Tom and I just learned a new Scottish song for our Scots-Irish band, Angus Dubhghall. Tom likes to think of us as more Scot, and since I’m Welsh, I favor learning more Irish songs. Please don’t try to follow my illogic on that, as you’ll likely go mad. The song we learned was “The Ballad of Glencoe.” The song is composed by Jim McLean in 1963 and tells of the notorious massacre of the MacDonald clan in February 1692. To give you a feel for the song, I’ve included the chorus here:
O cruel is the snow that sweeps Glencoe
And covers the grave of Donald
And cruel was the foe that raped Glencoe
And murdered the house o’Macdonald.
This is a great ballad, and several bands, including Smithfield Fair, have put it to music. It is a great ballad to use to teach high school students. You can find the lyrics and background information about the ballad here: http://www.rampantscotland.com/songs/blsongs_glencoe.htm