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Lyr Req: Tranent Muir (from Tannahill Weavers) 23 Mar 97 - 08:43 PM
Murray 29 Mar 97 - 03:03 AM
Alisdair 24 Apr 97 - 01:39 AM
Priscilla Wintermute 24 Apr 97 - 09:36 PM
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Subject: lyrics: Tranent Muir
Date: 23 Mar 97 - 08:43 PM

I am looking for the lyrics to the Scottish folk song, Tranent Muir, recorded by the Tannahil Weavers, "The best of the Tannahil Weavers, 1979-1989, Green Linnet Records,

- Erik Auf der Heide, Atlanta

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Subject: RE: lyrics: Tranent Muir
From: Murray
Date: 29 Mar 97 - 03:03 AM

Erik: the song is variously known as Tranent Muir, The Battle of Preston, or The B. of Prestonpans, or maybe even Gladsmuir, tho' that is really a different poem. All these come from the names of little villages round the scene of the battle. The song is by Adam Skirving (1719-1803), a farmer in Haddington not too far away. [He wrote the best-known version of "Johnnie Cope", dealing with the same battle.] I can just give you references, if you like, or else maybe find the energy to type in all of it--15 verses of 8 lines (!). It may be hiding in the DT of course. Anyway, as a teaser, stanza 1 goes:

The Chevalier, being void of fear, Did march up Birsle brae, man,
And through Tranent, ere he did stent, As fast as he could gae, man:
While General Cope did taunt and mock, Wi' mony a loud huzza, man,
But ere next morn proclaimed the cock, We heard another craw, man.


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Subject: Lyr Add: TRANENT MUIR (from Tannahill Weavers)
From: Alisdair
Date: 24 Apr 97 - 01:39 AM

Traditional; arranged by the Tannahill Weavers

The chevalier being void o' fear did march up Birsle Brae man
And through Tranent e'er he did stent as fast as he could gae man
While General Cope did taunt and mock wie many a loud hurrah man
But e'er next morn proclaimed the cock we heard another craw man

The brave Lochiel as I heard tell led Cameron on in cloods man
The morning fair and clear the air they loosed wie devilish thuds man
Doon guns they threw and swords they drew and soon did chase them aff man
On Seaton's craft they burst their chafts and gart them run like daft man

The bluff dragoons swore blood and oons they'd mak' the rebels run man
And yet they flee when them they see and winnae fire a gun man
They turned their backs the fit tae crack such terror siezed them a' man
Some wet their cheeks some fyled their breeks and some for fear did fa' man

Smith made sic' haste sae spurred his beast 'twas little there he saw man
Tae Berwick rade and safely said the Scots were rebels a' man
O'er Soutra Hill ere he stood still afore he tasted meat man
Lang may he brag o' his swift nag that bore him aff sae fleet man

But Gardner brave did still behave like to a hero bright man
His courage true, like him were few, that still despised flight man
Ah for king and laws and country's cause in honours bed did fa' man
His life but not his courage fled while he had breath tae draw man

At yon thorn tree that you may see beneath the meadow mill man
There's many slain lie on the plain the clans pursuing still man
Sic' unco whacks and deadly hacks I never saw the likes man
Lost hands and heids cost them their deeds that fell near Preston Dyke man

Hallo again Dick !
It's bonnie nice tae be back !

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From: Priscilla Wintermute
Date: 24 Apr 97 - 09:36 PM

The Tannies' recording was a much abridged (and modified) version of "THE BATTLE OF PRESTONPANS"

The Chevalier, being void of fear,
Did march up Birsle brae, man,
And through Tranent ere he did stent,
As fast as he could gae, man;
While General Cope did taunt and mock,
Wi' mony a loud huzza, man,
But ere next morn proclaim'd the cock,
We heard anither craw, man.

The brave Lochiel, as I heard tell,
Led Camerons on in clouds, man;
The morning fair, and clear the air,
They loos'd with devilish thuds, man.
Down guns they threw, and swords they drew,
And soon did chase them aff, man:
On Seaton crafts they buft their chafts,
And gart them rin like daft, man.

The bluff dragoons swore, blood and oons!
They'd make the rebels run, man:
And yet they flee when them they see,
And winna fire a gun, man.
They turn'd their back, the foot they break,
Such terror seiz'd them a', man.
Some wet their cheeks, some fyl'd their breeks,
And some for fear did fa', man.

The volunteers prick'd up their ears,
And vow gin they were crouse, man!
But when the bairns saw't turn to earn'st,
There werena worth a louse, man.
Maist feck gade hame, O fie for shame!
They'd better staid awa, man,
Than wi' cockade to make parade,
And do nae gude at a', man.

Menteith the great, when hersel shit,
Un'wares did ding him owre, man,
Yet wadna stand to bear a hand,
But aff fu fast did scour, man,
O'er Sourtra Hill, ere he stood still,
Before he tasted meat, man.
Troth, he may brag of his swift nag,
That bore him aff sae fleet, man.

And Simpson, keen to clear the een
Of rebels far in wrang, man.
Did never strive wi' pistols five,
But gallop'd wi' the thrang, man.
He turn'd his back, and in a crack
Was cleanly out o' sight, man,
And thought it best: it was nae jest,
Wi' Highlanders to fight, man.

'Mangst a' the gang, nane bade the bang
But twa, and ane was ta'en, man;
For Campbell rade, but Myrie staid,
And sair he paid the kane, man.
Four skelpe he got, was waur than shot,
Frae the sharp-edg'd claymore, man;
Frae mony a spout came running out
His recking het red gore, man.

But Gard'ner brave did still behave
Like to a hero bright, man;
His courage true, like him were few
That still despised flight, man.
For king, and laws, and country's cause,
In honour's bed he lay, man.
His life, but not his courage fled,
While he had breath to draw, man.

And Major Bowle, that worthy soul,
Was brought down to the ground, man;
His horse being shot, it was his lot
For to get mony a wound, man.
Lieutenant Smith of Irish birth,
Frae whom he call'd for aid, man,
But full of dread, lap o'er his head,
And wadna be gainsaid, man.

He made sic haste, sae spurr'd his beast,
'Twas little there he saw, man;
To Berwick rade, and falsely said
The Scots were rebels a', man.
But let that end, for weel 'tis kend
His use and wonts to lie, man.
The Teague is naught, he never fought
When he had room to flee, man.

And Cadell, drest, amang the rest,
With gun and gude claymore, man,
On gelding gray he rode that day,
With 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 fac'd the field, man.

But gallant Roger, like a soger,
Stood and bravely fought, man;
I'm wae to tell, at last he fell,
And mae down wi' him brought, man.
At point of death, wi' his last breath,
Some standing round in ring, man,
On's back lying flat, he wav'd his hat,
And cried, 'God save the king!' man.

Some Highland rogues, like hungry dogs,
Neglecting to pursue, man.
About they fac'd, and, in great haste,
Upon the booty flew, man.
And they, as gain for all their pain,
Are deck's wi' spoils of war, man;
Fu' bauld can tell how her nain sel
Was ne're sae praw before, man.

At the thorn tree, which you may see,
Bewest the meadow mill, man,
There mony slain lay on the plain,
The clans pursuing still, man.
Sic unco hacks, and deadly whacks,
I never saw the like, man;
Lost hands and heads cost them their deads,
That fell near Preston dyke, man.

That afternoon, what a' was done,
I gade to see the fray, man;
But I had wist what after past,
I'd better staid away, man:
On Seaton sands, wi' nimble hands,
They pick'd my pockets bare, man;
But I wish ne'er to dree sic fear,
For a' the sum and mair, man.

SOURCE: Michael Brander. Scottish and Border Battles and Ballads. (New York: Barnes & Noble, Inc., 1993), 273-276.

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