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The Massacre Of Glencoe

  • (Jim McLean)

       Cruel is the snow that sweeps Glencoe
       And covers the grave o' Donald
       And cruel was the foe that raped Glencoe
       And murdered the House o' MacDonald

    They came in a blizzard, we offered them heat
    A roof o'er their heads, dry shoes for their feet
    We wined them and dined them, they ate o' our meat
    And they slept in the house o' MacDonald

    They came from Fort William wi' murder in mind
    The Campbell had orders King William had signed
    'Put a' tae the sword' - these words underlined -
    'And leave none alive called MacDonald'

    They came in the night when the men were asleep
    This band o' Argylls, through snow soft and deep
    Like murdering foxes among helpless sheep
    They slaughtered the House o' MacDonald

    Some died in their beds at the hand o' the foe
    Some fled in the night, were lost in the snow
    Some lived to accuse him wha struck the first blow
    But gone was the House o' MacDonald

    (as sung by The Corries)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • english [1929:] Now, the authorities in Edinburgh - and notably Sir John Dalrymple, Secretary of State - are anxious to stamp out the Macdonalds. They are Papists. They are Jacobites. They are thieves and robbers. It would be easier to rule the country were they exterminated. When the register goes to the Privy Council in Edinburgh the name of Macdonald of Glencoe is found to have been obliterated, and the clan is formally liable to punishment. [Dalrymple] wrote to the commander-in-chief in Scotland on January 11th, 'My Lord Argyle tells me that Glencoe hath not taken the oaths; at which I rejoice - it's a great work of charity to be exact in rooting out that damnable sect, the worst in all the Highlands.' So fellow Scotsmen plan the great 'work of charity'.

    At the beginning of February [...] a detachment of a hundred and twenty men of the Earl of Argyle's regiment - all Campbells and hereditary enemies of the Macdonalds - set out from the garrison at Inverlochy under the command of Campbell of Glenlyon. This man is a relative by marriage of the old chief's. [...] Every morning the commander calls at the humble house of the old chief and takes his draught of usquebaugh. In the evenings he plays cards with the family; and all the time in his pocket is the savage death-knell of the clan: 'You are to put all to the sword under seventy. You are to have a special care that the old fox and his son do on no account escape your hands. [...]'

    It was London, not Edinburgh, that demanded a full inquiry into this deed. [...] That inquiry wrote down the massacre of Glencoe as the most foul and barbaric deed in the history of clan murder. [...]

    I told [my travelling companion] of my journey through Glencoe and of the old man outside the inn at Rannoch who spoke of the treachery of the Campbells as if it had happened only the day before yesterday. My friend smiled [...] 'My name's Campbell, you know! It must have been in nineteen-nine or nineteen-ten - anyway, I was just a boy - and I took a day excursion from Edinburgh to Glencoe. [...] In the train I met a business man who was going to visit his parents. They still lived on a small croft in the glen. He invited me to walk up with him and see the old folks. "What's your name, laddie?" he asked. "Campbell," I told him. I thought he seemed a bit worried. "Look here," he said, "don't mention that to the old people ..."

    I went up the glen with him and we came to a humble little but and ben. The father, quite a poor crofter, was a grand old Highland gentleman with a head on him like a king and - you know the fine manners of many of these old people! He said to me: "Welcome to my house, sir!" And after a spell of the usual Highland hospitality, the old gentleman, looking at me, said, "You'll be from the Highlands, sir?" I told him that I came from Edinburgh but that I was of Highland descent. "Where did your father come from?" asked the old man. "From Dingwall," I told him. "Was he a Fraser?" asked the old man. "No," I said. "Was he a Grant?" "No," I said. "Well, what was his name?" he demanded.

    All the time that this was going on I could see the son looking across at me and silently imploring me to lie about my name, but the old man had cornered me, and - anyway, I'm proud of my name, and I said straight out, "Well, sir, I see no shame in my name: my father's name is Campbell!" At that the old man stood up. [...] He pointed to the door and said, "There shall no Campbell sit by my hearthstone!" (Morton, In Search of Scotland 231ff)

  • english [1972:] [After the Jacobite defeat at Cromdale] the government promised indemnity to all who would take the oath of allegiance before 1 January 1692. It is probable that the government [...] hoped that the recalcitrance of the Highland chiefs would provide a pretext for a crusade against them; and certainly it gladly seized the opportunity provided by the fact that Macdonald of Glencoe, partly through truculence and partly through bad weather, was a few days late in giving his pledge. 'Letters of Fire and Sword' were issued against his small clan which had an ill name for thieving, and was hated by the Campbells; on the night of 13 February, thirty-eight persons, including two women and two children, were treacherously murdered by a party which had been quartered in their midst. It is possible that the exact circumstances of this 'Massacre of Glencoe' have been misrepresented, but, on any interpretation, it was a foul and bloody act from which the government of William could not excuse itself. (Mackie 251)

  • german [1981:] Lange Zeit bestand eine Fehde zwischen den McDonalds und den Campbells, die von den McDonalds umgeben waren. Besonders taten sich hier die McDonalds of Glencoe hervor, die durch wirtschaftliche Not zu Raubzügen gezwungen waren. Dieser Clan umfaßte ca. 400 Menschen, die in der sehr wetterabhängigen, schwer zugänglichen Schlucht von Glencoe zwischen dem Loch Leven und Rannoch Moor lebten.

    [1688 wurde William III. neuer englischer König. Die Highland-Clans blieben überwiegend dem gestürzten James II. treu.] Fort William wurde gebaut, und mit £12.000 sollten die Clans gefügig gemacht werden. Die Verteilung nahm Grey John Campbell vor, der den größten Teil des von den McDonalds angerichteten Schadens erlitten hatte. So war kaum mit einer einigermaßen gerechten Verteilung der Mittel zu rechnen. Den Leuten von Glencoe wurde daher auch ein Teil ihres Anteils als Entschädigung für die Raubzüge vorenthalten. Neue Spannungen entstanden.

    William erließ, um Frieden in den Highlands zu erzwingen, den Befehl zum Untertaneneid, der vor dem 1. Januar 1692 abzulegen war. James II. konnte aber erst am 12.12.1691 dazu bewegt werden, die ihm ergebenen Clans von ihrem Eid zu entbinden.

    Der Chief der McDonalds of Glencoe, McIan, war ein stolzer Mann, und eben sein Stolz verbot es ihm, den Eid vorzeitig abzulegen. So brach er erst am 30.12.1691 nach Fort William auf. Dort war aber niemand befugt, den Eid abzunehmen. McIan mußte nach Inverary [sic!], das sind weitere 110 km. Er beeilte sich, wurde jedoch unterwegs auf Barcaldine Castle für 24 Stunden gefangengesetzt. Am 2.1. traf er in Inverary ein, jedoch erst vier Tage später konnte der Sheriff von Argyll ihm den Eid abnehmen, da er selbst auf Reisen war. Mit der Versicherung, die verspätete Abgabe des Untertaneneides würde von seiten der Edinburgher Regierung nicht negativ gewertet, machte sich McIan auf den Heimweg. Doch die Campbells hatten ihr Intrigenspiel bereits soweit fortgetrieben, daß die Vernichtung der McDonalds [of Glencoe] schon beschlossen war.

    Am 1. Februar wurden 200 Soldaten von Fort William nach Glencoe verlegt, die dort von den ahnungslosen Bewohnern gütig aufgenommen wurden (Gastrecht!). Zwei Wochen währte dieser Zustand. Am 13.2.1691 [1692!] um fünf Uhr morgens begann das Massaker. McIan wurde ermordet, mit ihm weitere 37 Clansmen. Der größte Teil konnte entkommen. Wieviele im Schnee erfroren sind, war nicht mehr festzustellen.

    Erst nach drei Jahren wurde das Massaker in seinen wahren Zusammenhängen bekannt. Jedoch wurde keiner der Beteiligten bestraft, denn schließlich hatte erwiesenermaßen der König selbst seine Finger im Spiel.

    [...] Warum ist gerade dieser Kampf [sic!] so in Erinnerung geblieben? Die McDonalds of Glencoe waren keine kleineren Spitzbuben als alle anderen Clans, nicht besser, nicht schlechter. Was die Gemüter damals wie heute erregte, ist die Tatsache, daß hier das Gastrecht mit so fatalen Folgen ausgenutzt wurde. Gastrecht war heilig und ist es heute noch! (Uwe Looft, Folk Michel 19, 26f)

  • english [1990:] Massacre of Glencoe turned up on a recent cassette by Belfast-based singer Heather Innes, marked Traditional. I asked the singer, and she said, 'Well, I learned it at school so I thought it must be very old.' (McVicar, One Singer One Song 90)

  • http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=748
    http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=9608

    Cf John Prebble, Glencoe

    See also http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=28817 (chords)

Quelle: Scotland

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