Glencoe (MacEdward Leach)

See also: The Pride Of Glencoe (Kenneth Peacock)

As I went a-walking one evening of late,
Where Flora's gay mantle did the fields decorate,
My courage did rise when one tidy mount was won,
There approached me a lassie as bright as the sun.

The ribbons and laces all around her did flow,
They enchanted McDonald, the pride o' Glencoe.

I asked her her name and how far she's to go,
She answered me, "Young man, I'm bound for Glencoe."
Now, if your affections on me you'll bestow,
You will bless the happy hour that we met in Glencoe.

"Young man," she made answer, "your suit I disdain,
For I got a sweetheart, McDonald by name;
And he's gone to the war ten long years ago,
And single I'll remain till he returns to Glencoe.

"Now the French and the Spaniards they will soon overthrow,
And in splendour he'll return to my arms in GIencoe."

Now the power of those Frenchmen 'tis hard to pull down,
And with your McDonald it could happen so:
That boy you love dearly perhaps he's laid low.
McDonald's true valour when he tried in the field,
Like his gallant ancestors disdaining to yield;
And with your MacDonald it could happen so,
That man you loves dearly perhaps he's laid low.

"McDonald from his promises he will never depart,
For love, truth, and honour is ground in his heart;
And if I never sees him 'tis single I'll go,
I will mourn for McDonald the pride o' Glencoe."

When McDonald found her constant he pulled out a glove,
A one she had given him as a token of true love;
She hung on his bosom while the tears down did flow,
"You are welcome, McDonald, to my arms in Glencoe."

Cheer up, my dear Flora, your waiting is over,
And since we have met, love, we will never part more.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of an early 19th-century British broadside ballad, MacDonald's Return To Glencoe [Laws N39] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957). Also a variant of an early 19th-century British broadside ballad, Donald's Return To Glencoe, published by G Walker (Durham) before 1834, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Johnson Ballads 1641 ....####

Collected in 1951 from Mr or Mrs MacDonald of Fermeuse, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A variant was collected in 1951 by Kenneth Peacock from Howard Leopold Morry [1885-1972] of Ferryland, NL, and published as The Pride Of Glencoe in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 2, pp.579-580, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that Glencoe is in Argyllshire, Scotland, the site of the infamous massacre of the Macdonalds in 1692. William III offered pardon to all Macdonalds who submitted to his rule, but when Captain Campbell and his men entered the valley and were hospitably received, they turned on the people and began massacring them. However, the weather was bad, and many of the Macdonalds escaped. The line in verse six referring to Macdonald's "haughty young sister who refused for to yield" possibly refers to this incident. The ballad is generally supposed to have been composed early in the nineteenth century when it was popular in England and Scotland. Many broadsides of it were printed, some even in America.


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