Traditional Scottish Songs
- When Charlie to the Highlands Came

Jacobite songs often sang the praises of Bonnie Prince Charlie who led the uprising in 1745/46. Robert Allan (1774-1841), from Kilbarchan in Lowland Renfrewshire, writing in the early part of the 19th century, contrasts in this song the joy of Prince Charles' arrival in the Highlands with the sorrow and desolation which resulted from his defeat.

When Charlie to the Highlands Came

When Charlie to the Highlands came,
   It was a' joy and gladness,
We trow'd na that our hearts sae soon
   Wad broken be wi' sadness.

Oh! why did Heaven sae on us frown,
   And break our hearts wi' sorrow;
Oh! it will never smile again,
   And bring a gladsome morrow!

Our dwellings, and our outlay gear,
   Lie smoking, and in ruin;
Our bravest youths, like mountain deer,
   The foe is oft pursuing.

Our home is now the barren rock,
   As if by Heaven forsaken;
Our shelter and our canopy,
   The heather and the bracken.

Oh! we maun wander far and near,
   And foreign lands maun hide in;
Our bonnie glens, we lo'ed sae dear,
   We daurna langer bide in.

Meaning of unusual words:
trow'd na = didn't believe
outlay gear = stock of furniture and implements
maun = must
daurna langer bide in = dare no longer live in

Return to the Index of Traditional Scottish Songs

Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

Separator line