Designed & produced by Éric Mac Lewis
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2008-2020

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POPPY APPEAL



The Flowers Of The Forest
(Jane Elliot)

I've heard them lilting at our ewe-milking
Lasses a-lilting before dawn of day
But now they are moaning on ilka green loaning
The Flowers of the Forest are a' wede away

At bughts, in the morning, nae blythe lads are scorning
The lasses are lonely and dowie and wae
Nae daffin' nae gabbin' but sighing and sabbing
Ilk ane lifts her leglin and hies her away

In har'st at the shearing, nae youths now are jeering
Bandsters are lyart and runkled and gray
At fair or at preaching nae wooing nae fleeching
The Flowers of the Forest are a' wede away

At e'en in the gloaming, nae younkers are roaming
'Bout stacks wi' the lasses at bogle to play
But ilk ane sits drearie, lamenting her dearie
The Flowers of the Forest are weded away

Dool and wae for the order sent our lads to the Border
The English for ance, by guile wan the day
The Flowers of the Forest, that fought aye the foremost
The prime of our land are cauld in the clay

We'll hear nae mair lilting at our ewe-milking
Women and bairns are heartless and wae
Sighing and moaning on ilka green loaning
The Flowers of the Forest are a' wede away

This lament was composed to honour the memory of the Scottish soldiers who died at the battle of Flodden (September, 9th of 1513) : more than 10,000 of them died, even the King James IV who got into a fight to observe the Auld Alliance between France and Scotland.

The tune seems to appear in the Skene Manuscript (17th century).
Adapted for bagpipe, this lament - sometimes simply called The Lament - is played at military funerals and services of remembrance e.g. during the Poppy Appeal.

Many lyrics have been written : the oldest ones to be known are probably those from Jane Elliot (1727-1805).

The Flowers Of The Forest

- score written by Éric Mac Lewis with CelticPipes

Scottish bagpipe tunes

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