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STRATHALLAN'S LAMENT

Click here to listen: https://soundcloud.com/words-of-burns/strathallans-lament

Robert Burns wrote many pieces in sympathy with the Jacobite cause. At the end of August 1787, during his Highland tour, he passed through Strathallan and was inspired to write this song mourning the death of William Drummond, 4th Viscount Strathallan, at Culloden. It is said that Drummond deliberately chose to die on the field than be captured. The song is written from the perspective of William’s son, James, who fled to France after the battle. The Strathallan peerage was withdrawn from the family in 1746 until the restoration in 1824 of the 6th Viscount.

“Thickest night, o'erhang my dwelling! Howling tempests, o'er me rave!

Turbid torrents, wintry swelling, Roaring by my lonely cave!

Crystal streamlets gently flowing, Busy haunts of base mankind,

Western breezes softly blowing, Suit not my distracted mind.

In the cause of Right engaged, Wrongs injurious to redress,

Honour's war we strongly waged, But the Heavens denied success.

Ruin's wheel has driven o'er us, Not a hope that dare attend,

The wide world is all before us- But a world without a friend.”

https://soundcloud.com/words-of-burns/strathallans-lament

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© 2014 Neil Macgillivray