The Haughs of Cromdale

Melody -

As I came in by Auchindoun,
A little wee bit frae the town,
When to the Highlands I was bound
To view the Haughs of Cromdale.
   I met a man in tartan trews,
   I spiered at him what was the news,
   Quo' he, "The Highland army rues
   That e'er we came to Cromdale.

"We were in bed, sir, every man,
When the English host upon us came;
A bloody battle then began
Upon the Haughs of Cromdale.
   The English horse they were so rude,
   They bathed their hoofs in Highland blood,
   But our brave clans, they boldly stood
   Upon the Haughs of Cromdale.

"But, alas! We could no longer stay,
For o'er the hilfs we came away,
And sore we do lament the day
That e"er we came to Cromdale."
   Thus the great Montrose did say:
   "Can you direct the nearest way?
   For I will o'er the hills this day,
   And view the Haughs of Cromdale."

"Alas, niy lord, you're not so strong,
You scarcely have two thousand men,
And there's twenty-thousand on the plane,
Stand rank and file on Cromdale."
   Thus the great Montrose did say,
   "I say, direct the nearest way,
   For I will o'er the hills this day,
   And see the Haughs of Cromdale."
  They were at dinner, every man,
When the great Montrose upon them came;
A second battle then began
Upon the Haughs of Cromdale.
   The Grant, Mackenzie and M'Ky,
   Soon as Montrose they did espy,
   O then they fought most valiantly
   Upon the Haughs of Cromdale.

The M'Donalds they returned again,
The Camerons did their standard join,
M'Intosh played a bloody game
Upon the Haughs of Cromdale.
   The M'Gregors fought like lions bold,
   M'Phersons, none could them control,
   M'Lauchlins fought, like loyal souls
   Upon the Haughs of Cromdale.

M'Leans, M'Dougals, and M'Neils,
So boldly as they took the field,
And made their enemies to yield
Upon the Haughs of Cromdale.
   The Gordons boldly did advance,
   The Frasers fought with sword and lance,
   The Grahams they made the heads to dance,
   Upon the Haughs of Cromdale.

The loyal Stewarts, with Montrose,
So boldly set upon their foes,
And brought them down with Highland blows
Upon the Haughs of Cromdale.
   Of twenty-thousand Cromwell's men,
   Five-hundred fled to Aberdeen,
   The rest of them lie on the plain,
   Upon the Haughs of Cromdale.

Poetic licence has been strained to breaking point in this vigorous song. The battle fought upon the plains of Cromdale in Strathspey did, in fact, result in the army of 1,500 highlanders being defeated by Sir Thomas Livingstone's Hanoverians. Montrose, the hero of this song, was not present at the event. Some forty-five years before, however, he won a victory at the battle of Auldeam against the Whig forces and it is probable that the two events have been dovetailed to provide us with a fine, optimistic, if somewhat chronologically inaccurate, song.

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