MacPherson's Farewell
Version 2
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John Renfro Davis


Information
Lyrics
The words are based on the real Jamie MacPherson's farewell which MacPherson wrote before the outlaw was hanged on November 16, 1700. He reportedly played this tune on the gallows and offerred his fiddle to anyone who could play it. Since no one took him up on the offer, he broke the fiddle. (See links for more information on Jamie - and the text of his original farewell.)

The tune is also known as MacPherson's Lament and Below the Gallows Tree.

Burns also wrote lyrics to the tune. Find them at MacPherson's Farewell (1).

Fareweel ye dungeons dark and strong
Fareweel, fareweel to thee
MacPherson's song will not be long
Upon the gallows tree.
Sae rantonly, sae wantonly,
Sae dauntingly played he.
He played a tune and he danced a-roon,
Below the gallows tree.


It was by a woman's treacherous hand
That I was condemned to die
Below a ledge at a window she stood
And a blanket she threw o'er me.
Sae rantonly, sae wantonly,
Sae dauntingly played he.
He played a tune and he danced a-roon,
Below the gallows tree.


The Laird o'Grand that Highland sant
That first laid hand on me
He played the cause on Peter Bron
To let MacPherson dee.
Sae rantonly, sae wantonly,
Sae dauntingly played he.
He played a tune and he danced a-roon,
Below the gallows tree.


Untie these bands from off my hands
And gie to me my sword
An' there's no' a man in all Scotland
But I'll brave him at a word.
Sae rantonly, sae wantonly,
Sae dauntingly played he.
He played a tune and he danced a-roon,
Below the gallows tree.


There's some come here to see me hang,
And some to buy my fiddle
But before that I do part wi' her
I'll brak her thro' the mdidle
Sae rantonly, sae wantonly,
Sae dauntingly played he.
He played a tune and he danced a-roon,
Below the gallows tree.


He took the fiddle into both his hands
And he broke ot o'er a stone
Says, There's na ither hand sall play on thee
When I am dead and gone
Sae rantonly, sae wantonly,
Sae dauntingly played he.
He played a tune and he danced a-roon,
Below the gallows tree.


O little did my mother think
When first she cradled me
That I would turn a rovin' boy
And die on the gallows tree.
Sae rantonly, sae wantonly,
Sae dauntingly played he.
He played a tune and he danced a-roon,
Below the gallows tree.


The reprieve was comin' o'er the brig o' Banff
To let MacPherson free;
But they pit the clocka quarter fore
And hanged him to the tree.
Sae rantonly, sae wantonly,
Sae dauntingly played he.
He played a tune and he danced a-roon,
Below the gallows tree.

Related Links
Lyrics from:
Folksingers Wordbook
See Bibliography for full information.