MacPherson's Farewell
Version 1
Download Midi File
John Renfro Davis


Information
Lyrics
The words are by Robert Burns and 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.

There is another set of lyrics at MacPherson's Farewell (2).

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

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's little did me mither know
When first she cradled me,
That I would become 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.


Untie these bands from off my hands,
An' gae to me my bow,
I've naught to leave my brave Scotland,
But a tune before I go.
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 steal my fiddle,
But before that I do part with her,
I'll break her through the middle.
Sae rantonly, sae wantonly,
Sae dauntingly played he.
He played a tune and he danced a-roon,
Below the gallows tree.


He's ta'en his fiddle into both his hands
And breaked her on his knee,
Said when I am gane no ither hands
Shall ever play on thee.
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 John Renfro Davis
(The fourth verse may be a later addition)