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Battle of Harlaw As I cam in by Denniedeer An' doon by Netherha' There was fifty thousand Hielandmen A-marchin' to Harlaw." Wi' my dirrum doo dirrum doo daddie dirrum dey As I cam on and further on And doon by Balquhain It's ther I met Sir James the Rose And wi' him, Sir John the Graham "Oh came ye frae the Highlands man, Oh cam ye a' the wey? Saw ye McDonald and his men As they cam in frae Skye? "Yes we cam frae the Highlands man An we cam a' the wey And we saw McDonald and his men As they cam in frae Skye." "Oh was ye near McDonald's men? Did ye their numbers see? Come tellm me Johnnie Hielandman What micht their numbers be?" "Yes we was near and near eneuch And we their numbers saw There was fifty thousand hielandmen A-marchin' to Harlaw." "Gin that be true," says Sir James the Rose, "Will come nae muckle speed. We'll cry upon our merry men An' turn oor horses head." "oh na, Oh na," says John the Graham, "That thing can never be The gallant Grahams were never best We'll try what we can die." As I cam on and further on And doon and by Harlaw They fell fu close on ilka side Sic strokes ye never saw. They fell fu close on ilka side Sic stroked ye never saw For ilka sword gaed clash for clash At the battle o' Harlaw. The Hielandmen wi' their lang swords They laid on us fu' sair And they drove back oor merry men Three acres breadth and mair Braves Forbes to his brother said, "Oh brither don't ye see. They've beat us back on ilka side And we'll be forced to flee." Oh na, Oh na," my brother said, "That thing can never be. You'll tak your sword into your hand And ye'll come on wi' me." Then back to back the brithers twa Gaed in among the throng And they laid doon the Hielandmen Wi' swords baith sharp and lang. The first ae stroke that Forbes struck, He gart McDonald reel And the neist ae stroke that Forbes struck, The brave McDonald fell. And siccin a Pitlariche I'm sure ye never saw As was among the Hielandmen When they saw McDonald fa' And when they saw that he was dead They turned and ran awa' And they turned him in Leggert's den A mile abeen Harlaw Some rade, some ran and some did gang They were a' sma' record But Forbes and his merry men They slew them a' the road On Monoday at mornin' The battle it began On Saturday at gloamin' Ye'd kentna wha had won Gin onybody spier at you For them that cam awa' Ye can tell them plain and plain enough They're sleeping at Harlaw. Child #163 from Bonnie Bunch of Roses ballad mentioned in 1549 Battle occurred July 24, 1411 near Aberdeen SOF
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