Traditional Scottish Songs
- Charlie is My Darling

This version of "Charlie is my darling" is by Charles Gray (1782-1851) - there is another version attributed to both James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd and Carolina Oliphant (Lady Nairnie).

Charles Gray was born in Anstruther in Fife in 1782. His first volume of "Poems and Songs" was published in 1811 which was popular enough for it to be reprinted three years later. He obtained a commission in the Royal Marines and served with that unit for 36 years, rising to the rank of captain. On his retiral, he published another volume of verses "Lays and Lyrics". He was a cheerful and amiable man who enjoyed entertaining his friends by singing his favourite songs.

Charlie is My Darling

O Charlie is my darling,
   My darling, my darling;
O Charlie is my darling,
   The young Chevalier!

When first his standard caught the eye,
   His pibroch met the ear,
Our hearts were light, our hopes were high
   For the young Chevalier.


The plaided chiefs cam frae afar,
   Nae doubts their bosoms steir;
They nobly drew the sword for war
   And the young Chevalier!


But he wha trusts to fortune's smile
   Has meikle cause to fear;
She blinket blithe but to beguile
   The young Chevalier!


O dark Culloden - fatal field!
   Fell source o' mony a tear;
There Albyn tint her sword and shield,
   And the young Chevalier!


Now Scotland's "flowers are wede away;"
   Her forest trees are sere;
Her Royal Oak is gane for aye,
   The young Chevalier!


Meaning of unusual words:
pibroch = Highland bagpipe
steir = stirred
meikle = great
Albyn = Alba, Scotland
tint = lost
wede = faded, removed by death
gane for aye = gone for ever

Return to the Index of Traditional Scottish Songs

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