Designed & produced by Éric Mac Lewis
© ericdentinger.com
2008-2020

SOUNDCLOUD
YOUTUBE



The Massacre Of Glencoe
- The Corries version -
(Jim McLean - © Duart Music 1963)

Cruel is the snow that sweeps Glencoe
And covers the grave O’ Donald
And cruel was the foe that raped Glencoe
And murdered the house o’ MacDonald


They came in the blizzard we offered them heat
A roof for their heads, dry shoes for their feet
We wined them and dined them, they ate all our meat
And they slept in the house of MacDonald

(chorus)

They came from Fort William with murder in mind
The Campbell had orders King William had signed
It all to them saw these words underlined
And leave none alive called MacDonald

(chorus)

They came in the night when the men were asleep
This band o’ Argylles through snow soft and deep
Like murdering foxes among helpless sheep
They slaughtered the house o’ MacDonald

(chorus)

Some died in their beds at the hand of the foe
Some fled in the night, were lost in the snow
Some lived to accuse them for struck the first blow
But gone was the house of MacDonald

Oh cruel is the snow that sweeps Glencoe
And covers the grave O’ Donald
And cruel was the foe that raped Glencoe
And murdered the house of MacDonald

This three parts march has been composed by Pipe Major Farquhar Beaton from the 48th Highlanders of Canada (previously 48th Battalion) located in Toronto. Colonel Robertson was a famous member of that unit : Beaton who also was part of it between 1900 and 1913 dedicated his tune to him. It became then a standard for Canadian pipers but has also entered the Scottish repertoire.
Jim McLean certainly took part in this integration by using the air, slightly changed and with a lower beat, to write a song (1963) called The Massacre Of Glencoe (see below as sung by The Corries).
Dramatic episode in Scottish history in which the MacDonalds were the victims on 13 February 1692, this event had a huge impact and contributed to maintain the Jacobite rebellion until its Culloden epilogue (1746).
The tune has also been adapted as a lament named Glencoe or The Massacre (or Ballad) Of Glencoe. Canadian pipers are used to play this lament just before Colonel Robertson's quick march.

NB : in the Scots Guards « Standard Settings of Pipe Music - vol.1 - page 93 » (fifth edition - 1965) there is a mistake all along part 3 where dotted notes have been forgotten.

Colonel Robertson

- score written by Éric Mac Lewis with CelticPipes

Scottish bagpipe tunes

MARCH

ABOUT

MORE