McPherson's Lament My father was a gentleman, Of fame and honor high, Oh mother, would you ne'er had borne The son so doom'd to die. chorus- Sae rantingly, sae wantonly, Sae dauntingly gaed he; He play'd a spring (sprig), and danc'd it round (a jig) Below the gallows-tree. I've spent my life in rioting, Debauch'd my health and strength, I squander'd fast, as pillage came, And fell to shame at length. Farewell, yon dungeons dark and strong, The wretch's destinie! M'Pherson's time will not be long On yonder gallows-tree. O what is breath but parting breath? On many a bloody plain I've dar'd his face, and in this place I'll scorn him yet again. But vengeance I never did wreak, When pow'r was in my hand, And you, dear friends, no vengeance seek, It is my last command. Forgive the man whose rage betray'd MacPherson's worthless life; When I am gone, be it not said, My legacy was strife. He took his fiddle in both his hands And he broke it all a stone, Saying there's nae a han' shall ply on thee When I am dead and gone. Now farewell light, thou sunshine bright, And all beneath the sky! May coward shame disdain his name, The wretch that dares not die! O reprieve was coming o the Brig o' Dans for tae set MacPherson free, For they set the clock a quarter before And they hanged him from a tree. recorded by Jeannie Robertson on Heather and Glen AJS
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!