The Highland Widow's Lament
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


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The earliest known text of this ballad is from a manuscript "A Choice Collection of Several Scots Miscellanie poems and songs," circa 1715. Notes by Robert Burns indicate the ballad deals with the The Massacre at Glen Coe.

The ballad Oh ono chrio (noted as being related to The Border Widow) is referenced in Child Ballad #106 (The Famous Flower of Serving Men), a version of which was entered in the Stationers' Register in 1656 by Laurence Price.

For a complete list of Child Ballads go to Francis J. Child Ballads.

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

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

Oh, I am come to the low countrie,
Och on, och on, och rie!
Without a penny in my purse,
To buy a meal to me.

It was na sae in the Highland hills,
Och on, och on, och rie!
Nae woman in the country wide
Sae happy was as me.

For then I had a score o' kye,
Och on, och on, och rie!
Feeding on yon hills so high,
And giving milk to me.

And there I had threescore o' yowes,
Och on, och on, och rie!
Skipping on yon bonnie knowes,
And casting woo' to me.

I was the happiest of a' the clan,
Sair, sair may I repine;
For Donald was the brawest man,
And Donald he was mine.

Till Charlie Stuart cam' at last,
Sae far to set us free;
My Donald's arm was wanted then
For Scotland and for me.

Their waefu' fate what need I tell?
Right to the wrang did yield:
My Donald and his country fell
Upon Colloden-field.

Och on, O Donald O!
Och on, och on, och rie!
Nae woman in the warld wide
Sae wretched now as me.
Related Links
From Songs of Scotland
The Royal Edition, Volume I
See Bibliography for full information.
Information from The Mudcat Cafe..