Traditional Scottish Songs
- Culloden; or Lochiel's Farewell
This song is by John Grieve (1781-1836) who became a successful businessman in Edinburgh. Through connections with the Scottish Borders, he became acquainted with the poet and song-writer James Hogg and provided practical and financial support for the "Ettrick Shepherd."
Grieve wrote in a vigorous style, as in in this work, which portrays the chief of the Clan Cameron at the time of Culloden. Known as "the gentle Lochiel" he is regarded as one of the noblest of all the Highland chiefs. He was persuaded, through loyalty to the crown and the persuasive words of Prince Charles Edward Stewart, to support the 1745 Jacobite Uprising. It is said that if Cameron of Lochiel had not agreed to participate, the rising might never have got off the ground, such was his influence. During the Jacobite retreat, Lochiel prevented the Highlanders from sacking Glasgow and to this day when Cameron of Lochiel enters the city, the bells of the churches are rung in his honour. The Gentle Lochiel survived Culloden and was exiled to France.
The song is sung to an air known as "Fingal's Lament."
Culloden; or Lochiel's FarewellCulloden, on thy swarthy brow
Spring no wild flowers nor verdure fair;
Thou feel'st not summer's genial glow,
More than the freezing wintry air.
For once thou drank'st the hero's blood,
And war's unhallow'd footsteps bore;
Thy deeds unholy, nature view'd,
Then fled, and cursed thee evermore.
From Beauly's wild and woodland glens,
How proudly Lovat's banners soar!
How fierce the plaided Highland clans
Rush onward with the broad claymore!
Those hearts that high with honour heave,
The volleying thunder there laid low;
Or scatter'd like the forest leaves,
When wintry winds begin to blow!
Where now thy honours, brave Lochiel?
The braided plumes torn from thy brow,
What must thy haughty spirit feel,
When skulking like the mountain roe!
While wild birds chant from Locky's bowers,
On April eve, their loves and joys,
The Lord of Locky's loftiest towers
To foreign lands an exile flies.
To his blue hills that rose in view,
As o'er the deep his galley bore,
He often look'd and cried, "Adieu!
I'll never see Lochaber more!
Though now thy wounds I cannot feel,
My dear, my injured native land,
In other climes thy foe shall feel
The weight of Cameron's deadly brand.
"Land of proud hearts and mountains gray,
Where Fingal fought, and Ossian sung!
Mourn dark Culloden's fateful day,
That from thy chiefs the laurel wrung.
Where once they ruled and roam'd at will,
Free as their own dark mountain game,
Their sons are slaves, yet keenly feel
A longing for their father's fame.
"Shades of the mighty and the brave,
Who, faithful to your Stuart, fell!
No trophies mark your common grave,
Nor dirges to your memory swell.
But generous hearts will weep your fate,
When far has roll'd the tide of time;
And bards unborn shall renovate
Your fading fame in loftiest rhyme."
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