Henry's Songbook

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The Battle of Prestonpans

  • Roy Williamson / Trad

    General Cope led frae behind to keep his men in order
    When the English ran he was in the van and first across the border

    The Chevalier being void o' fear did march up Birsle Brae, man
    Through Tranent ere he did stent as fast as he could gae, man
    General Cope did taunt and mock wi' many a loud huzza, man
    But ere next morn proclaimed the dawn we heard another craw, man

    The brave Lochiel, as I heard tell, led Camerons on in clouds, man
    The morning fair and clear the air, they loose'd wi' devilish thuds, man
    Doon guns they threw and swords they drew, soon they chased them off, man
    On Seaton Crafts they buffet their chafts and gar'd them run like daft, man

    Now Cadell? dressed in among the rest wi' gun and guid claymore, man
    A gelding grey he rade that day wi' pistols set before, man
    The cause was good, he'd spend his blood before that he would yield, man
    But the night before he left the core and never faced the field, man

    Now Simpson keen to clear his een o' rebels far and round, man
    Did never strive wi' pistols five but galloped wi' the throng, man
    On (?) Hill there he stood still before he tasted meat, man
    Troth he may brag o' his swift nag that bore him off so fleet, man

    The bluff Dragoon swore blood and 'oons they'd mak' the rebels run, man
    Yet they flee when them they see and winnae fire a gun, man
    They turn'd their back, their foot they brak', terror seiz'd them a', man
    Some wet their cheeks, some filled their breeks and some for fear did fa', man

    As sung by The Corries

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1988:] The government forces under General Sir John Cope thrust rashly into the hills, were outmanoeuvred, because of the superior mobility of Highland foot (heavily equipped infantry of the line could march as little as ten miles a day; Highlanders could do thirty or forty at a push), and within a fortnight Charles Edward was in Edinburgh. Cope shipped his force back to Dunbar and marched to the relief of the capital, only to be surprised and routed at Prestonpans, almost within sight of the city.
    The unimaginable had happened. The serenely confident Whig establishment, self-styled bulwark of 'British liberties', had collapsed like a house of cards. The Auld Stewarts were back again with a vengeance and Edinburgh was in the hands of what many had been conditioned to regard as a heathenish and barbaric rabble. (Donaldson 39)

    Cf Johnny Cope

Quelle: Scotland

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aktualisiert am 02.04.2010, 08.09.99