Macpherson's Farewell
Military March Version
Anonymous


Farewell, ye dungeons dark and strong
Farewell, farewell to thee.
Macpherson's rant will ne'er be lang
On yonder gallows tree.

Sae rantingly, sae wontonly
Sae dauntingly gaed he
He played a tune an' he danced aroon
Beneath the gallows tree.

It was by a woman's treacherous hand
That I was condemned to dee
Beneath a ledge at a window she stood
And a blanket she threw o'er me.

Sae rantingly, sae wontonly
Sae dauntingly gaed he
He played a tune an' he danced aroon
Beneath the gallows tree.

Well the laird o' Grant, that highlan' sa'nt
That first laid hands on me
He played the cause on Peter Broon
To let Macpherson dee.

Sae rantingly, sae wontonly
Sae dauntingly gaed he
He played a tune an' he danced aroon
Beneath the gallows tree.

Untie these bands from off my hands
And gie to me my sword
There's nae a man in a' Scotland
But I'll brave him at a word.

Sae rantingly, sae wontonly
Sae dauntingly gaed he
He played a tune an' he danced aroon
Beneath the gallows tree.

There's some come here to see me hanged
And some to buy my fiddle
But before that I do part wi' her
I'll brak her thro' the middle.

Sae rantingly, sae wontonly
Sae dauntingly gaed he
He played a tune an' he danced aroon
Beneath the gallows tree.

He took the fiddle into both his hands
And he broke it o'er a stone
Says there's nae other hand shall play on thee
When I am dead and gone.

Sae rantingly, sae wontonly
Sae dauntingly gaed he
He played a tune an' he danced aroon
Beneath the gallows tree.

O, little did my mother think
When she first cradled me
That I would turn a rovin' boy
And die on the gallows tree.

Sae rantingly, sae wontonly
Sae dauntingly gaed he
He played a tune an' he danced aroon
Beneath the gallows tree.

The reprive was comin' o'er the brig o' Banff
To let Macpherson free
But they pit the clock a quarter afore
And hanged him to a tree.

Sae rantingly, sae wontonly
Sae dauntingly gaed he
He played a tune an' he danced aroon
Beneath the gallows tree.

Midi sequenced by Barry Taylor

A traditional Scottish ballard, there a number of versions, including one by Robert Burns. The basis of the song is the execution of freebooter, James Macpherson, who played his fiddle just before his death. The execution was not conducted with strict legal propriety, as the ballard comments.

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