Bonnie Dundee

Bonnie Dundee

Bonnie Dundee, known in his lifetime as John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee, or as "Bluidy Clavers", died fighting for the Jacobite cause at the Battle of Killiecrankie and a century later was immortalised in this song based on a poem [ [ 443. Bonny Dundee. Sir Walter Scott. 1909-14. English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald. The Harvard Classics ] ] by Sir Walter Scott.

The song is the authorized regimental march for the following Canadian regiments:
*The Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (gallop-past);
*1st Hussars;
*The Brockville Rifles;
*The Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders; and
*The Loyal Edmonton Regiment (4th Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry).

The song was parodied by Lewis Carroll in Through the Looking Glass and by Rudyard Kipling in The Jungle Book.

The Scott poem is discussed in its historical context, and some of the words explained, in the [ Wikipedia Humanities Reference Desk Archives] .

Lyrics (Song)

:The Bonnets o' Bonnie Dundee

:1. Tae the lairds i' convention t'was Claverhouse spoke:E'er the Kings crown go down, there'll be crowns to be broke;:Then let each cavalier who loves honour and me:Come follow the bonnets o' bonnie Dundee.

:"Chorus:":Come fill up my cup, come fill up my can,:Saddle my horses and call out my men.:And it's Ho! for the west port and let us gae free,:And we'll follow the bonnets o' bonnie Dundee!

:2. Dundee he is mounted, he rides doon the street,:The bells they ring backwards, the drums they are beat,:But the Provost, (douce man!), says ;Just e'en let him be:For the toon is well rid of that de'il o' Dundee.

:"Chorus: "

:3. There are hills beyond Pentland and lands beyond Forth,:Be there lairds i' the south, there are chiefs i' the north!:There are brave Duniewassals, three thousand times three:Will cry "Hoy!" for the bonnets o' bonnie Dundee.

:"Chorus: "

:4. Then awa' tae the hills, tae the lea, tae the rocks:E'er I own a usurper, I'll couch wi' the fox!:Then tremble, false Whigs, in the midst o' your glee:Ye hae no seen the last o' my bonnets and me.


Original poem

Bonny Dundee

:To the Lords of Convention 'twas Clavers who spoke. :'Ere the King's crown shall fall there are crowns to be broke; :So let each Cavalier who loves honour and me, :Come follow the bonnet of Bonny Dundee. ::"Come fill up my cup, come fill up my can,"'::"Come saddle your horses, and call up your men;" ::"Come open the West Port and let me gang free, " ::"And it's room for the bonnets of Bonny Dundee!" :Dundee he is mounted, he rides up the street, :The bells are rung backward, the drums they are beat;:But the Provost, douce man, said, "Just e'en let him be, :The Gude Town is weel quit of that Deil of Dundee."::"Come fill up my cup, etc." :As he rode down the sanctified bends of the Bow, :Ilk carline was flyting and shaking her pow; :But the young plants of grace they looked couthie and slee, :Thinking luck to thy bonnet, thou Bonny Dundee! ::"Come fill up my cup, etc." :With sour-featured Whigs the Grass-market was crammed, :As if half the West had set tryst to be hanged;:There was spite in each look, there was fear in each e'e, :As they watched for the bonnets of Bonny Dundee. ::"Come fill up my cup, etc. " :These cowls of Kilmarnock had spits and had spears, :And _ha. Castle] rock, :And with the gay Gordon he gallantly spoke; :"Let Mons Meg and her marrows speak twa words or three, :For the love of the bonnet of Bonny Dundee." ::"Come fill up my cup, etc. " :The Gordon demands of him which way he goes? :"Where'er shall direct me the shade of Montrose!:Your Grace in short space shall hear tidings of me, :Or that low lies the bonnet of Bonny Dundee. ::"Come fill up my cup, etc. " :"There are hills beyond Pentland and lands beyond Forth, :If there's lords in the Lowlands, there's chiefs in the North;:There are wild Duniewassals three thousand times three, :Will "cry hoigh!" for the bonnet of Bonny Dundee. ::"Come fill up my cup, etc. " :"There's brass on the target of barkened bull-hide; :There's steel in the scabbard that dangles beside;:The brass shall be burnished, the steel shall flash free, :At the toss of the bonnet of Bonny Dundee. ::"Come fill up my cup, etc. " :"Away to the hills, to the caves, to the rocks:Ere I own an usurper, I'll couch with the fox; :And tremble, false Whigs, in the midst of your glee, :You have not seen the last of my bonnet and me!"::"Come fill up my cup, etc." :He waved his proud hand, the trumpets were blown,:The kettle-drums clashed and the horsemen rode on, :Till on Ravelston's cliffs and on Clermiston's lee :Died away the wild war-notes of Bonny Dundee. ::"Come fill up my cup, come fill up my can," ::"Come saddle the horses, and call up the men," ::"Come open your gates, and let me gae free," ::"For it's up with the bonnets of Bonny Dundee! "


Lewis Carroll

From Chapter IX of Through the Looking Glass:

:To the Looking-Glass world it was Alice that said:"I've a sceptre in hand, I've a crown on my head. :Let the Looking-Glass creatures, whatever they be:Come dine with the Red Queen, the White Queen and Me!"

:Then fill up the glasses as quick as you can,:And sprinkle the table with buttons and bran::Put cats in the coffee, and mice in the tea--:And welcome Queen Alice with thirty-times-three!

:"O Looking-Glass creatures," quoth Alice, "draw near!:'Tis an honour to see me, a favour to hear::'Tis a privilege high to have dinner and tea:Along with the Red Queen, the White Queen, and Me!"

:Then fill up the glasses with treacle and ink, :Or anything else that is pleasant to drink::Mix sand with the cider, and wool with the wine--:And welcome Queen Alice with ninety-times-nine!

Rudyard Kipling

From "Parade Song of the Camp Animals", which follows the story "Her Majesty's Servants", in The Jungle Book:

:By the brand on my shoulder, the finest of tunes:Is played by the Lancers, Hussars, and Dragoons,:And it's sweeter than "Stables" or "Water" to me--:The Cavalry Canter of "Bonnie Dundee"!

:Then feed us and break us and handle and groom,:And give us good riders and plenty of room,:And launch us in column of squadron and see:The way of the war-horse to "Bonnie Dundee"!

American Civil War

Riding a Raid (Traditional)

During the American Civil War traditional English, Irish, and Scottish songs were often sung or modified. The Confederates did this very often. The song Riding a Raid takes place during the 1862 Antietem Campaign. James Ewell Brown (J.E.B.) Stuart's Confederate cavalry set off on a screening movement on the flank of Robert E. Lee's army in order to give Lee time to prepare his army to meet the Union army after Northern general George McClellan had gained information on Lee's location and plans. The Campaign would culminate in the battle of Antietem, or Sharpsburg as the Confederates called it. This would be the bloodiest day in American history and while the battle was indecisive, Lee was forced to abandon any hope of continuing the campaign.

: Riding a Raid

:'Tis old Stonewall the Rebel that leans on his sword,:And while we are mounting prays low to the Lord::"Now each cavalier that loves honor and right,:Let him follow the feather of Stuart tonight."

:"Chorus:" :Come tighten your girth and slacken your rein;:Come buckle your blanket and holster again;:Try the click of your trigger and balance your blade,:For he must ride sure that goes riding a raid.

:Now gallop, now gallop to swim or to ford!:Old Stonewall, still watching, prays low to the Lord::"Goodbye, dear old Rebel! The river's not wide,:And Maryland's lights in her window to guide."


:There's a man in the White House with blood on his mouth!:If there's knaves in the North, there are braves in the South.:We are three thousand horses, and not one afraid;:We are three thousand sabres and not a dull blade.


:Then gallop, then gallop by ravines and rocks!:Who would bar us the way take his toll in hard knocks;:For with these points of steel, on the line of the Penn:We have made some fine strokes -- and we'll make 'em again


ee also

Authorized marches of the Canadian Forces


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