Will You Go To Sheriffmuir?
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


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This song is song 89 in James Hogg's Jacobite Relics of Scotland (1819). Hogg states at that time the air had not been published before, but was known. The identity of John o' Innisture is unknown, and Hogg speculated that because only three clans were mentioned, some verses might have been lost.

The first two stanzas are attributed to Tannahill in R. A. Chambers' Collection of Scottish Songs (1829). However, this is not confirmed in any collection of Tannahill's poetry.

The Battle of Sheriffmuir took place on November 13, 1715 in the first Jacobite Uprising, where troops of the Earl of Mar met troops commanded by the Duke of Argyle, two miles from the village of Dunblane. There were several hundred casualties on both sides. The battle was a mass of confusion, ending in a draw. It was described in a ballad at the time:
And we ran, and they ran,
And they ran, and we ran,
And we ran, and they ran awa, man.*

For other Jacobite Tunes see The Contemplator's Short History of the Jacobite Uprisings.

Will ye go tae Sheriffmuir,
Bauld John o'Innisture,
There tae see the noble Mar
And his Hieland laddies.
A' the true men o' the north,
Angus, Huntly, and Seaforth
Scouring on tae cross the Forth
Wi' their white cockadies.

There ye'll see the banners flare;
There ye'll hear the bagpipes rair,
And the trumpets deadly blare
Wi' the cannons' rattle.
There ye'll see the bauld McCraws,
Cameron's and Clanronald's raws
And a' the clans, wi' loud huzzas,
Rushing tae the battle.

There ye'll see the noble Whigs,
A' the heroes o' the brigs,
Raw hides and withered wigs,
Ridin' in array, man.
Riv'n hose and raggit hools,
Sour milk and girnin' gools,
Psaldonotuse-beuks and cutty-stools,
We'll see never mair, man.

Will ye go tae Sheriffmuir,
Bauld John o' Innisture,
Sic a day and sic an hour
Ne'er was in the North, man.
Siccan sights will there be seen,
And gin some be nae mista'en,
Fragrant gales will come bedeen,
Frae the waters o' Forth, man.

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    From *The Songs of Scotland
    See Bibliography for full information.