Johnnie Cope
Download Midi File
Barry Taylor


Information
Lyrics
ccording to Wikipedia, a tune to Johnnie Cope was written in 1745 by Adam Skirving (1719-1803), a tenant farmer in East Lothian. These lyrics are by Robert Burns. The more commonly used lyrics can be found at Johnny Cope. The song is an account of the Battle of Prestonpans (obivously from the Jacobite perspective) at which Sir John Cope was defeated.

For a complete list of Burns tunes at this site, enter Robert Burns in the search engine.

For other Jacobite tunes go to the bottom of The Contemplator's Short History of the Jacobite Uprisings.

Sir John Cope trode the north right far,
Yet ne'er a rebel he cam naur,
Until he landed at Dunbar
Right early in a morning.

Hey Johnie Cope are ye wauking yet,
Or are ye sleeping I would wit:
O haste ye get up for the drums do beat,
Of fye Cope rise in the morning.


He wrote a challenge for Dunbar,
Come fight me Charlie an ye daur;
If it be not by the chance of war
I'll give you a merry morning.
Hey Johnie Cope are ye wauking yet,
Or are ye sleeping I would wit:
O haste ye get up for the drums do beat,
Of fye Cope rise in the morning.


When Charlie look'd the letter upon
He drew his sword and scabbard frodonotuse-
"So Heaven restore to me my own,
I'll meet you, Cope, in the morning."
Hey Johnie Cope are ye wauking yet,
Or are ye sleeping I would wit:
O haste ye get up for the drums do beat,
Of fye Cope rise in the morning.


Cope swore with many a bloody word
That he would fight them gun and sword,
But he fled frae his nest like an ill scar'd bird,
And Johnie he took wing in the morning.
Hey Johnie Cope are ye wauking yet,
Or are ye sleeping I would wit:
O haste ye get up for the drums do beat,
Of fye Cope rise in the morning.


It was upon an afternoon,
Sir Johnie march'd to Preston town;
He says, "My lads come lean you down,
And we'll fight the boys in the morning."
Hey Johnie Cope are ye wauking yet,
Or are ye sleeping I would wit:
O haste ye get up for the drums do beat,
Of fye Cope rise in the morning.


But when he saw the Highland lads
Wi' tartan trews and white cokauds,
Wi' swords and guns and rungs and gauds,
O Johnie he took wing in the morning.
Hey Johnie Cope are ye wauking yet,
Or are ye sleeping I would wit:
O haste ye get up for the drums do beat,
Of fye Cope rise in the morning.


On the morrow when he did rise,
He look'd between him and the skies;
He saw them wi' their naked thighs,
Which fear'd him in the morning.
Hey Johnie Cope are ye wauking yet,
Or are ye sleeping I would wit:
O haste ye get up for the drums do beat,
Of fye Cope rise in the morning.


O then he flew into Dunbar,
Crying for a man of war;
He thought to have pass'd for a rustic tar,
And gotten awa in the morning.
Hey Johnie Cope are ye wauking yet,
Or are ye sleeping I would wit:
O haste ye get up for the drums do beat,
Of fye Cope rise in the morning.


Sir Johnie into Berwick rade,
Just as the devil had been his guide;
Gien him the warld he would na stay'd
To foughten the boys in the morning.
Hey Johnie Cope are ye wauking yet,
Or are ye sleeping I would wit:
O haste ye get up for the drums do beat,
Of fye Cope rise in the morning.


Says the Berwickers unto Sir John,
O what's become of all your men,
In faith, says he, I dinna ken,
I left them a' this morning.
Hey Johnie Cope are ye wauking yet,
Or are ye sleeping I would wit:
O haste ye get up for the drums do beat,
Of fye Cope rise in the morning.


Says Lord Mark Car, ye are na blate,
To bring us the news o' your ain defeat;
I think you deserve the back o' the gate,
Get out o' my sight this morning.
Hey Johnie Cope are ye wauking yet,
Or are ye sleeping I would wit:
O haste ye get up for the drums do beat,
Of fye Cope rise in the morning.

Related Links
There is a wonderful rendition of the tune on Alastair McDonald's album, Songs From Gretna to Glen Coe.
Lyrics from The Mudcat Cafe.