highland regiments, so those which deplored the defeat at Culloden began to register something larger than military disaster. They seem to be a comment, although indirect, upon the Clearances. The implications of the Highland Clearances first began to impinge upon the Lowlands during the 1790s [...]. By 1820, considerable tracts of the Highlands which had once supported a numerous population contained little except a handful of low-country shepherds and a great many Cheviot sheep.

    Hogg was a frequent visitor to the Highlands. He had once planned to emigrate as a shepherd to the Isle of Harris and would in any case have been more than ordinarily aware, as a professional sheep-farmer, of conditions in the hills. It is difficult to accept that lines like [verses 2 & 4 above] were inspired simply by contemplation of the cruelties which followed the '45. (Donaldson, Song 105)

Quelle: Scotland

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