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The Battle of Philiphaugh

No: 202; variant: 202A

  1. ON Philiphaugh a fray began, At Hairheadwood it ended; The Scots outoer the Graemes they ran, Sae merrily they bended.
  2. Sir David frae the Border came, Wi heart an hand came he; Wi him three thousand bonny Scots, To bear him company.
  3. Wi him three thousand valiant men, A noble sight to see! A cloud o mist them weel conceald, As close as eer might be.
  4. When they came to the Shaw burn, Said he, Sae weel we frame, I think it is convenient That we should sing a psalm.
  5. When they came to the Lingly burn, As daylight did appear, They spy'd an aged father, And he did draw them near.
  6. 'Come hither, aged father,' Sir David he did cry, 'And tell me where Montrose lies, With al his great army.'
  7. 'But first you must come tell to me, If friends or foes you be; I fear you are Montrose's men, Come frae the north country.'
  8. 'No, we are nane o Montrose's men, Nor eer intend to be; I am Sir David Lesly, That's speaking unto thee.'
  9. 'If you're Sir David Lesly, As I think weel ye be, I am sorry ye hae brought so few Into your company.
  10. 'There's fifteen thousand armed men Encamped on yon lee; Ye'll never be a bite to them, For aught that I can see.
  11. 'But halve your men in equal parts, Your purpose to fulfill; Let ae half keep the water-side, The rest gae round the hill.
  12. 'Your nether party fire must, Then beat a flying drum; And then they'll think the day's their ain, And frae the trench they'll come.
  13. 'Then, those that are behind them maun Gie shot, baith grit and sma; And so, between your armies twa, Ye may make them to fa.'
  14. 'O were ye ever a soldier?' Sir David Lesly said; 'O yes; I was at Solway Flow, Where we were all betrayd.
  15. 'Again I was at curst Dunbar, And was a prisner taen, And many weary night and day In prison I hae lien.'
  16. 'If ye will lead these men aright, Rewarded shal ye be; But, if that ye a traitor prove, I'll hang thee on a tree.'
  17. 'Sir, I will not a traitor prove; Montrose has plunderd me; I'll do my best to banish him Away frae this country.'
  18. He halvd his men in equal parts, His purpose to fulfill; The one part kept the water-side, The other gaed round the hill.
  19. The nether party fired brisk, Then turnd and seemd to rin; And then they a' came frae the trench, And cry'd The day's our ain!
  20. The rest then ran into the trench, And loosd their cannons a': And thus, between his armies twa, He made them fast to fa.
  21. Now let us a' for Lesly pray And his brave company, For they hae vanquishd great Montrose, Our cruel enemy.