The Bonnie Earl O’ Murray

Ye Hielands and ye Lowlands
O whaur hae ye been?
Thae hae slain the Earl o Moray
And they’ve laid him on the green
He was a braw callan
An he played at the ba’
O the bonnie Earl of Moray
He was the flow’r of them a’

Lang may his lady
Look ow’r frae Castle Doun
Ere she sees the Earl o Moray
Come soundin through the toun

Ah, woe betide ye Huntly
An whaurfore did ye say
Oh, I bade ye bring him tae me
But forbade ye him tae slay
He was a braw callan
An he played at the ring
O the bonnie Earl o Moray
Ah He micht hae bin the king

Lang may his lady
Look ower frae Castle Doun
Ere she sees the Earl o Moray
Come soundin through the toun

Ye Hielans an ye Lowlans
O whaur hae ye been
Thae hae slain the Earl o Moray
And laid him on the green
He was a braw callan
An he played at the glove
Ae the bonnie Earl o Moray
Ah, he was the Queen’s true love

Lang may his lady
Look ow’r frae Castle Doun
Ere she sees the Earl o Moray
Come soundin through the toun

This is the finest recording of this ballad I have ever heard.  Dick Gaughan has such a voice and emotional power.

The   Bonny Earl O’Moray in this ballad was James Stewart, 2nd Earl of Moray, the husband of Elizabeth Stewart, 2nd Countess of Moray.  He held the earldom jure uxoris (by right of his wife).   He was also a direct male-line descendant of King Robert II.

From Wikipedia:

The ballad touches on a true story stemming from the rivalry of James StewartEarl of Moray (pronounced Murray), and the Earl of Huntly, which culminated in Huntly’s murder of Moray in 1592. The exact circumstances that led to the murder are not known for certain, but both their families, the Stewarts of Doune (pronounced “doon”) and the Gordons of Huntly, had a history of territorial rivalry and competition for royal favour. In his notes on the ballad Francis James Child relates how Huntly, eager to prove that Moray was plotting with the Earl of Bothwell against King James VI, received a commission to bring Moray to trial. In the attempt to apprehend Moray, the earl’s house at Donibristle in Fife was set on fire and the visiting Sheriff of Moray killed. Moray fled the house, but was chased and killed in its grounds, betrayed, it was said, by the glow of his burning helmet tassle. His last words, according to the (probably apocryphal) story related by Walter Scott, deserve special mention. Huntly slashed him across the face with his sword, and as he lay dying Moray said “Ye hae spilt a better face than yer ain” (“You have spoiled a better face than your own”). The killing was widely condemned. Moray’s mother, Margaret Campbell, had a painting made of her son’s dead body, as evidence of his multiple wounds, bearing the legend “God Revenge My Caus”. Her intention was to show this publicly at the Cross in Edinburgh, but the King ignored her request, effectively withholding permission.[3]

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About Uisce úr

Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done, The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.
This entry was posted in Death, Drama, Folklore, History, Music, Performance, Poetry and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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