Braes o' Killiecrankie

Braes o' Killiecrankie

Braes o' Killiecrankie is the name of four distinct folk songs, all originally from Scotland.

The version that begins with the line "Whare hae ye been sae braw, lad?" (Roud 8187) is the one discussed here. The versions that begin with the line "Clavers and his highland men" are either the Scots version (Roud 8188) or the USA version (Roud 2572). Finally there is another Scots version, that begins with the line "On a thistle I sat doon" (Roud 3363).

The Battle of Killiecrankie was fought in 1689, as part of the Jacobite rebellion. James Hogg made a collection of songs relating to the battles and campaigns. It was published as Jacobite Reliques in 1819. He lists this song simply as "Killiecrankie" (number 19 on page 32). Hogg may have had a hand in writing or adapting the song.

"Whare hae ye been sae braw, lad?
""Whare hae ye been sae brankie-O?
""Whare hae ye been sae braw, lad
""Cam ye by Killicrankie-O?

::"Chorus"::"An had ye been where I hae been
"::"Ye wad-na been sae cantie-O
"::"An ye had seen what I hae seen
"::"I' the braes o' Killicrankie-O.

"I faught at land, I faught at sea
""At hame I faught my auntie-O
""But I met the devil and Dundee
""On the braes o' Killicrankie-O.

"The bauld Pitcur fell in a furr
""The Clavers got a clankie-O
""Or I had fed an Athol gled
""On the braes o' Killicrankie-O.

"O fie, Mackay, what gart ye lie
""I' the bush ayont the brankie-O
""Ye's better kiss'd King Willie's loof
""Than come to Killicrankie-O

"It's nae shame, it's nae shame
""It's nae shame to shank ye-O
""There's sour slaes on Athol Braes
""And deils at Killicrankie-O.

Scotland's Big Country recorded a version with rousing guitar.

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