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Origin: I Will Go / Land of MacLeod

DigiTrad:
I WILL GO


Related threads:
(origins) Origin: I Will Go / Land of MacLeod (44)
Tune Req: I Will Go (10)
Lyr Req: The Land of MacLeod / I Will Go (41)
I Will Go (from mp3.com) (7)


Barry Finn 28 Aug 99 - 06:36 PM
Ewan McVicar 29 Aug 99 - 03:46 AM
karen k 29 Aug 99 - 04:10 AM
j0_77 29 Aug 99 - 04:24 AM
Malcolm Douglas 29 Aug 99 - 12:48 PM
charcloth@aol.com 29 Aug 99 - 06:45 PM
katlaughing 29 Aug 99 - 07:41 PM
Susan A-R 29 Aug 99 - 08:49 PM
katlaughing 29 Aug 99 - 08:55 PM
Peter 31 Aug 99 - 02:32 PM
McKnees 31 Aug 99 - 05:28 PM
Barry Finn 31 Aug 99 - 10:19 PM
Philippa 21 Nov 99 - 04:20 PM
Lesley N. 21 Nov 99 - 05:00 PM
Philippa 21 Nov 99 - 06:26 PM
sophocleese 21 Nov 99 - 08:15 PM
Philippa 22 Nov 99 - 02:35 PM
Reiver 2 22 Nov 99 - 04:30 PM
Bill Cameron 22 Nov 99 - 04:54 PM
Philippa 22 Nov 99 - 07:26 PM
Amergin 26 Sep 01 - 02:06 PM
InOBU 26 Sep 01 - 02:25 PM
GUEST,Boab 27 Sep 01 - 02:33 AM
Reiver 2 27 Sep 01 - 02:47 PM
GUEST,jockmorris 28 Sep 01 - 04:07 AM
ard mhacha 28 Sep 01 - 09:20 AM
Susanne (skw) 28 Sep 01 - 07:40 PM
Aodh 19 Jun 02 - 02:48 PM
GUEST,greg stephens 19 Jun 02 - 03:31 PM
Malcolm Douglas 19 Jun 02 - 07:44 PM
Susanne (skw) 19 Jun 02 - 08:52 PM
greg stephens 19 Jun 02 - 09:07 PM
Malcolm Douglas 19 Jun 02 - 09:22 PM
greg stephens 19 Jun 02 - 09:41 PM
Teribus 20 Jun 02 - 07:41 AM
Teribus 20 Jun 02 - 08:35 AM
PeteBoom 20 Jun 02 - 10:52 AM
Malcolm Douglas 20 Jun 02 - 11:09 AM
PeteBoom 20 Jun 02 - 11:28 AM
Clinton Hammond 19 Jul 02 - 02:27 PM
Clinton Hammond 19 Jul 02 - 03:37 PM
Clinton Hammond 19 Jul 02 - 05:34 PM
Clinton Hammond 20 Jul 02 - 04:01 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 20 Jul 02 - 05:26 PM
Clinton Hammond 20 Jul 02 - 05:58 PM
Clinton Hammond 20 Jul 02 - 07:05 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 20 Jul 02 - 07:15 PM
Susanne (skw) 20 Jul 02 - 07:20 PM
Clinton Hammond 20 Jul 02 - 07:28 PM
GUEST,Jim McLean 24 Jul 02 - 07:56 PM
GUEST,Philippa 24 Jul 02 - 08:04 PM
Clinton Hammond 25 Jul 02 - 12:08 PM
GUEST,Jim McLean 25 Jul 02 - 06:03 PM
GUEST,Jim McLean 26 Jul 02 - 11:31 AM
Clinton Hammond 14 Sep 02 - 12:10 PM
GUEST 16 Nov 04 - 01:05 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 18 Nov 04 - 03:04 PM
Malcolm Douglas 18 Nov 04 - 03:30 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 18 Nov 04 - 03:47 PM
GUEST,frang@cox.net 22 Nov 04 - 01:13 PM
GUEST,The AK Sailor 10 Mar 05 - 06:00 AM
GUEST,Murray on Saltspring 30 Dec 05 - 12:35 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 31 Dec 05 - 04:48 PM
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Tired Old Man 27 Oct 09 - 03:45 PM
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Santa 27 Oct 09 - 04:49 PM
GUEST,Murray on Saltsprng 27 Oct 09 - 06:27 PM
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Subject: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Barry Finn
Date: 28 Aug 99 - 06:36 PM

I know there have been a couple of great threads on Highland Clearence songs & on this song known as the "Land Of MacLeod" or "I Will Go". Durning a session the other night this song came up & we were all left wanting more info on, like. What war was this highlander to fight in? Who was the King or Lord who's son was doing the recruiting? What land were they being cleared from (Where's the Land of MacLeod?) & by whom? What one of the clearences would this have envolved? When was this & when the song first sung? Thanks for any help, Barry


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearance song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Ewan McVicar
Date: 29 Aug 99 - 03:46 AM

I'm fairly sure the song was written by Glasgow actor, singer and playwright Roddy Macmillan in about the 1960s. (The other possibility for author is Jim Maclean.) Roddy is not around to tell us more. It may have been made for a play, some of his songs were.
The Macleod lands were Skye, Lewis and Harris, and the earlier times various chucks of the west mainland. I'll leave it for one of the Highland experts to tell you more.
He did a beautiful job of making the text sound like a translation from the Gaelic. I've heard it said both that the tune is Gaelic and is his own, but I've no expertise in the Gaelic tunedom. As for which war and clearance, I suspect Roddy was deliberately vague, making the song more generic in use.


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: karen k
Date: 29 Aug 99 - 04:10 AM

If someone could post the words, I may be able to supply some historical background information.
karen k


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: j0_77
Date: 29 Aug 99 - 04:24 AM

Western higlands :) Hey any one know the lyrics?


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 29 Aug 99 - 12:48 PM

Lyrics for the song appeared on an earlier thread. I don't know how to put in a link, but if you search the Forum for "Land of MacLeod", you'll find it. The Corries recorded it, and describe the song as "Trad. Arranged by R. MacMillan", and go on to say "...a fairly modern song about a weary soldier missing his country...it was arranged by Roddy MacMillan, the well-known actor." I've always thought that it was a "Highland Soldier in British Army" story (note the "Red Coat" and the "Shilling", both of which went with army service) but, as Ewan MacVicar said, it seems to have been left deliberately vague. Same goes for the final verse, which may or may not refer to the Clearances. It's probably a good bet, as Ewan says, that MacMillan wrote the words himself, if not the melody as well.

Incidentally, it's interesting how often the Clearances are misunderstood. Many who trace their descent back to Scotland seem to think that it was the English government that did it; I'm afraid that it was mainly the lairds and the clan chiefs themselves, who should have protected their people. Instead, they evicted them in order to make fat profits from sheep, and from hunting revenue. John Prebble's book "The Highland Clearances", tells the whole ghastly story.

Malcolm Douglas


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: charcloth@aol.com
Date: 29 Aug 99 - 06:45 PM

The Corries Silver Collection has, as was staed earlier, MacMillan-Lochside Pub. Co. Ltd. as the source. For words I'll try to put them here.

I will go I will go when the fighting is over to the land of MacLeod That I left to be a soldier I will go I will go (repeat) (1) when the kings son came along he called us all together saying "brave hieland men will ye fight for my father?" I will go I will go chorus (2) I've a buckel on my belt a sword in my scabbard a redcoat on my back and a shilling in my pocket I will go I will go ----2 more verses I'll send latter----


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Aug 99 - 07:41 PM

Thread creep, sort of: Do any of you know what part of Scotland any of these came from or are in:

Crawfords -Earl of Lindsay
Ewings
Southerlands?

Know of any songs which mention any of them?

Thanks,

kat


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Susan A-R
Date: 29 Aug 99 - 08:49 PM

There are a number of beautiful and angry songs about the clearances. I'd like to learn more about the time period(s) myself. Weren't some of them slightly after the Napoleanic wars, 1820s??) By the way, There is a perfectly grim song about The Shores of Southerland) about people kicked off their land, starving on the beach while the Duke has set up shepherds in their homes, and has dogs driving the homeless Scots from the beds of mussels so that the shellfish will be available as bait for fishing. My hunch is that my great grandfather came over for reasons other than the clearances, and much later, but I'd like to learn more, nonetheless.

Susan


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Aug 99 - 08:55 PM

Thanks, Susan, I'll go look that one up. My great-great grandma was a Sutherland in Nova Scotia. Haven't traced her back, yet. It's been a lot of fun looking. If you have any ties to Nova Scotia, here is a great place to start: Nova Scotia Roots Digest

kat


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Peter
Date: 31 Aug 99 - 02:32 PM

The key that the song might refer to the Clearances is in the last verse.

When they piped us all on board The lasses were singing But a tear came to my eye When the bell started ringing I will go, I will go. ... When we came back to the glen the winter was coming Our goods lay in the snow And our houses were burning I will go, I will go. ...

Otherwise the song is about going away to fight, which is the OTHER reason why there are more highlanders in the diaspora than in the highlands.


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Subject: Lyr Add: I WILL GO
From: McKnees
Date: 31 Aug 99 - 05:28 PM

I WILL GO.

CHORUS: I will go. I will go, when the fighting is over,
To the land o' MacLeod that I left tae be a soldier.
I will go. I will go.

When the King's son came along, he called us a' together,
Saying, "Brave Highland men, will ye fight for my father?"
I will go. I will go. CHORUS

I've a buckle on by belt, a sword in my scabbard,
A redcoat on by back, and a shilling in my pocket.
I will go. I will go. CHORUS

When they put us all on board, the lasses were singing,
But the tears came tae their eyes when the bells started ringing.
I will go. I will go. CHORUS

When we landed on the shore and saw the foreign heather,
We knew that some would fall and stay there for ever.
I will go. I will go. CHORUS

When we came back to the glen, the winter was turning.
Our goods lay in the snow and our houses they were burning.
I will go. I will go. CHORUS

Yours McKnees formerly known as Knock Knee'd one


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Barry Finn
Date: 31 Aug 99 - 10:19 PM

Wolfgang left a great link in a older thread (sorry can't do the link thing) about the Highland Clearences that started before the mid 1700's & have brought the pain & oppression right up to this past decade.
Ewan thanks for the info on where the lands of the MacLoeds would have been. It seems that Skye was hit hard around the 1850's & it wasn't uncommon to have the landlords supply troops under the threat of eviction to a whole family if a male didn't go off to fight & only to find that the they were homeless & familyless upon return. If the timing is close then is it possible that they'd have to serve in the Crimean?
Thanks to you all for your replys & interest. I'm still holding out for more one way or the other that this may or may not have been a trad song translated or added to or written by or ? Any more?
Barry


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Subject: Clearance song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Philippa
Date: 21 Nov 99 - 04:20 PM

I've heard this song sung in Gaelic and would like to get the lyrics written out.


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Lesley N.
Date: 21 Nov 99 - 05:00 PM

Here are a couple of links to great Clearance sites - and I second the recommendation of Prebble's book.

The Highland Clearances (http://www.sirius.com/~macgowan/hc.html)

The Highland Clearances (http://members.aol.com/Jimsutherl/clearances.html) - with links to more.

My favorite Clearance song is Smile in Your Sleep (aka Hush Hush) - words by Jim MacLean, the tune is Mist Covered Mountains. The Highland Clearances (http://www.clan.com/history/features/clearances/)


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Subject: Land of MacLeod , Duthaich MhicLeoid
From: Philippa
Date: 21 Nov 99 - 06:26 PM

"Duthaich MhicLeoid" is on the song list at the Macgowan site given by Lesley, but no lyrics are given.


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: sophocleese
Date: 21 Nov 99 - 08:15 PM

Lesley N. I've loved that song ever since I won a Cromdale record and heard them do it. Its one that I play and sing a lot myself.


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Subject: Lyr Add: DUTHAICH MHICLEOID / THA MO DHÙIL
From: Philippa
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 02:35 PM

Tha mo dhùil, Tha mo dhùil

Tha mo dhùil [or- Tha mi'n dùil] Tha mo dhùil
Tha mo dhùil-sa ri tilleadh
Dh'ionnsaigh dùthaich MhicLeòid
Far an òg robh mi mire.

Fhuair mi claidheadh sgaiteach cruaidh
Crios 'ga chumail suas mu m'mhiadhain
Deise dhearg a chlò nan Gall
Cha robh meang anns a' ghille

Nuair a chuir iad sinn air bòrd
Anns an òrdan bu ghrinne
Bha gach fear ri thè ag ràdh
Cha dèan pàirt againn tilleadh.

Nuair a chuir iad sinn air tìr
A measg sìoban is muran
Thug sinn batal air an tràigh
'S gun d'rinn pàirt againn fuireach.

Thàinig esan, mac an Rìgh
'S e mar aon dhìnn 'sa chuideachd
"An iad so Gàidheil an Taobh Tuath?
Bha iad bhuam 's fhuair mi uil' iad."

Thug na Frangaich an ruaig
Nuair a chual' iad an druma
Thog iad a-mach ris a' ghleann
'S cha do sheall iad ruinn tuilleadh.

translation:

I hope, I hope, I hope to return to MacLeod's country (the Isle of Skye) where in my childhood I played.

I got a sharp steel sword, a belt around my middle to hold it in, a red uniform of Lowland cloth; there was no blemish on the lad. When they put us aboard in the best of order, every man told his girl: Some of us will not return.

When they put us ashore among the spindrift and the bent grass, we fought a battle on the shore, and some of us remained there (i.e., were killed)

He himself came, the son of the King; he was like one of us in the company. "Are these Gaels of the North? I had lost them and now I have found them all."

The French fled when they heard the drum, they took to the glen and have not faced us since.

(for singable translation see "I will go, I will go2 - Land of MacLeod)


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE GREAT WHITE SHEEP (from Gaberlunzie)
From: Reiver 2
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 04:30 PM

I learned this from a Corries record, "Strings and Things" under the name "I Will Go, I Will Go" and sung, as I remember with no accompaniment except for bodhráns. I have a single note "War chant of clan MacLeod" in my notebook of lyrics, but I don't know where that came from. The words are as McKnees has them in an earlier post.

Since comments were made in this thread about other songs about the Highland Clearances, I can't resist posting my favorite again. I'd posted it in the "Shores of Sutherland" thread, but in case some of you missed it there, here it is again:

Thanks Susanne. That's great information. I have Prebble's "Highland Clearances." Do you know the song "The Great White Sheep"? It's one of my favorites -- very powerful. I can't really sing it in public as my voice always chokes up and I get tears running down my cheeks.

THE GREAT WHITE SHEEP

Oh Sutherland is a bonnie land,
Beyond the Moray Firth.
And Rosshire smiles at the Western Isles,
The land of Gaeldom's birth.
From Scrabster Bay to Mingulay,
The mighty mountains weep;
For each sad glen has been cleared of men
To make way for the great white sheep.

Kildonan's ablaze and Langdale's braes
Are burnin' tae the skies.
The Factor's men who raze the glen
Heed not the infant's cries.
The landlord's might denies the right
Of the crofter's crops tae grow.
A laird must keep his great white sheep
So his flesh and blood must go.

A Sutherland maid, her clan betrayed
And wed tae an English lord.
She's driven her men from the neighbor's glen
Wi' musket, ball and sword.
Her land she's sold for English gold
While her clansmen throng the shore;
And the great white sheep walk the mountains steep,
Her men will walk no more.

From every glen the silent men
Have a prayer upon their lips;
As they crouch by the sea in poverty
And wait for the white sailed ships.
The Atlantic roar on the rocky shore
Will lull the bairns tae sleep.
No more they'll stand on their faether's land.
It has gone for the great white sheep.

**************

My recording is by Gaberlunzie (Robin Watson and Gordon Menzies) called "Freedom's Sword". (Do you know of them?) It's a great song, very moving and powerful in my opinion. I think you'll like it! It's been a while since I read John Prebble's "Highland Clearances" -- I'll have to get it out and read it again. Are you familiar with his whole 4 volume set, "Fire and Sword: The Destruction of the Clans" which includes "Glencoe", "Culloden" and "Mutiny" along with "The Highland Clearances?

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 26-Sep-02.


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Bill Cameron
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 04:54 PM

Origin of "Land of McLeod":

(Very interesting read, the literal Gaelic translation--thanks Philippa. Sure sounds old, that way.)

I learned this --after hearing it many years before--from a thin but quite good little songbook, Jimmie MacGregor's Folk Songs of Scotland. (c 1981) in which Mr MacGregor makes this slightly vague statement about its origin:

"Some years ago, the song was translated for me, from the Gaelic, by the Scots actor Roddy McMillan. I arranged it and used it on radio and television, and it has since become a standard item in the Scottish folk repertoire. Sadly, Roddy is no longer with us, and I am very grateful to his wife Jean for her permission to use his songs."

O.K., so Roddy McMillan translated it from Gaelic to English and thus held the copyright on the English language version. It's still unclear as to who wrote the Gaelic.

Another of those little questions that can drive you crazy!

Bill


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Subject: 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Philippa
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 07:26 PM

Note - Suzanne has wisely made a new thread for the song she mentioned about Sutherland. The thread title is "Lyr Add: Shores of Sutherland" and you can find it by doing a forum search or setting the filter and refreshing the threads.

It says in the previous thread on Land of MacLeod that the "The Corries Songbook" cites "I Will Go" as Trad, translated from Gaelic and additional words by Roddy MacMillan.

I take the King's son of the song to be "Bonnie Prince Charlie" Stewart, son of King James. After the Jacobites (supporters of the House of Stewart) were defeated , many went to join regiments overseas. Charles himself fled to France.

The social and legal changes in the Highlands and the repression of Highlanders in the aftermath of the Battle of Culloden(1746) were a prelude to the Clearances. MacMillan's final verse tells what unpalatable sights were likely to meet the men if they returned home.


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Amergin
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 02:06 PM

Actually, the king's son may not be Bonnie Prince Charlie....for if I remember right McLeod did not fight in that Jacobite rising...having been practically decimated fighting for the royals against Cromwell...

this is also a refresh for some one who asked about this in a recent thread....


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: InOBU
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 02:25 PM

There is also a great version on the album hung out to dry by After Hours... cheers larry


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 02:33 AM

Maybe I'm wrong, but didn't one of the Gaberlunzie duo author the "Great White Sheep"?


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Reiver 2
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 02:47 PM

The record jacket for Freedom's Sword lists Gordon Menzies as the author of Great White Sheep, no date given. He and Robin Watson are (or were?) Gaberlunzie. Does anyone know if the duo is still active? Or either of these performers active individually? Freedom's Sword is the only recording of theirs I've ever come across. bb


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: GUEST,jockmorris
Date: 28 Sep 01 - 04:07 AM

Gaberlunzie are still going strong and are often to be heard around Fife and further afield.

Scott


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: ard mhacha
Date: 28 Sep 01 - 09:20 AM

I am sure the King`s son was the Bloody Butcher himself, the Duke of Cumberland. A verse of the song says,"When we landed on the shore and saw the foreign Heather, we knew some would fall and lie here forever". That would indicate that the Highlanders had to be used as cannon-fodder in one of England`s many wars. A shilling in your pocket was better than starvation.Slan Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 28 Sep 01 - 07:40 PM

Reiver2, try Gaberlunzie. You'll find many more recordings there.


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Aodh
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 02:48 PM

Very Interesting! Philippa your Gaelic text is the same as the one I know, The English tune to "I will go, I will go" is close to the Gaelic, but not the same. The Gaelic song was telling about the Gaels fighting the French in Holland (1799) Thus the Kings Son would be one of the Hanovarian Princes. (An interesting fact being that the dispora of Gaels in Virgina and Carolina fought for the Hanovarian Crown durring the American War of Independence. It is something in the Gaelic nature to follow any King, once they have proved they are fit to rule, even if they have caused you some problems.) The author? As far as I can tell its a man called "Leodach" and you don't need to speak the Gaelic to figur out that just means a MacLeod!

Slan leat

Aodh.


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: GUEST,greg stephens
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 03:31 PM

I cant comment on the Gaelic version, but I should have thought that Roddy McMillan's meningis fairly clear. He is singing of a seriesof three bad things that happened in the Highlads over a long period, and combining them into the experience of one mythical person. The first verse refers to Bonnie Prince Charlie calling out the clans to fight for his father the OldPretender. The second refers to the soldiers sent abroad to fight for the British Empire in highland regiments.The third refers tothe people turned out of the houses and off their land in the Clearances.


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 07:44 PM

Perhaps; but that is an interpretation superimposed at a later time; and after MacMillan's death, so we cannot ask him what his intention might have been. Certainly, a great many people would assume that meaning (as evidenced by earlier contributions to this rather old thread), but the fact remains that, if that is indeed the case, it is a modern slant wished upon an old song that, as Aodh has explained, actually dealt with a quite different time and experience.


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 08:52 PM

Greg, I doubt Charlie was old enough to call on the clans to fight for his father. IIRR, he wasn't even born in 1715!


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: greg stephens
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 09:07 PM

I may have been unclear,what I was trying to say was that Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745 was acting on behalf of his father, known as the Old Pretender, who was recognised as King James III (or VIII)by supporters of the Jacobite succession. I wasnt talking about JamesII. Charlie's father WAS the king to the Jacobites. I take your point, Malcolm Douglas. But I was referring specifically to the McMillan song, which is a reworking of something older, into a more general comment on some interconnected items of Scottish history. I was not speculating on the meanings or origins of a Gaelic original.


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 09:22 PM

And I take your point, Greg Stephens (do you think we can use christian names now?), but I thought it important to make the distinction because discussions of this song almost always seem to get bogged down in misunderstandings of Scottish history. MacMillan may very well have intended to link the three situations you mentioned, and perhaps to have implied a causal continuity between them; this would however have been simplistic to the point of misrepresentation, as I'm sure you know. The trouble is that many people don't know, and I do worry about encouraging misunderstandings, which, in the case of the whole sorry Jacobite débacle and its aftermath, are already so deeply entrenched...


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: greg stephens
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 09:41 PM

Hi Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Teribus
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 07:41 AM

I quite like Greg's reasoning - i.e. the linking of three episodes in Scottish/British history, all of which had the same result for the common folk caught up in them.

This reasoning also explains some of the apparent contradictions in the song that make tying it to a specific time difficult.

I also sympathise with Malcolm's view about perpetuating certain myths and misunderstandings about certain events in Scottish history.

When people talk about "The Clearances", they seem to do so on the premise that the only clearances were in the Highlands, and that those clearances were a direct result of the '45' rebellion - This is incorrect.

The "Clearances" in Scotland started very shortly after James VIth of Scotland succeeded to the throne of England. They were measures taken to rid 'his' nation of troublesome elements - on the highlands/lowlands border of Scotland, the MacGreggors (Sp?) were proscribed and banished, on the Anglo-Scottish borders the Grahams were removed from their lands and transported to Ireland or to fight in Holland. Some made their way back and one train of thought is that this gave rise to a new Scottish surmane of Maharg (Graham spelt backwards).

So "Clearances" in the borders started in the early 1600's, the policy worked for those left behind and the area started to prosper for the first time in about 350 years. The major player in this prosperity - Sheep.

The Highland Clearances started in the late 1600's (after 1689) when Highland landowners saw that there was more profit in livestock than in man-power. This trait continued as described in John Prebble's book. The men were first replaced by cattle, then by sheep and finally in Victorian times by game.

One of the interesting things about the Highland Clearances was that the large landowners did not want their tennants to emigrate. Both Sutherland and Glengarry wanted the tennants to stay in coastal villages to work on, what profitable farming land was available, in the highly profitable Kelping industry and in fishing. Read Robert Burn's "Address to Beelzebub". Scottish emigrants by and large emigrated through choice, mainly to Canada and Australia - no convict ship to Australia sailed from any Scottish port, there are documented departures only from English south coast ports and from the Irish ports of Dublin and Cork.

The sting in the tail, which I think is beautifully ironic is that, the move in Victorian times from sheep farming to game came about because Scots who emigrated to Australia took up sheep farming and undercut home production to such an extent that it became unprofitable.

I have loved reading through both the threads on this subject. Great stuff!!

Cheers,

Bill.


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Teribus
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 08:35 AM

"I am sure the King`s son was the Bloody Butcher himself, the Duke of Cumberland." - was Ard Mhacha's contention.

I believe this to be highly improbable. Willian Augustus, Duke of Cumberland was the third son of George II. He was a professional soldier, if not exactly a successful one. He fought during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740 - 1748) and was defeated on 11th May 1745 at the battle of Fontenoy. He was recalled to England to command regular troops brought back to oppose the Jacobite invasion of England. He defeated the Jacobite army at Culloden on 16th April 1746, remaining in Scotland for only three months after the battle. He was then sent back to the European theatre of war.

It is reported that in the aftermath of Culloden Cumberland was for orders. He is supposed to have picked up a playing card from his table and wrote the words "No Quarter" on it. The playing card was the nine of diamonds and has been known as the "curse of Scotland" ever since. Now a man who has just issued such an order is highly unlikely to then go wandering the highlands looking for recruits.

"A verse of the song says,"When we landed on the shore and saw the foreign Heather, we knew some would fall and lie here forever". That would indicate that the Highlanders had to be used as cannon-fodder in one of England`s many wars."

The statement made in the verse would reflect truly the fealings of any soldier anywhere on foreign service. To say that it indicates a realisation of some "cunning plan" on the part of an English government to wipe them out is a little far fetched. In my previous posting I said that I sympathised with Malcolm's wish to eradicating misconceptions. The one I would like to correct here with respect to the history of Great Britain - anything that occurs after 1707 is referred to as British, not English, as the elected government represented both Scotland and England. That is why there is only references in history to a British Empire - not an English Empire.

Aodh mentions above
"An interesting fact being that the dispora of Gaels in Virgina and Carolina fought for the Hanovarian Crown durring the American War of Independence"

Among them was Flora Macdonald, her husband and both her sons. She emigrated to America in 1774 settling in North Carolina, she returned to Scotland in 1779, leaving behind her husband, her two sons and her name to be given to a hamburger chain. When she died, over three tousand people attended her funeral where over 300 gallons of whisky were consumed.


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: PeteBoom
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 10:52 AM

As a follow-on to Teribus' post, I've never held to the theory that "the King's son" was the Duke of Cumberland. I've rather had the feeling that it was more likely an allegorical reference to "the old pretender" - the father of "Bonnie" Charles Edward (who was the grandson of James VI/II). There being levies raised among Scottish (and Irish) Jacobites for service in France against the English "usurper."

Granted, the verse in the Gaelic referring to the French as being seen by us since tends to fly against that. I wonder though if there were not multiple versions at one time and this, the politically safe one, would be the one to have survived. I wonder if another version of the verse with the English army (technically it should be British, true) fleeing was existant at one time but has not survived.

If that is the case, then the "goods burning" in the English version would make sense as a reprisal taken for men fighting against the government in France.

I'm not convinced at all that the same verse is a hard reference to the Clearances of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. I suspect that Malcolm has the right of it in that regard, that they are a later understanding of an older song.

Now, as Greg Stephens suggests it MAY be an entirely allegorical song and stands as originally intended. If one allows for the "folk process", as I suspect, then we are debating a song that has evolved heavily from its original, and we're ALL wrong! ;-)

Pete


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 11:09 AM

There is no reason to think that the Gaelic song was ever otherwise than we now see it; not all Gaelic song contains covert Jacobite references, though some people certainly seem to want it to! The Jacobite "swing" here is pretty obviously an invention of Roddy MacMillan's, as of course is the final (English) verse of the song. There was quite the cottage industry in Jacobite song at the time he made his translation, largely as an outcropping of Scottish Nationalism, though ironically many of the people singing the songs (mostly written long after the event) will have been descended from folk who had either not supported the rebellion or had actively worked against it (the majority of Scots, it would seem).


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: PeteBoom
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 11:28 AM

Fair enough, Malcolm. I'm not entirely convinced that the swing is "obviously" an invention of MacMillan's, but I will agree fully on the point of the whole drawing-room Jacobite thing.

Something my folk band has fun with when we're playing at Scottish games, etc., "Did ya know that 'Jacobite' song was written by a Campbell?" is a great way to tweak the noses of some folks.

Cheers -

Pete


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 02:27 PM

O.k... someone take this bag of snakes and lay 'em out straight for me...

The English Language version?? Is it Trad, or is it copywritten???

If it's got a copyright, who has it???

please?

;-)


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 03:37 PM

re-bump


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 05:34 PM

ker-re-bump

;-)


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 20 Jul 02 - 04:01 PM

Re-re-refresh...

Someone MUST know no?


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 20 Jul 02 - 05:26 PM

Clinton, you really have to read the thread closer. See Bill Cameron's Posting


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 20 Jul 02 - 05:58 PM

"O.K., so Roddy McMillan translated it from Gaelic to English and thus held the copyright on the English language version."

HELD? Or still holds?????

I only asked because I didn't understand...


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 20 Jul 02 - 07:05 PM

And I still don't...

;-)


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 20 Jul 02 - 07:15 PM

Well, from what I remember of discussions of copyright here, it is still held by the person's estate for a minimum of 75 years after he or she dies.

Or are you asking about the Gaelic version? Be nice to hear your singing in Gaelic


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 20 Jul 02 - 07:20 PM

Well, Roddy has been dead for some time, but not 50 years, so it's reasonable to assume his heirs have the copyright.


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 20 Jul 02 - 07:28 PM

George...

Me? Singing in gaelic? It's bad enough when I sing in my mother tongue... I don't wanna wreak havock in a whole nother language!! LOL!!!

Suzanne... thanks... exactly the straight up kinda answer I was looking for...


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: GUEST,Jim McLean
Date: 24 Jul 02 - 07:56 PM

I'm afraid i missed out on the thread thing. My reply concerning The Land of McLeod was that I knew Roddy McMillan well and that he told me he heard the song from his mum. He sang his English version many times in the folk club in Glasgow's Trongate (1959/60). His friend Jimmy Reilly and a few of us used to go fishing at weekends and many a song was sung over our cups. Jimmy McGregor emasculated the song in my opinion by prettifying it but then again some people liked that. Cheers, Jim Mclean


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 24 Jul 02 - 08:04 PM

thanks for your input, Jim. What was the difference in the way Roddy and Jimmy sang this song?


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 25 Jul 02 - 12:08 PM

Ya... Good question!

;-)


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: GUEST,Jim McLean
Date: 25 Jul 02 - 06:03 PM

Roddy sang it unaccompanied and I felt it had more pathos. Jimmy and Robin harmonised it to the detriment of the words but it made a pretty sound.


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: GUEST,Jim McLean
Date: 26 Jul 02 - 11:31 AM

By the way, I wrote Shores of Sutherland along with Smile in your Sleep and Henny Munro, all appeared onan LP sung by Alistair McDonald, called Battle Ballads. Cheers, Jim Mclean


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearence song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 14 Sep 02 - 12:10 PM

Refresh for a chum who wanted to read this thread...


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearance song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 01:05 PM

Could someone post the chords for this song? Please?


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearance song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 03:04 PM

I'd love to hear the tune. The words intrigue me.


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearance song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 03:30 PM

From memory (so not guaranteed accurate): http://www.folk-network.com/audio/macleod.mid


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearance song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 03:47 PM

Thanks, Malcolm. Much appreciated! Always learn something when I read your postings. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearance song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: GUEST,frang@cox.net
Date: 22 Nov 04 - 01:13 PM

Does anyone know it/play it on guitar? I'd put down the drum any work on it if someone could get me the chords. Please & Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearance song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: GUEST,The AK Sailor
Date: 10 Mar 05 - 06:00 AM

Can't provide chords, I've always sung it acapella, but only because I don't play the bodhran well enough to do it justice. I learned it from listening to the Corries, first live in concert when I was stationed in Scotland while in the Navy, then later from their recordings. Unaccompanied just sounds best to me.


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearance song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: GUEST,Murray on Saltspring
Date: 30 Dec 05 - 12:35 AM

Okay, but where do the Gaelic words come from??


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Subject: RE: Info on Clearance song 'Land Of MacLeod'
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 31 Dec 05 - 04:48 PM

Right at the moment, it looks like the Gaelic is Trad.


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Will Go / Land of MacLeod
From: Tired Old Man
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 03:24 PM

Aodh was right in saying that this song was about fighting the French (math agad, 'Aoidh) - it's from the Napoleonic wars; the King's son is one of the sons of George III. This is very obvious if you have the second verse (the first if you count Tha mi'n duil etc as a chorus not a verse) which is missing in Philippa's version posted above. I don't have a copy of An Duanaire and don't have access to one where I'm living now (a few thousand miles from home), but my notes tell my that the song is number 71 in that book. If someone can get to a major library in Scotland (or, probably, to the local public library in Stornoway) they may be able to find it and post the words given there; an Duanaire would also give some indication of whether the author is known. In case no-one does that, I'll post the words that I have in a separate message.

The English verse about "when we came back to the land" is nothing to do with this Gaelic song, it's an addition by the "translator"; there were no evictions by fire-raiser in Skye (where this song comes from) at the time of the Napoleonic wars, so it's rather inappropriate. It may be based on something from a rather later Gaelic song, one of the songs made in the aftermath of the Crimea war (many of those who stood in the famous "thin red line" did indeed come home to find their families evicted).


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Subject: Lyr Add: DUTHAICH MHICLEOID
From: Tired Old Man
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 03:45 PM

DUTHAICH MHIC LEOID
(Traditional)

Tha mi'n dùil, Tha mi'n dùil
Tha mi'n dùil a' bhith tilleadh
Dh'ionnsaigh dùthaich MhicLeòid
Far an òg rinn mi mire.

Fhuair sinn litrichean bho'n Rìgh
Gus sinn fhéin 'dhèanamh ullamh
Los a dhol a null do'n Fhraing
'S a chur bhraing 'san feah-mhillidh.

[The following verse is not in any version I have heard, but the words folloow quite logically from the previous verse and are refected in the usual English version of the song]
Fhuair mi claidheadh sgaiteach cruaidh
Crios 'ga chumail suas mu m'mhiadhain
Deise dhearg a chlò nan Gall
Cha robh meang anns a' ghille

Nuair a chuir iad sinn air bòrd
Anns an òrdugh bu ghrinne
Bha gach fear is tè ag ràdh
Cha dèan pàirt aca tilleadh.

Nuair a chuir iad sinn air tìr
A measg sìbein is murain
Thug sinn baiteal air an tràigh
'S cha d'rinn pàirt againn fuireach.

Ghabh na Frangaich an ruaig
Nuair a chual' iad an druma
Thug iad a-mach ris a' ghleann
'S cha do sheall iad ruinn tuilleadh.

Thàinig esan, mac mo Rìgh
'S e mar aon dhìnn 'sa chuideachd
"Mo cheist Ghàidheil an Taobh Tuath?
Bha sibh bhuam 's fhuair mi nis sibh."

Fhìr a dh'imicheas do'n Iar,
Ged bhiodh bliadhna mu'n ruig thu,
Thoir an t-soraidh so do m'ghradh:
"Ma is slàn mi gu'n tig mi!".

The version I have of this (which I first heard in about 1960) is slightly different from the one Philippa posted 10 years ago - one of Philippa's verses is not present in the version I know, and her version omits two of the verses that I have. There are a number of small differences, of two different sorts: one sort is dialect differences - for example "Tha mi'n dùil ri" vs "Tha mi'n dùil a'" - amongst these differences are some rather Irish-looking things in Philippa's version (mire for mireadh, batal for baiteal,...) The other sort is minor changes of the sort that happen when a song is passed on by word of mouth - "bha gach fear ri thè ag ràdh cha dèan pairt againn tilleadh" / "bha gach fear is tè ag ràdh cha dèan pairt aca tilleadh". There is one very modern phrase in Philippa's version: a measg sioban is muran; this is something modern youths might say, but their grandparents would probably say it was ungrammatical, and I'm sure no-one would have said it two centuries ago and equally sure I would have remembered it if those had been the words in the Duanaire instead of a measg sibein is murain.

CMT


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: DUTHAICH MHICLEOID
From: Tired Old Man
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 04:21 PM

I my last post there's a mis-spelling in the fourth line of the lyrics: mire should be mireadh. And I should have included a translation, so here is one now:

I hope, I hope,
I hope to be returning
To the Land of MacLeod
Where I played when young.

We got letters from the King
To get ourselves ready
In order to go over to France
And to put a stop to the destroyer (ie Napoleon).

I got a keen sword of steel, a belt to hold it around my middle, a red coat of Lowland cloth, so I was quite the faultless lad.

When they put us aboard
in the most elegant order,
every man and woman (the spectators, not the soldiers) was saying
"Some of them will not return".

When they put us onto land
amongst spindrift and marrom grass,
we began a battle on the shore,
and some of did not stay (ie did survive to move on)

The French were routed
when they heard the drum,
they took off to the glen
and have not looked at us since.

HE came, my King's son;
he was like one of us in the company.
"My darling Gaels from the North,
I was in need of you, now I have you."

You man who travels to the west
Though it should be years before you get there
Take this greeting to my love:
"If I survive I shall come".


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Will Go / Land of MacLeod
From: Santa
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 04:49 PM

The redcoat is a fairly strong hint he was not going to fight for Charlie. Although I can't say that there were no red coats worn on the Jacobite's side - who can? - such a brief reference has to be to the red coat of the British soldier. Similarly, the King's son has to be Charlie, to be understood in any such brief reference. As the Clearances don't fit either case, I have to agree that the English words have merged three separate times, and it is those who are trying to force fit the English version into the Gaelic original that have a case to make.

I don't think it is really right to compare the suppression of Border brigandry with the Clearances, and I've not seen the term used for it. As a Graham on my mother's side, I'll point out that they were as much English as Scottish, and made so much trouble in Ireland that they were deported back!


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Will Go / Land of MacLeod
From: GUEST,Murray on Saltsprng
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 06:27 PM

Hem! Again, where do the Gaelic words come from? Can they be dated before RM?


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Will Go / Land of MacLeod
From: GUEST,effsee, sans cookie
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 07:57 PM

..Teribus,..."It is reported that in the aftermath of Culloden Cumberland was for orders. He is supposed to have picked up a playing card from his table and wrote the words "No Quarter" on it. The playing card was the nine of diamonds and has been known as the "curse of Scotland" ever since."...Apochryphal methinks!
The reason the nine of diamonds is regarded as the curse of Scotland is because of the nine lozenges that appear on the Dalrymple coat of Arms.
John Dalrymple,1st Earl of Stair, was the man who signed the order authorising the Massacre of Glencoe.

http://www.houseofnames.com/xq/asp.c/qx/dalrymple-coat-arms.htm


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Will Go / Land of MacLeod
From: Effsee
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 11:48 PM

I have just realised that Teribus posted that over 7 years ago...are you still with us Teribus?


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Will Go / Land of MacLeod
From: allanc
Date: 28 Oct 09 - 12:27 PM

"I don't think it is really right to compare the suppression of Border brigandry with the Clearances"

Actually there are real correlations between the two areas. As early as the mid to late 1500s the Scottish central authority was taking measures against what they described as "clannes in the heilands as weil as bordours". Both areas had seen authority break down and kin or group self protection become more prominent. In the Highlands because of the demise of the MacDonald Lords Of The Isles and the unrest caused by fighting over the scraps - and in the Borders due to incessant warfare and the smashing of the Douglas family. As soon as the border became fully peaceful then the new Scottish King of England brought central authority fully down on the warlike society the monarchs themselves had cause to be created in the Borders and he also then started to enforce central authority more seriously in the Highlands. Like in the Highlands after Culloden the Borders, despite the initial oppression, didn't see real rural depopulation until much later. If you look at population loss in the 19thC then Berwickshire suffered as much as anywhere. It is recognised that rural clearance happened over much of Europe and in the Scottish Lowlands it had previously beed described as 'improvement' rather than 'clearance'

The main difference is that the new industries set up in the Borders "ie mainly textile" were eventually a success and the existing towns expanded greatly whilst other new specially built villages like Gavinton and Newcastleton were also a success. In the Highlands the population was mostly moved to the coast to work on things like kelp harvesting subsidised by small crofts. The industry collapsed though and mass migration and emigration eventually resulted in severe population loss especially after the potato famine. Also the movement of people off the land in places like the Borders was almost certainly more gradual. In the Highlands it was sudden and the chiefs and other landlords were often heavy handed.


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Will Go / Land of MacLeod
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 28 Oct 09 - 09:43 PM

James Wolfe served under the Duke of Cumberland at Culloden. Later as a General he recruited large numbers of the Highlanders into the British army and used them for fighting the French in Canada. No doubt that there were many MacLeods among them who won Cape Breton and Quebec for the British crown.


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Will Go / Land of MacLeod
From: GUEST,robinia
Date: 28 Oct 09 - 11:33 PM

Good points, Allanc, and they're reinforced by Arthur Herman in "How the Scots Invented the Modern World."    Herman notes that, in fact, "some of the aristocrats who were most sentimentally attached to the traditions of Highland culture . . . were the most remorseless evictors. In their minds they had little choice.   Faced by an increasingly competitive agricultural market, and the need to liquidate enormous debts . . . chieftains looked for ways to make the land pay."   Herman goes on to say that "no one wanted to confront the real problem, which was that there were more people in the Western Highlands than the land could support, clearances or no clearances. Communities became dangerously dependent on the potato to support them. . . . It was a disaster waiting to happen--and in 1846 it did. If the Clearances had not already forced thousands to emigrate to America, the Scottish potato blight might have been as catastrophic as the Great Famine in Ireland."

In other wards, yes, there was human cruelty, but also an economic reality and the cruelty of little choice in a harsh land.   Indeed the attempt to make the land pay didn't always succeed and the cash strapped widow of one aristocrat, after trying to keep up emigrating herself


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Will Go / Land of MacLeod
From: Effsee
Date: 28 Oct 09 - 11:53 PM

Aye Sandy, the same great general who said "they are hardy, intrepid, accustomed to a rough country, and no great mischief if they fall."


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Will Go / Land of MacLeod
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 12:13 AM

One and the same Effsee! Canon fodder they were indeed but their bravery at the Plains of Abraham won the day! I suppose there was some justice in that Wolfe himself did not live to see the glory of victory!


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Will Go / Land of MacLeod
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 12:13 AM

While the potato famine had it's effect on clearing the Highlands it was secondary to other economic factors, probably only because most of the populace had been removed earlier. Most of the land was cleared of people to make room for sheep. Under the old clan system the people, not the chief and chieftains owned the land. Fuedalism created a aristocracy in what had been a tribal society and the chiefs became lairds. As owners of the land they demanded rents and when that was not profitable enough sheep replaced tennants. Some people worked in the kelp industry but that failed in the early 1800's. From the mid 1700's until the mid 1800's most of the Highlanders went to Canada, the USA, Australia, and New Zealand. My own people came to Cape Breton Island in 1826 as a result of a clearances in the Hebrides.


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Will Go / Land of MacLeod
From: GUEST,robinia
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 01:25 AM

oops, this posted itself prematurely,   
. . . and the cash strapped widow of at least one aristocrat, after pushing her tenants to emigrate, ended up having to emigrate herself.


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Will Go / Land of MacLeod
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 06:58 PM

"While the potato famine had it's effect on clearing the Highlands it was secondary to other economic factors, probably because most of the populace had been removed earlier"

This is what is often suggested but the facts tell another more complicated story. Yes many straths were emptied but the people were generally moved from one part of the landlord's lands to another part rather than being deliberatley expelled from the Highlands. In fact after the mid 1750s the population in the Highlands, especially in the west and islands, greatly increased. Between 1800 and the early 1840s it has been estimated to have increased by over 50%. The peak was reached in about 1841 which was almost a full century after Culloden, and then during and after the famine there was a massive increase in emigration, migration to the Lowland cities and clearance which not only halted population growth but caused a significant population loss within the Highlands. In his Scottish Nation 1700-2000 Tom Devine gives figures for some seaboard and island parishes where loss from 1845 to 1855 was up to 50%. Prior to that there had been Highland emigration and migration within Scotland but apart from some obvious exceptional cases clearance was more steady and less dramatic, as it was in the Lowlands, when compared to the sudden crash in population during the famine period. The emigration in the mid 19thC was probably the most substantial since the massive numbers which left the rural Lowlands in the 17thC. Just prior to union in the famines of the 1690s known as the 'Ill Years' there was a massive reduction in population in the north-east Lowlands.


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Will Go / Land of MacLeod
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 12:58 AM

"In fact after the mid 1750s the population in the Highlands, especially in the west and islands, greatly increased. Between 1800 and the early 1840s it has been estimated to have increased by over 50%."
I have seen this claim before but I wonder where it came from or who made it? The Clearances are Scotland's great shame and some want to sweep it under the carpet. I find it strange that the population should grow during a time that so very many left! Emigration started to the Carolinas, Prince Edward Island,New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia in the 1770's and peaking in the first three decades of the 1800's. By then there was a shift to Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Australia and New Zealand. The potato famine played its part but most of the blame does not belong there! Most of the people who left earlier were not counted in any census and many of those counted in the 1840's and later were in fact people who moved into the Highlands from the Lowlands. I have seen some be so stupid as to dispute the clearance numbers because the people did not appear in ship's passage lists, most of which were either lost or never existed!
Sorry for a rant on an old thread!


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Will Go / Land of MacLeod
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 04:56 AM

"Between 1800 and the early 1840s it has been estimated to have increased by over 50%."
I have seen this claim before but I wonder where it came from or who made it? The Clearances are Scotland's great shame and some want to sweep it under the carpet."

The figures from 1800 onwards are all freely available to Scottish historians etc as the official ten yearly census figures began in 1801. Up to 1841 only the sunmmaries survive but they are there just the same. Prior to that there was the Statistical Account carried out in the 1790s and prior to that there was Webster's 1755 census. Scotland as a whole lost far more people in for example the early 20thC yet the population of the country still grew during that period! Even during the 18thC far more people left the Lowlands than the Highlands yet the population of the Lowlands still grew during that period. Other determining figures were the death rate and birth rate figures etc. So pointing out the fact that the population of the Highlands and Islands greatly increased until the 1840s is not the same as trying to suggest that no-one was leaving that area prior to that. Of course there was - but again it was more complicated than just regarding them 'all' as being cleared by their chiefs and/or landlords. In the earlier period it was probably just as common for the landlords to try and prevent people from leaving. The poem "Address of Beelzebub" which was written by Burns in the 1780s was a swipe at the Highland Chiefs and in particular MacDonald of Glengarry who were forcing people who wished to emigrate to stay. The government like the chiefs were alarmed at the 18thC and early 19thC exodus. In the poem the narrator is the devil himself who agrees with Glengarry that it is better to keep the Highlanders subdued and impoverished in the Highlands than let them go where they might get all revolutionary - then suggests that they'll meet soon enough in hell.

Long life, my Lord, an' health be yours,
Unskaithed by hunger'd Highland boors;
Lord grant me nae duddie, desperate beggar,
Wi' dirk, claymore, and rusty trigger,
May twin auld Scotland o' a life
She likes-as butchers like a knife.


Faith you and Applecross were right
To keep the Highland hounds in sight:
I doubt na! they wad bid nae better,
Than let them ance out owre the water,
Then up among thae lakes and seas,
They'll mak what rules and laws they please:
Some daring Hancocke, or a Franklin,
May set their Highland bluid a-ranklin;
Some Washington again may head them,
Or some Montgomery, fearless, lead them,
Till God knows what may be effected
When by such heads and hearts directed,
Poor dunghill sons of dirt and mire
May to Patrician rights aspire!
Nae sage North now, nor sager Sackville,
To watch and premier o'er the pack vile, -
An' whare will ye get Howes and Clintons
To bring them to a right repentance-
To cowe the rebel generation,
An' save the honour o' the nation?
They, an' be d-d! what right hae they
To meat, or sleep, or light o' day?
Far less-to riches, pow'r, or freedom,
But what your lordship likes to gie them?


But hear, my lord! Glengarry, hear!
Your hand's owre light to them, I fear;
Your factors, grieves, trustees, and bailies,
I canna say but they do gaylies;
They lay aside a' tender mercies,
An' tirl the hallions to the birses;
Yet while they're only poind't and herriet,
They'll keep their stubborn Highland spirit:
But smash them! crash them a' to spails,
An' rot the dyvors i' the jails!
The young dogs, swinge them to the labour;
Let wark an' hunger mak them sober!
The hizzies, if they're aughtlins fawsont,
Let them in Drury-lane be lesson'd!
An' if the wives an' dirty brats
Come thiggin at your doors an' yetts,
Flaffin wi' duds, an' grey wi' beas',
Frightin away your ducks an' geese;
Get out a horsewhip or a jowler,
The langest thong, the fiercest growler,
An' gar the tatter'd gypsies pack
Wi' a' their bastards on their back!
Go on, my Lord! I lang to meet you,
An' in my house at hame to greet you;
Wi' common lords ye shanna mingle,
The benmost neuk beside the ingle,
At my right han' assigned your seat,
'Tween Herod's hip an' Polycrate:
Or if you on your station tarrow,
Between Almagro and Pizarro,
A seat, I'm sure ye're well deservin't;
An' till ye come-your humble servant,


Beelzebub.


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Will Go / Land of MacLeod
From: Jim McLean
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 06:14 AM

I wrote this song in the early 1960s and has a similarity with Burns' great poem in as much as The Laird associates his actions as 'Holy'

THE LAIRD'S PRAYER
Jim McLean

Oh God who sends us all things, partridge, grouse and deer,
Send the aristocracy to do some huntin' here,
My royal, loyal ancestors, who got me this estate
To please their English masters forced the folk to emigrate,
Forced the folk to emigrate,
Oh Lord thou kens me well,
Though my name's MacPhee, I'll try to be
As English as yourself!

I'm a simple Highland Lairdie, so heed my Lairdie's prayer,
And always on the Sabbath I'll be yours for evermair!
The fishing here is sacred, there's peace within the glen
Since You helped us clear the Highlands of the Sabbath drinking men!
Of the Sabbath drinking men,
Oh Lord Thou kens me well,
Though my name's MacPhee, I'll try to be
As English as yourself!

The empty crofters' shielings we've turned into pens,
For sheep can aye be bought and sold but men are, well,just men,
Ye ken this fine Great Shepherd, for You would do the same
Except to your righteous English flock of double-barrelled name,
Of double-barrelled name,
Oh Lord Thou kens me well,
Though my name's MacPhee, I'll try to be
As English as yourself!

How Holy is Balmoral now all our hymns are sung
By our betters down in Crathie in the Anglo-Saxon tongue,
And should the Gaels return and I am forced to flee,
Let me down in London town, nearer my God to Thee,
Nearer my God to Thee,
Oh Lord Thou kens me well,
Though my name's MacPhee, I'll try to be
As English as yourself!


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Will Go / Land of MacLeod
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 07:04 AM

Thanks for posting that Jim! It brought me to mind of an extract from "A Tour|In The Highlands" by James Hogg the Ettrick Shepherd. This was written in 1803 which is contemporary with the British Govt passing Acts trying to halt or slow down the emigration (more than likely only because they wanted to preserve available cannon fodder) but shows a change of attitude in at least one of the Highland laird's being Mackenzie of Dundonnel who is starting to think of finances (ie many were in debt in trying to keep up with Lowland and English aristocracy) over the welfare of the clansmen.

Hogg explains how the glens are crammed full of stout able-bodied men whilst the mountains are all waste though there are small parcels of diminutive sheep herded near the dwellings. It then quotes

"Dundonnel asked me what i thought it would bring annually if let off in sheep walks. I said I only had a superficial view of it, but that, exclusive of a reasonable extent nearer the house, to be occupied by himself, it would bring not below £2000. He said his people would never pay half of that. He was loath to chase them all away to America, but at present they did not pay him above £700. He hath however the pleasure of absolute sway. He is even more so in his domains than Bonaparte in France. I saw him call two men from their labour a full mile to carry us through the water. I told him he must not expect to be served thus by the shepherds if once he had given them possession"


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